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Universidad Andrés Bello


Project Description

Our idea is in the framework of the recently awarded project at UNAB, Viña del Mar “Education and preparation of the community for socio-natural disasters”, where the geology department participates in collaboration with ITREND, the CHILEAN INSTITUTE FOR RESILIENCE IN DISASTERS (https: // itrend .cl/ )
The above arises particularly in the context of earthquakes and tsunamis, considering that the V Region of Valparaíso is a seismic gap zone, with a high probability of generating a high magnitude earthquake (probably 9,0 Mw as the 1735 earthquake) and subsequent tsunami in the coming years. Additionally, we realized that, although there is important information generated by official institutions, it does not reach the community efficiently, or is unknown in most cases, even by some institutions, which would require knowing it for their evacuation plans, since they are in critical zones.
In countries faced with dangerous situations, especially ours, located in the Pacific ring of fire, it is much more effective and essential to educate and to transmit key information to the population, so that they can better confront and manage security measures, for themselves, their families, and communities (schools, institutions, etc.).
In addition, improvements will be proposed based on field observations, to help optimize the response and performance in the evacuation plans of the municipalities of the Valparaíso y Viña del Mar focused mainly on the risk of tsunami.
This project also represents an important opportunity in which geologists apply our knowledge and results of recent studies, contributing to our communities and local authorities.
Currently, two 5th (final) year Geology students participate in the months of January and February, through field work in the city of Viña del Mar, weekly feedback meetings with tutors for presentation of the final report. Additionally, educational capsules are being prepared that in future stages will be taught in student communities, critical institutions, and associations (neighborhood centers, etc).
Within the framework of this project, we offer the opportunity to participate in activities such as: field work in the city of Valparaíso, evaluation of signage, surveys of the population regarding their understanding of geological risk and signage, among others.; preparation of information capsules and education.
Additionally, within the framework of our research, we must coordinate new field visits to other coastal localities in the region, where we are currently analyzing the stratigraphy of the sequences and the characteristic facies of the tsunami deposits identified on the coast of the V region ( paleotsunamis and recent tsunamis).
We need to evaluate alternative geophysical methods (unfortunately it is a populated area and this interferes with access and interaction with the equipment) to determine the extension and activity of the faults that currently generate the accelerated retreat of the cliff in the town of Horcón and that would be associated with local tsunami events.
Eventually, we would be interested in incorporating satellite analysis methods (INSAR) to allow determining regional deformation and its relationship to damage zones identified in field campaigns.

Proposed Hosting Period

We propose the visit for the first semester: preliminarily between April, May or June (to be defined soon)


As available resources we have a workplace, computer (if necessary), softwares and connection to the web, geology laboratories, bibliographic material, and geophysical equipment among others. The student in training would also be invited to the Itrend offices in Santiago.

Host Contact

Ximena Contardo

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