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Natural hazards in Lower Mainland to be studied at Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University has a new centre for natural hazard research to help reduce the risk to infrastructure in t...


Simon Fraser University has a new centre for natural hazard research to help reduce the risk to infrastructure in the Lower Mainland.
Approved by the university in May, the Centre for Natural Hazard Research will conduct research on geophysical processes that are a threat particularly to British Columbia and the Lower Mainland in particular.
The centre will have 16 researchers, including geologists and GIS specialists and scientists from UBC, the University of Northern B.C., University of Alberta, University of Waterloo, as well as from the Geological Survey of Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey.
They will do research in such areas as analyzing the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes, floods, landslides and the risk of hazards posed by active volcanoes in the region such as Mount Baker and Mount Meager. They will also study climate change and its impact on the landscape such as in destabilizing mountain slopes, melting permafrost and creating rising sea levels.
SFU earth sciences professor John Clague, who was reported in the SFU News of June 9, said, “We want to better understand hazardous geophysical processes … in order to lessen the toll of natural disasters.” He also noted that “Ten billion dollars in infrastructure lies on the Fraser River floodplain, at risk from catastrophic floods.”
Besides research, the centre carry out training for graduates and undergraduates for careers in the field.