The Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratories initiative – GSNL
The GSNL initiative is a voluntary international partnership aiming to improve, through an Open Science approach, geophysical scientific research and geohazard assessment, promoting rapid and effective uptake of the new scientific results for enhanced societal benefits in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
The GSNL goal is pursued promoting broad international scientific collaboration and open access to a variety of space- and ground-based data, focusing on areas with important scientific problems and high risk levels: the Supersites and the Natural Laboratories. For these areas a joint effort is carried out: the CEOS1 space agencies provide satellite imagery at no cost for scientific use, the monitoring agencies2 provide access to ground-based data, the global scientific community exploits these data to generate state of the art scientific results.
The coordination of each Supersite is normally assumed by one or more local geohazard scientific institutions which are part of a national, authoritative framework able to provide information for science-based decision making in DRR (either for Prevention or Emergency response). GSNL supports a leading role by the local scientific community to stimulate a coordinated international collaboration, focusing on the aspects which have the highest potential to benefit DRR actions.
GSNL works as a network, and aims to connect the Supersites and Natural Laboratories promoting transfer of knowledge, data, personnel, tools, as well as best practices for optimal uptake of scientific results.
- to enable the global scientific community with open, full and easy access to a variety of space- and ground-based data over the Supersites and the Natural Laboratories;
- to promote advancements in geohazard science over the selected sites;
- to promote rapid uptake of scientific results by DRR stakeholders and decision makers;
- to innovate technologies, processes, and communication models, enhancing data sharing, global scientific collaboration, and capacity building in geohazard science.
Stakeholders and their interests
There are three main types of stakeholders involved in each Supersite or Natural Laboratory:
- The data providers (for in situ and EO data). They support the initiative to promote their activities, demonstrating the societal benefits of the data they produce. They commit specific in kind resources, and then periodically review the accomplishments through their role in the GSNL organization. The CEOS1 space agencies and the national monitoring agencies2 are the most important data providers.
- The global geohazard scientific community. Within a Supersite community, scientists can access thousands of satellite images and important in situ datasets (seismic, geodetic, geologic, geochemical, etc.), which they can exploit in the collaborative framework to improve their knowledge and contribute results of direct societal benefit in DRR. Furthermore, thanks to the increased visibility and DRR focus, Supersite scientific research may benefit from specific funding lines at national or international level.
- The final users of the geohazard scientific information. This category includes public risk reduction agencies, policy makers at various scales, and in general all subjects who can benefit from science-based decision making in DRR. They are involved by the local scientific community (Supersite coordinator), provide recommendations for priority research topics, and obtain information useful for risk management.
The GSNL network
In November 2018 the GSNL network is composed of ten Permanent Supersites and one Natural Laboratory:
|M. Poland||USGS, USA||October 2012||Hawai’I County Civil Defense,
Hawai’I Volcanoes National Park
|F. Sigmundsson, K. Vogfjord||University of Iceland and IMO, Iceland||November 2013||Icelandic Police -
Dep.t of Civil Protection and
Environmental Agency of Iceland,
Directorate of Health
|G. Puglisi||INGV, Italy||April 2014||National Department of
Regional Civil Defense
|S. Borgstrom||INGV, Italy||April 2014||National Department of
Regional Civil Defense
||S. Ergintav||KOERI, Turkey||April 2014||Istanbul municipality|
|P. Mothes||IGEPN, Ecuador||October 2014||Secretariat for Risk
Management, Regional governments,
|GNS Science, New Zealand||October 2014||Ministry of Civil Defence and
Department of Conservation,
Regional councils, MetService
|Gulf of Corinth-
|A. Savvaidis||ITSAK, Greece||November 2016||EPPO, Greek Civil Defense|
|C. Wicks||USGS, USA||April 2017||California Office of
Federal Emergency Management Agency,
plus many other local stakeholders
|L. Lara||SERNAGEOMIN, Chile||October 2017||ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencias),
under the Ministry of Interior and
|C. Balagizi||Goma Volcano Observatory, D.R. of Congo||October 2017||DRC Civil Protection, NGOs for
also in Rwanda,
Virunga National Park offices
In addition, Event Supersites are established following strong magnitude earthquakes or eruptions (e.g. the Tohoku or Gorkha earthquakes); for them the data provision is guaranteed only for about one year after the event.
Visit our website at: www.geo-gsnl.org