Natural hazards and their impacts on development in Ethiopia

14 November 2017, 5.15 PM - 14 November 2017, 6.15 PM

Dr Elias Lewi

Peel Lecture Theatre, Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

This public seminar is free to attend and open to all.  There will be a drinks reception held afterwards in the Hepple Lecture Theatre.

Ethiopia straddles the East African Rift. This zone of intense active volcanism and seismicity represents a significant hazard to the local population, but one that is very poorly characterised. For example, a recent world bank assessment of global volcanic hazard showed that 49 Ethiopian volcanoes were categorised as having the highest level of uncertainty in terms of their hazard level. Earthquake hazard is known to be high within the rift valley itself, but a recent deformation study showed that strain is also accumulating on the high plateau, suggesting there could be significant underestimated hazard away from the rift, including for major cities. Landslides represent a further risk to life, livelihood and infrastructure, particularly in the Ethiopian highlands. Furthermore, the security of water supply is also a major concern in Ethiopia, with increasing the use of groundwater resources. High-resolution, 3D maps of surface motions and strains are a first-order data set that can be used to investigate these societal challenges.


IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Dr. Elias Lewi is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Geophysics, Space Science and Astronomy at Addis Ababa University. He is responsible for installing and running the Ethiopian National GPS Network, which is used for the definition of the national reference frame, infrastructure development, geohazard monitoring and tectonic studies. His research focuses on using high-precision gravity and geodetic measurements, such as InSAR and GPS, to understand tectonic activity and volcano deformation. He also acts as a consultant for ground water exploration for various governmental organisations in Ethiopia. The University of Bristol and Addis Ababa University have had a long and productive collaboration, and this visit by Dr. Elias Lewi is the latest in a ongoing partnership.

More details about his visit can be found on the IAS website.

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This event is being run by the Institute for Advanced Studies and supported by the Cabot Institute.

Elias Lewi

Juliet Biggs (l) and Elias Lewi (r)

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