Earthquake and Volcano Hazards Observation and Research Program: An Overview
Naoyuki Kato*, and Takeshi Nishimura**
*Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
**Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan
The Earthquake and Volcano Hazards Observation and Research Program was from Japanese fiscal year 2014 to 2018. This national program succeeded the Research Program for Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption Prediction (2009–2013). However, mainly because of the disaster caused by the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, known as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, the basic policy of the program changed drastically. It changed from research for predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to comprehensive research for mitigating disasters on the basis of scientific results related to the mechanisms of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and their forecasts. The program was planned to be multidisciplinary in nature. In addition to Earth scientists working to get a scientific understanding of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, historians, archaeologists, human and social scientists, and engineers took part in the program aimed at collecting pre-instrumental earthquake and volcanic data, understanding earthquake and volcano disasters, risk evaluation, and research into disaster response and preparedness. In this article, we review the basic concept of the 2014–2018 program and its main achievements. In the end, we summarize the problems left for future studies.
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