seismically hazardous zones Current Affairs - 2020

GoI launches “Seismic Hazard Microzonation” to minimize earthquake disasters

The Ministry of Earth Science has launched Seismic Hazard Microzonation project in major cities of India. The project aims to reduce hazards of seismic activities by putting in adequate measures

What is Seismic Hazard Microzonation?

It is the process of dividing earth quake prone areas based on certain factors. The factors include geological and geophysical characteristics of sites. They are ground shaking, landslide, liquefaction susceptibility, rock fall hazard and flooding caused due to earth quakes. Based on the division, mitigation measures are prepared. Hence, it is a preventive method to minimise the losses.

The factors in the microzonation method are estimated based on response from soil layers.

Microzonation in India

So far, the mapping has been done in the State of Sikkim and in other eight cities. The cities are Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Dehra Dun, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham.

Japan

Japan is the best example where microzonation techniques are well implemented. The Civil engineering practice in Japan is based on microzonation laws. This helps to design infrastructure with seismic resilience.

Need

The technique gives better mitigatory measures as it helps to understand the impact of seismic activities precisely. In certain places, where no reliable prediction model can be implemented, it is essential to adopt preventive measures.

GSI Sets Up 22 GPS Stations across Country

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has launched 22 permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities.

These 22 stations are part of the 35 stations planned by GSI to establish and maintain a network of continuously operating 35 permanent GPS stations.

Fact Box: Bhuvisamvad

Bhuvisamvad is an app launched by the Ministry of Mines to facilitate interaction between geo-scientists and university and college students.

GPS stations

22 stations inaugurated are based at Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Jabalpur, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar Vishakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Mangan, Jammu, Lucknow, Nagpur, Shillong and Little Andaman.

13 More Stations Would come up at Aizawl, Faridabad, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Cooch Behar, Zawar, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Ranchi, Mangalore, Imphal and Chitradurga.

These stations are meant to delineate high strain zones for earthquake probability, determine a seismic motion on faults that may lead to a rupture and produce thematic maps with high positional accuracy.

Geological Survey of India

Geological Survey of India (GSI) was established in 1851 primarily to find coal deposits for the Railways. Over the years GSI  has not only grown into a repository of geoscience information required in various fields in the country but has also attained the status of a geo-scientific organisation of international repute.

The main functions of GSI attached to the Ministry of Mines is to create and update of national geoscientific information and mineral resource assessment through ground surveys, airborne and marine surveys, mineral prospecting and investigations, multi-disciplinary geoscientific, geotechnical, geo-environmental and natural hazards studies, glaciology, seismotectonic study, and carrying out fundamental research.