Earth hazards

Discovering geology

Lava Flows at Nabro Volcano, Eritrea

Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides can occur without warning and cause damage to health, homes and livelihoods. The Earth beneath our feet is constantly shifting and moving. Sometimes ever so slowly, but sometimes swiftly and violently with catastrophic and immediate results. We are living on an active planet and we can’t stop these events occurring, but learning more about why, how and where they happen can help us to be more prepared.

Explore Earth hazards:

Two scientists installing a seismometer in Surrey, UK


Earthquakes are among the most deadly natural hazards. They strike without warning and many earthquake zones coincide with areas of high population density.

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Plymouth, Montserrat. Mud flow deposits at clocktower.


There are more than 1500 active volcanoes on Earth. Around 50-70 volcanoes erupt every year. There are 82 volcanoes in Europe, 32 of these are in Iceland, one of the UK’s closest ‘volcanic neighbours’.

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Debris flow on A83

Understanding landslides

What is a landslide? Why do landslides happen? How to classify a landslide. Landslides in the UK and around the world.

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Solution sinkhole South Wales

Understanding sinkholes and karst

Sinkholes are often saucer-shaped hollows that are the result of some kind of collapse, or removal, of an underlying layer of rocks that used to support the layer of material at the surface.

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Earth hazards resources

Make a volcano model or work through some classroom activities that introduce P- and S- waves, earthquake seismology and marsquakes.

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Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

Multi-hazards and resilience

We work with partners worldwide to enhance understanding of hazards, vulnerability, exposure and risk to ensure our science is useful, usable and used.

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