Japanese

 

Geological Survey and Applied Geoscience Understanding and living with the Earth

Learning more about our planet and living in harmony with it

AIST gathers geological information essential for realizing a safe and secure society in Japan. It also develops technologies to solve such problems as alleviating natural disasters, protecting the global environment, developing resources and energy sources, and so on. The Geological Survey of Japan (GSJ), an arm of AIST, disseminates information gathered and organized for international cooperation on behalf of the country.

Outline of priority strategies

Compilation and expansion of the use of geological information concerning the land and surroundings of Japan as fundamental information on the countr

Geological information is fundamental information on the land of a country obtained through systematic geoscientific investigations. We are conducting geological surveys of the land of Japan and its surrounding waters and developing basic geoscientific maps of the land and waters in response to requests from society. In particular, we are developing geological data on urban and coastal areas to mitigate urban hazards and obtain data on unsurveyed areas. We use information from earth observation satellites. In addition, we are working to improve the survey and research techniques and technologies required for these purposes.

The completion of the 1:200,000 geologic maps in all of Japan and the rearrangement of them to form a seamless geologic map figre

The completion of the 1:200,000 geologic maps in all of Japan and the rearrangement of them to form a seamless geologic map

Contribution to the protection and robust use of the geospheric environment by developing technologies to evaluate the resources and environment of the geosphere

The geosphere, a basic component of the Earth, nurtures natural resources and, as part of the Earth’s material circulation system, has a significant effect on the human environment. We are evaluating and characterizing the geosphere system and developing technologies for the development of natural resources that create a smaller environmental load, the preservation of the geospheric environment, and the use of the geosphere system.

Gological survey of outcrop near heavy rare eath elements showings in Republic of South Africa figre

Gological survey of outcrop near heavy rare eath elements showings in Republic of South Africa

Minimizing of disaster risks by developing technologies to predict and evaluate future disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

The threats posed by geological hazards are very serious to the population of the Japanese Archipelago, a region of significant seismic and volcanic activity. In order to mitigate natural hazards, we are carrying out investigations into the history of seismic and volcanic activity based on survey and observation data, and developing technologies to characterize the mechanisms of such activity, predict future activity, and assess hazards.

Seamless geoinformation of coastal zone Northern coastal zone of Noto peninsula figre

Seamless geoinformation of coastal zone Northern coastal zone of Noto peninsula

Provision and dissemination of geological information, and implementation of emergency geological surveys and research at the time of natural disasters

In order to disseminate understanding of the usefulness of geological information as fundamental information for society, we are working to reach out to the public and conduct geopark activities. We also undertake emergency surveys and studies of geological hazards, such as earthquakes and eruptions. We promptly provide geological information obtained by emergency surveys to the public by various means.

QuakeMap: a wide-ranging map showing the detailed strong ground motion figre

QuakeMap: a wide-ranging map showing the detailed strong ground motion

Promotion of international research cooperation through initiatives mainly in Asia

We are vigorously pursuing international collaborative geological research projects, primarily in the regions of Asia, Africa, and South America, using our accumulated knowledge and experience as well as a global network of geological survey organizations. We are conducting research projects on the development of geological data, the mitigation of geological hazards, resource exploration, and environmental protection through international organizations and research programs.

MOUs on research cooperation in geological survey and mineral resource fields with Mongolia photo

MOUs on research cooperation in geological survey and mineral resource fields with Mongolia


New Research Results

Discovery of Volcanic Activity Area West of Tokuno-shima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture

AIST has discovered a new submarine volcanic activity area to the west of Tokuno-shima Island. The discovery was made by marine geological surveys conducted around Tokuno-shima Island using the marine resource research vessel Hakurei of JOGMEC. Using multi narrow-beam echo sounder at the area to the west of Tokuno-shima Island led to the discovery of the crater-like morphology with a width of approximately 500 m with plumes of acoustic anomalies. Submersible observation using the ROV was conducted and turbidity in the waters, and gas bubble release and active hydrothermal venting from the seafloor were confirmed. There is a possibility that the hydrothermal activity accompanying submarine volcanoes may form submarine hydrothermal deposits. The discovery of the area, where their existence is suggested, is important for the marine resource development. 

An image of the seafloor near a hydrothermal vent figre

An image of the seafloor near a hydrothermal vent

Seafloor Deformation and Sediment Deposition Resulting from the 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake

AIST, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and Yokohama National University, conducted a seafloor survey aboard the research vessel Tansei Maru between July 29 and August 5, 2011. The survey confirmed the deposition of turbidite at the marine sediment surface of off the Tohoku coast from Sendai to Otsuchi that is thought to be caused by the 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake. The survey also revealed that the seismic motion had induced morphological deformation in the marine sediment. That this deformed sediment lies just below the turbidite layer indicates that the turbidite layer was formed after the damage to the seafloor occurred. The survey results show that seafloor disturbance occurred at the wide region in the source area of the earthquake and that the seismic motion at the seafloor was of very great magnitude. 

A photograph of the marine sediment core collected from St. 1 off the coast of Sendai(left); a transmission X-ray image of the core obtained through X-ray CT (center); and a line drawing of the core (right); figre

A photograph of the marine sediment core collected from St. 1 off the coast of Sendai(left); a transmission X-ray image of the core obtained through X-ray CT (center); and a line drawing of the core (right);


Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment

Protecting the Earth and exploring its gifts

Our research activities cover geological disposal of nuclear wastes, geologic sequestration of CO2, soil contamination, rare metal resources, and ground water resources. We want to contribute to establishing a harmonious society with a sustainable energy cycle, introducing nonconventional resources such as geothermal energy, ensuring the supply of natural resources crucial to our society, and wisely utilizing the geosphere while conserving it.
We also try to enrich the geoscientific intellectual infrastructure and provide our research outcomes to the public.

Image of Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (Central, West)

Location

AIST Tsukuba Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan
Tel: (029) 861-3633 / Fax: (029) 861-3717
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-861-3633 / Fax: +81-29-861-3717)
Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment WEB site

Institute of Geology and Geoinformation

Disseminating vital information for a safe and sustainable society

We investigate the geology of both land and ocean around Japan in detail and provide the results as the national geological information that constitutes the intellectual infrastructure of the state. We integrate these geological data and distribute them to the society in a user-friendly format. We also produce high quality geological information useful for geohazard mitigation and environmental protection in urban coastal areas. In order to achieve the above missions, we keep improving our techniques for geoinformation analysis, and undertake research to upgrade, integrate, and enhance the usage of the geological information over the Asia region in response to social needs.

Image of Institute of Geology and Geoinformation

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (Central), AIST Chugoku

Location

AIST Tsukuba Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan
Tel: (029) 861-3620 / Fax: (029) 861-3742
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-861-3620 / Fax: +81-29-861-3742)
Institute of Geology and Geoinformation WEB site

Institute of Earthquake and Volcano Geology

From the past to the future through geology

Our research covers a wide range of areas related to mitigation of earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic disasters, and geological information used for safety regulation of radioactive waste disposal, as well as studies to understand, assess, and predict these geological and tectonic phenomena. Responding to today’s highly-globalized society, we accumulate and organize risk information for earthquakes and volcanoes especially in Asia, which will be useful for natural disaster mitigation and which will help domestic enterprises in their overseas site selection.

Image of Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (Central)

Location

AIST Tsukuba Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan
Tel: (029) 861-3691 / Fax: (029) 861-3803
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-861-3691 / Fax: +81-29-861-3803)


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