Paul Somerville
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Professor Paul Somerville is Chief Geoscientist at Risk Frontiers. His main interests are in earthquake and tsunami hazards, and he has quantified these hazards and applied them in engineering practice to the seismic design and analysis of major buildings, bridges, dams and power generation facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, and many other countries around the Pacific Rim. He has been involved in the development of building codes in the United States, and led developments in the engineering characterization of near-fault ground motions.

Charges filed stemming from the White Island volcanic eruption

The 9 December 2019 White Island eruption was a steam-driven eruption, caused by the sudden expansion of magma-heated water into steam, which can occur at supersonic speed as the water expands into 1,700 times its original volume. Unlike magmatic eruptions,…

Officials acquitted of negligence in the Fukushima nuclear disaster

I was watching the news on NHK TV (Japan’s public broadcaster) on 11 March 2011 when the broadcast was abruptly interrupted by a news flash that a JMA (the Japan Meteorological Agency) magnitude 7.9 earthquake had occurred off the Tohoku…

Taiwan earthquake update

Taiwan lies on the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, which are converging at 80 mm per year. The island is the result of uplift caused by the collision of the northern end of the Luzon Arc…

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