Saudi Arabia plans 50 seismic stations in 3 years

Antennas of the testing facility for seismic and infrasound technologies of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in the garden of their headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 28, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 04 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia plans 50 seismic stations in 3 years

  • The Saudi Geological Survey’s (SGS) existing seismic network contains 235 stations to monitor seismic activity on the Arabian Peninsula

RIYADH: As part of a comprehensive strategy to upgrade and expand the Saudi National Seismic Network (SNSN), the Kingdom on Saturday announced plans to establish 50 seismic stations within the next three years to monitor earthquakes and tremors.
The stations, with strong motion-detection instruments, will reduce damage to life and property, and enable planning for emergencies caused by earthquake activity.
There are certain regions in the Kingdom that are prone to earthquakes, said Hani Zahran, director general of the National Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Saudi Arabia has experienced considerable earthquakes in the past, he added.
“Both historical and modern seismicity records, as well as geological data, suggest that the area around the city of Tabuk and stretching to the Gulf of Aqaba should be considered a region with a relatively high seismic hazard threat,” Zahran told Arab News.
The Saudi Geological Survey’s (SGS) existing seismic network contains 235 stations to monitor seismic activity on the Arabian Peninsula. Zahran said the SGS network includes 76 stations equipped with motion-detection instruments for sensing ground vibrations during relatively large earthquakes.
A seismograph is an instrument that measures ground vibrations and activities like earthquakes and volcanoes. Zahran said the SGS also operates 43 DGPS (differential global positioning system) stations to monitor the ground deformation in volcanic areas and the Gulf of Aqaba.
“The Arabian plate is one of the youngest of the Earth’s lithospheric plates. It is surrounded by relatively active tectonic zones that are characterized by relatively high seismic activity,” he said. He said modern seismometer stations continuously record the registered ground movements and store the data.
“The National Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes, an affiliate of the SGS, operates the local seismograph network besides processing and analyzing all recorded earthquakes within Saudi Arabia. It also educates the public regarding earthquake hazards,” he said.


Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

Updated 10 December 2018
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Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

  • ABB FIA Formula E Championship listens to fans by pitting Gen2 car and Felipe Massa in race against a peregrine falcon in Saudi Arabia
  • Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon

RIYADH: Formula E driver Felipe Massa behind the wheel of a Gen2 racing car has gone up against a peregrine falcon in a straight fight in Saudi Arabia to outrun the fastest animal on the planet.

It’s not the first time the fully-electric Formula E car has been pitted against a member of the animal kingdom, with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne racing a cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa last year.

Narrowly edging out the fastest land mammal in 2017, Formula E fans asked for a re-match — but this time together with more stern competition. Listening to the feedback of fans on social media, it was the turn of the peregrine falcon, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies above Saudi Arabia.

Massa was in the Kingdom ahead of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which will see the racing legend line-up on the Formula E starting grid for the first time on December 15 at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh.

For the battle of man and machine vs the natural world, the winged predator was trained to set its sights on a different kind of prey roaming through the desert — with a lure attached to the roll hoop of the advanced new-look Gen2 car.

Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon. But did he manage to shake off his opponent?

To watch Felipe and the falcon in flying formation, visit — https://youtu.be/ERxeaV60_7g

Felipe Massa, VENTURI Formula E Team driver, said: “It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom — it’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge.

“The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing. It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again. I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”

The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix is the opening round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the competitive debut of the Gen2 car and VENTURI Formula E Team driver Felipe Massa.

As well as Formula E action, exciting fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions, plus unique dining and retail experiences will be awaiting ticketholders at Ad Diriyah, across three days, starting December 13.

That evening, December 13, will see Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo kick off the first of three incredible nights of music concerts for fans. The following day, December 14, Arab music legend Amr Diab and globally-renowned pop band Black Eyed Peas will delight the audience. And, on December 15, race day, following the exhilarating 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will bring the event to an electrifying finale.

Only fans holding tickets will be able to access the entire Ad Diriyah site, including all the action, fun, and thrilling complimentary concerts.

Tickets are on sale at http://fiaformulae.com/Ad-Diriyah and are also available at Point of Sale units at Riyadh Park Mall, Oud Square and Doos Carting (only Grandstand tickets from Doos) and Seven Car Lounge.