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FCO Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field pays attention to the Sino-Britain international cooperative project funded by the NSFC ----2018-08-19

Introduced by the Newton Fund, FCO Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field and his crew members paid a visit to the SKLGP on July 24, 2018. Holding attention to the cooperative research progress jointly achieved by China and Britain in the field of geohazard, Mark Field heard a report, based on the Sino-Britain international cooperative project “Study on Temporal and Spatial Evolution Patterns and Risk Assessment of Geohazards Induced by Wenchuan Earthquake”, made by Prof. Fan Xuanmei.


This project is jointly sponsored by NSFC, NERC, Newton Fund and ESRC, and the foreign cooperative party is the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University. Prof. Huang Runqiu and Dr. Tristram Hales are respectively the person in charge of Chinese party and foreign party. Through the study of geohazards after Wenchuan earthquake, by exploring the temporal and spatial evolution patterns and dynamic risk assessment of post-earthquake geohazards, and with their combined advantages, the two parties have combined the geohazard study and sociological study for the first time, deeply analyzed the influence of geohazard in different stages (emergency, reconstruction and restoration) and to the post-earthquake vulnerability and resilience of society, economy and the people in the afflicted areas, which has supported the earthquake prevention and mitigation in both theory and technology ways. The project commenced in January 2016, and will come into a conclusion in the end of this year. Till now, the following results have been yielded:


1. Aiming to figure out the duration of post-earthquake geohazards, the Sino-Britain international cooperative project has followed the spatial distribution pattern and evolution pattern of controlling factors, occurring frequency-scale and the risk with the time, and the result shows that in the five years after the earthquake, the geohazards declined rapidly and restored to the situation before the earthquake within 10 years, which is basically in accordance with the decaying patterns of post-earthquake geohazards of other 9 earthquakes in the world.


2. The project has established the world’s most complete post-earthquake debris flow database, including more than 600 debris flow incidents. With the analysis of spatial statistics of rainfall data, the evolution pattern and controlling factors of post-earthquake debris flow threshold values of rainfall precipitation along with the time have been revealed. Based on that, we have successfully forecasted more than 10 debris flow incidents after earthquake by utilizing our monitoring and forecast platform.


3. Through the configuration data of the 10 strong earthquake in recent years and the earthquake-induced landslide data in the world, we analyzed the long-term effect of strong earthquake to geomorphic evolution, the research indicates that even surface erosion will be caused by the a large number of geohazards induced by strong earthquake, the major long-term effect of earthquake caused by thrust faults to the landscape is still orogeny, compared to the coseismal tectonic uplifting and the surface uplifting caused by tectonic movement in non-seismic period.


4. By combining geohazard risk and social vulnerability, method and system for risk assessment of geohazards in strong earthquake mountainous areas have been established, which has provided scientific suggestions in terms of location planning, disaster prevention and mitigation, emergency management and reconstruction for the government.


The research results have been published in 1 monograph, 15 SCI papers, 5 CSSCI papers, 5 invention patents, and invited by the international top journal Reviews of Geophysics.


Minister Mark Field and his accompanying consul spoke highly of the outcomes achived by the Sino-Britain international cooperative project, especially the pragmatic practical effects of reducing casualties in the disaster areas, and the innovation achievements and social contribution in terms of geohazard prevention, emergency rescue, and monitoring & early warning of SKLGP. It is considered to be another successful example of cooperation between the UK and Southwest China in the field of scientific and technological innovation. The research results are also useful for the prevention and control of geohazards in the UK. The Sino-British Joint Science Innovation Fund (Newton Fund) has supported more than 800 Sino-British cooperation projects since 2014, aiming to unite outstanding researchers and innovators in China and the UK to study global issues. Minister Mark Field said that scientific and technological innovation cooperation is an important area under the current Sino-British cooperation. The establishment of the Sino-British Joint Science Innovation Fund (Newton Fund) can be considered as an important measure for the two countries to jointly address global challenges.