BGS news

New NERC funding for Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics

07/06/2019 By BGS Press

NERC has awarded £950 000 to the Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) via its National Capability funding.

BGS has worked with NERC since 2014 to deliver cutting-edge research on earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as hazard monitoring services, through COMET.

COMET brings together satellite measurements, ground-based observations and geophysical models to study earthquakes and volcanoes, and to help understand the hazards they pose, for national and public good. These activities enable COMET and the wider research community to produce a broad range of world-leading research.

COMET scientists undertake long-term earth observation and geohazard research that benefit the wider community of environmental scientists, as well as governments and partner organisations. It has the ability to produce real-time data during earthquakes and volcanic crises, allowing it to provide reliable, rapid advice to governments on the best course of action.

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COMET is an ambitious, large-scale science project that helps us understand global change and natural disasters.

The new funding from NERC is very welcome and will allow the BGS to build on our existing collaborations with COMET scientists and further align our research to deliver the BGS’s strategic objectives in multi-hazards and resilience.

We are building a strong and coordinated national capability in techniques of observational geodesy.

This capability supports the vast range of environmental science that depends on accurate measurement of often subtle changes in position, including sea level, ice cover and land movement due to plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes.

Dr David Kerridge, BGS Interim Chief scientist for Multi-hazards and Resilience.

NERC’s announcement also included significant funding for the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), which studies processes occurring at polar latitudes that affect the Earth’s albedo, ocean and atmosphere circulation, and sea level.

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CPOM and COMET’s observation and modelling help to explain and predict how the Earth system will evolve, contributing to the ability to plan and prepare and building resilience to future change. These two awards support excellent long-term scientific research that contribute valuable understanding to support environmental resilience planning and decision making at the highest levels.

Phil Heads, NERC director of research and innovation.

The British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey (BGS), a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is the nation’s principal supplier of objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and information for decision making for governmental, commercial and individual users. The BGS maintains and develops the nation’s understanding of its geology to improve policy making, enhance national wealth and reduce risk. It also collaborates with the national and international scientific community in carrying out research in strategic areas, including energy and natural resources, our vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and our general knowledge of the Earth system. More about the BGS can be found at

For further details please contact:

Claire Buchanan, Lyell Communications Manager, British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre, Research Avenue South, Edinburgh, EH14 4AP

Press Office: 07790607010


Twitter: @BritGeoSurvey

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