International Charter

The International Charter aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters through authorised users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.

BGS is a project manager for geohazard charter activations such as a recent Montserrat volcanic eruption. For the Japan 2011 Tohoku tsunami we utilised Charter data in the field to assist efforts on the ground.

In May 2011, BGS collaborated with scientists from Japan, Australia, the United States, Poland and Indonesia as part of the International Tsunami Survey Team (ITST) organised by UNESCO. They worked in the area around Sendai, in Miyage Prefecture, one of the most seriously damaged regions (Map 2). In June 2011, BGS returned to Japan with EPOM colleagues funded by a NERC urgency grant. They again worked in close association with Japanese scientists, and worked in the Arahama area and farther southward in Shinchi (Map 3).

Sendai Airport
Shinchi Area

The team used high resolution satellite imagery from before and after the tsunami combined with the state-of-the-art digital mapping system (BGS·SIGMAmobile) and traditional field mapping expertise.

These methods were used to gain a better understanding of how the tsunami affected the landscape.

Because the work was in response to a major disaster, BGS was granted access to very high resolution satellite imagery from the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters.

When the Charter is activated the satellite image suppliers provide imagery quickly to help relief efforts.


Contact Colm Jordan for more information.