Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET)

BGS Research

The Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) delivers National Capability science for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) using satellite measurements alongside ground-based observations and geophysical models to study earthquakes and volcanoes, helping us to understand the hazards they pose.

COMET origins

COMET was founded in 2002, rapidly establishing itself as a world-leading centre for the integrated exploitation of satellite data (Earth observation), ground-based data and geophysical models for research into geohazards. COMET is now a national-scale community with considerable size and impact, which brings together world-leading scientists from the BGS and ten UK universities: Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Reading and UCL.

BGS work with COMET

Since April 2014, we have been working in partnership with COMET to better understand tectonic processes and hazards. Together, we deliver cutting-edge research on earthquakes and volcanoes as well as hazard monitoring services. The activities of COMET and the BGS are highly synergistic. Over 20 years of research using and developing satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) for measuring deformation, for example, has enabled us to deliver real-time deformation data to the community.

The long-term underpinning Earth observation science and geohazards research that COMET undertakes alongside the BGS benefits the wider community of environmental scientists and provides a flexible platform to respond to natural disasters. By combining data from this service with COMET and BGS expertise, we are able to provide reliable, rapid advice to governments, the scientific community and local partner organisations during a seismic or volcanic crisis.

We also work closely with NERC, the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) and the European Space Agency (ESA), and many other national and international partners. Our long-term collaborations with partner organisations worldwide also make BGS-COMET uniquely placed to create collaborations with and between developing nations (many on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list).

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