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The Virtual Hazards, Impact and Risk Laboratory (VHIRL) will be the agent that transforms the user from a single participant working locally to one connected to a broader community. It will integrate data, models and workflows to develop information that builds community resilience. Data will describe the environment around us - using geology, geophysics and geography; models will estimate the generation and propagation of natural hazards across the earth's surface and through the atmosphere and the subsequent impact on people and buildings; and workflows will define how the models can be used for different end user requirements. The virtual laboratory will bring researchers and end users together to increase our understanding of natural hazards and ultimately keep our communities safe.

About the Research Community

The research community spans many disciplines including the geological sciences, meteorological, engineering, social scientists, computational modellers, statistical, and spatial scientists. The research community is diverse, dispersed across the nation and our region, and ultimately wanting to contribute their expertise to ensure safer communities.

About the Project Development Organisation

The core Project Team from CSIRO, NCI and GA has been involved in eResearch projects in both the NCRIS and Super Science EIF tranches of funding. Prior to the collaboration between CSIRO, NCI and GA to build the existing VGL, CSIRO (Computational Geoscience Software Team) had successfully collaborated on the AuScope Grid project, the NeAT funded Spatial Information Services Stack project and the ANDS funded Australian Spatial Research Data Commons Project. Since 2003, this CSIRO team have also maintained the Solid Earth and Environment Grid (SEE Grid) Community website ( ) which is a web-based collaboration site for establishing open standards and interfaces that will enable transparent access to geoscientific data repositories, processing packages, and compute power. This site currently averages 4000 hits per month. The VGL was an “Early Adopters” activity funded by NeCTAR and VHIRL is a repurposing of this technology for Natural Hazards. Development will be conducted by CSIRO Computational Geoscience Software Team and the Computational Informatics capability

NCI (and its predecessor ANUSF) has provided service through APAC and NCI programs, NeAT funded ASeSS and Remote-CT projects (and support to other NeAT projects), Super Science projects including TERN in e-MAST, Climate and Weather Virtual Laboratory, AAL, Tsunami Modelling environments in the cloud (Tsudat), and a range of ARC Centre of Excellence programs and ARC LIEFs and SRIs in eResearch. It provides the core national Climate, Earth Systems, Weather, and Water Management research facility under the EIF program, with partners ANU, CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, and GeoScience Australia. As part of this activity, NCI provides the infrastructure and technology platform for modelling, data analysis and data management fort these collaborative research activities

GA is Australia’s national geoscience agency and exists to apply geoscience to Australia’s most important challenges. It is the Government’s technical advisor on all aspects of geoscience, and custodian of the geographical, geophysical and geological data and knowledge of the nation. In the Community Safety area, GA supports Australian state and territory government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of natural hazards and to respond more effectively when disasters do occur. GA also provides national leadership on how the risk of hazards can be determined, communicated and used to inform planning to help reduce community exposure. GA has capability relevant to the full range of risk assessment components, including hazard modelling, community exposure, vulnerability and mitigation strategies, for a broad range of hazards including:

• earthquakes

• tsunami

• volcanoes

• landslides

• bushfires

• floods

• cyclones

• other severe weather phenomena, such as storm surge.

-- RyanFraser - 17 Apr 2014

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