SPC GeoScience Division

Bonriki Indundation Vulnerability Assessment (BIVA)

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Bonriki is the largest of many islets in the pacific atoll of Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. Because of the islet's size and geology, it is the location of Tarawa's only international airport as well as the underground reservoir that supplies South Tarawa with the majority of its fresh water. Both of these critical infrastructural resources are potentially threatened by the predicted sea level rise in the region associated with climate change.

The Australian-funded Bonriki Inundation Vulnerability Assessment (BIVA) will provide the Kiribati government and development partners with a better understanding of the short and long term risks as well as a strategy for protecting these resources. The project has been supported by the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAPP) and will develop a 3D model of the island's freshwater lens.

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Physical Oceanographer
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:15  

Newsflash

By WILLIAM J. BROAD, Source: NYTimes.com

Tom Dettweiler makes his living miles down. He helped find the Titanic. After that, his teams located a lost submarine heavy with gold. In all, he has cast light on dozens of vanished ships.

Mr. Dettweiler has now turned from recovering lost treasures to prospecting for natural ones that litter the seabed: craggy deposits rich in gold and silver, copper and cobalt, lead and zinc. A new understanding of marine geology has led to the discovery of hundreds of these unexpected ore bodies, known as massive sulfides because of their sulfurous nature.

These finds are fueling a gold rush as nations, companies and entrepreneurs race to stake claims to the sulfide-rich areas, which dot the volcanic springs of the frigid seabed. The prospectors — motivated by dwindling resources on land as well as record prices for gold and other metals — are busy hauling up samples and assessing deposits valued at trillions of dollars.

“We’ve had extreme success,” Mr. Dettweiler said in a recent interview about the deepwater efforts of his company, Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, Fla.