e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 20 (1) Jan. 2012 / JST-0276-2011


Earthquake and Tsunami Research in USM: The Role of Disaster Research Nexus

Hock Lye Koh, Su Yean Teh, Taksiah A. Majid, Tze Liang Lau and Fauziah Ahmad

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 20, Issue 1, January 2012

Keywords: DRN, TUNA, MANHAM, tsunami simulation, mangrove, earthquakes, coastal structures

Published on:

The 2004 Banda Aceh earthquake and ensuing Andaman mega tsunami that killed a quarter million people worldwide is a wake-up call to many. Active research was initiated in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) immediately after the infamous event with the aims to help develop human capacity and resources, and to mitigate any future earthquake and tsunami. The Disaster Research Nexus (DRN) was formed recently within the School of Civil Engineering, USM, to facilitate active collaborative research on earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as on other natural disasters, such as landslides. This paper begins with an introduction to DRN. This is followed by a description of some research achievements undertaken by DRN staff. A concise exposition on the tsunami simulation model TUNA developed by the authors and its application to the 2004 Andaman tsunami are given to illustrate the capability of TUNA. The role of mangrove in reducing the impact of tsunami is then modelled. Tsunami may inundate coastal plain with large quantity of saline water, changing the salinity regimes in the soil and inducing vegetative succession changes. A model called MANHAM was developed to simulate the salinity changes and its associated vegetative evolution to assist in the rehabilitation of vegetation destroyed by tsunami. Meanwhile, an earthquake risk analysis for the Upper Pandas Dam in Sabah is then presented, and this is followed by a model estimation of tsunami forces on the coastal structures. The main objective of this paper is to reach out to research scientists and onsite risk reduction professionals to collaborate towards the development of a vibrant research culture to face future natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. It is hoped that DRN will move forward to further enhance active collaborations with other research and operational institutions worldwide towards developing earthquake and tsunami resilient communities.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles