The Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET+) represents the Dynamic Earth and Geohazards research group within the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO). NCEO is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). COMET+ involves scientists from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, University of Glasgow, University of Reading and University College London. We aim to combine satellite observations of Earth’s surface movements, topography and gas release with terrestrial observations and modelling to advance understanding of the earthquake cycle, continental deformation and volcanic eruptions, and to quantify seismic and volcanic hazards.
The Afar Rift Consortium is a project funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The consortium is made up of scientists from the Universities of Leeds, Bristol, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Cambridge, and the British Geological Survey, with partners in Ethiopia, France and the US. Its aim is to conduct a major set of experiments in this unique natural laboratory, to further understand the processes involved in shaping the surface of the Earth.
The Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory is founded by the US National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs. In recent years teams of scientist from New Mexico Tech and the University have conducted annual multi-instrumental field campains at Mont Erebus.
The 2011 eruption of Nabro volcano in Eritrea is of great scientific interest and has had substantial impacts in the remote part of Afar in which it is located. It is sited in the extensional zone of Afar, close to the Mesozoic crustal block of the Danakil Alps. It is a predominantly trachytic edifice, with an 8 km wide caldera and ignimbrites (Wiart & Oppenheimer, 2005). The current eruption began shortly before 20:42 UTC on 12 June following intense seismicity. It is the first eruption of Nabro on record, highlighting the potential of caldera systems to erupt without warning. It is also the first seismicity of note recorded in this part of the rift. Comparatively little is known about magma differentiation, storage and transport mechanisms and eruptive processes in such tectonic settings.
Mount Paektu (aka Paektusan, Changbaishan, Changbai, Baitoushan, Baekdu and Baegdu!) is a fascinating volcano straddling the border between DPRK (North Korea) and China. In fact the international frontier cuts right through the nearly 6-km-diameter summit crater, at an altitude of some 2700 m. It is curious in that its origins and tectonic associations remain unclear – it is located more than 1300 km away from the Japanese trench. It is also the site of one of the largest eruptions of the past few millennia – on a par with Santorini’s Minoan eruption and the 1815 outburst of Tambora on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. The so-called “Millennium eruption” probably occurred in the 10th century CE, according to radiocarbon evidence and ash fallout covered much of the Korean peninsula, reaching as far as northern Japan (Horn and Schmincke, 2000).