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NERC Grant award to Gerald Roberts on earthquake geology

31 October 2011

Dr Gerald Roberts (Birkbeck Earth Sciences and IRDR) has been awarded a £888,983 NERC Grant to study "Earthquake hazard from cosmogenic 36‐Cl exposure dating of elapsed time and Coulomb stress transfer".

Gerald is the lead scientist and will conduct and manage the research in central Italy, which is to be spread across Birkbeck, UCL, Durham University, Leeds University, the University of Ulster, the Scottish Universities Accelerator Mass Spectrometer Facility, the National Institute of Geophysics in Rome (INGV), the Italian Geological Survey and the National Oceanographic and Geophysics Observatory in Trieste.

Gerald says "We will try to identify active faults that have:

  • anomalously‐long elapsed times since the last earthquake, dated with 36‐Cl
  • have had their stress increased by rupture of neighbouring faults in historical earthquakes and palaeo earthquakes

"Such locations are candidates for the next earthquake. We will communicate our findings to at‐risk‐populations through our civil‐protection project partners in Italy."

The project involves collaborators from UCL (Peter Sammonds), Leeds (Richard Phillips), Durham (Ken McCaffrey), Ulster (John McCloskey, Suleyman Nalbant), SUERC (Stewart Freeman) and partners from Bergen, Cologne, ISPRA (Rome), OGS (Trieste), Chieti and INGV (Rome).