SPC Geoscience Division

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SPC GEOSCIENCE PROGRAMMES

The Geoscience Division’s work focuses on providing assistance to Members in three technical programme areas: Geoscience for Development (formerly Ocean and Islands), Water and Sanitation and Disaster Reduction.

  • Geoscience for Development provides applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to support countries to govern and develop their natural resources, increase their resilience to hazards and facilitates data-based approaches to adaption. These vital technical services will be strategically deployed in response to specific Member requests to assist in the development, management and monitoring of natural resources and unique island environmental systems and processes.
  • Water and Sanitation Programme provides technical support to Members through capacity building, awareness and advocacy related to the management of water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services.
  • Disaster Reduction Programme provides Members with technical and policy advice and support to strengthen disaster risk management practices. The programme carries out this responsibility in coordination and collaboration with other technical programme areas within the Division and also with a range of regional and international development partners and donors.

Technical Support Services that cross cut the work of the three technical work programmes of the Geoscience Division are: natural resource economics; GIS and remote sensing; technical equipment and services; data management; and publications and library.

Corporate Services Support to the technical work programmes and technical support services of the Division are through ensuring effective policies and practices are in place for the orderly and efficient delivery of work. Corporate Services Support consists of finance, administration and IT support facilities, all of which would progressively integrate within the SPC beginning 1 January 2011.


 

Newsflash

Data Release Report by Joanne Robbins

Landslides pose a significant threat to life and infrastructure in Papua New Guinea (PNG), with numerous movements being recorded annually. Such events are typically instigated by the combined effects of different geomorphological control factors, such as slope or geology, and the influence of a triggering event (i.e. an earthquake or heavy rainfall). Rugged topography and high seismicity combine in PNG, to make the region highly susceptible to large-volume, earthquake-induced landslides, while the climate encourages widespread rainfall-induced landslides. Of the two triggering mechanisms, understanding rainfall-induced landslide occurrence offers the best scope for early warning/forecasting system development, as meteorological models and data availability improve.

This paper presents an overview of research conducted to understand regionally-based, rainfall-induced landslide occurrence in PNG. Given the regional focus of this research and the need to develop a cost effective and reproducible methodology, pre-existing or freely available satellite and airborne data have been used. The aim of this research was to develop models capable of identifying rainfall events with the potential to trigger landslides, as well as models that distinguish areas of heightened landslide susceptibility from those with low/no landslide susceptibility. Together, these modelling approaches can be used to generate a broad-scale early warning/forecasting system, which could help to reduce the losses associated with landslides across PNG.