Natural hazardous processes have significant effects on economic growth, the built environment, lives and livelihoods. Risks and impacts of disasters are particularly severe in developing countries and are likely to be exacerbated by climate change.
Our work with partners worldwide to enhance understanding of hazards, exposure, vulnerability and risk will ensure our science is usable, useful and used.
- Single hazard characterisation: improving our monitoring, characterisation, analysis and modelling of single hazard processes, such as rockfalls or earthquakes
- Multi-hazard characterisation and cascades: improving our monitoring, characterisation, analysis and modelling of the relationships between hazards, such as those between earthquakes and landslides
- Impacts, vulnerability and exposure: characterising the potential impacts of a hazard or multi-hazards on populations, societies and their assets.
- Forecasting: supporting the management of risks by governments by rapidly harvesting and analysing near
real-time data to provide information about a hazardous or multi-hazardous event.
- Hazard and risk communication: working with risk-affected communities, particularly internationally, and tailoring science to meet their needs, improving the understanding of societies at risk and effecting action or behavioural change.
- Event response: providing responsive services, products or advice to decision makers such as governments before, during and after hazardous events.
- Resilience and recovery: working with partners to reduce risks, support redevelopment and identify ways to use the reconstruction process to improve a community’s resilience following a hazardous event.
- Data acquisition: collecting and managing data from the monitoring of hazards or multi-hazard events, their processes and impacts.
- Uncertainty: underpinning effective decision making by gaining a sound understanding of uncertainty in natural-hazard risk assessment.
Our multi-hazard research projects
Measuring, recording and interpreting variations in the Earth’s magnetic field including those caused by space weather
Our scientists lead research projects and work in partnerships around the world to improve our understanding of volcanic processes, hazards and risks.
Earthquakes and seismology research
We are measuring, recording and analysing ground motions from earthquakes and other seismic events across the UK and overseas.
Measuring, recording and analysing near-surface geological hazards including landslides, sinkholes and discontinuities.
Engineering and Geotechnical Capability
The BGS Engineering and Geotechnical Capability leads the development and application of field and laboratory infrastructure and long-term management of geophysical and geotechnical property data.
BGS are developing and using leading-edge technologies such as Geophysical Tomography to image the shallow subsurface.
Geodesy and Earth Observation
We develop and use innovative Earth observation (EO) techniques to characterise and monitor Earth processes that impact lives and livelihoods.
Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET)
COMET analyses satellite measurements alongside ground-based observations and geophysical models to study earthquakes and volcanoes
Our core challenge areas
New BGS karst report released for Hampshire and Wiltshire
The report details the evidence for karst processes in areas of soluble rocks that have not previously been considered karstic.
Below the bonnie banks: mapping Loch Lomond’s underwater landslides
Using high-resolution, multibeam bathymetry and shallow seismic imaging, BGS’s marine geoscience and landslides teams are mapping historic landslides under the waters of Loch Lomond.
Six BGS datasets for assessing shrink–swell subsidence hazards
Shrink–swell subsidence is one of the most significant geological hazards affecting the UK. BGS has six datasets to help assess the problem.
The Kahraman Maraş earthquake sequence, Turkey/Syria
Two large earthquakes occurred within hours of each other on 6 February 2023.
Property subsidence assessment: helping to mitigate shrink–swell hazard risk
The BGS Property Subsidence Assessment dataset provides insurers and homeowners with tools to better understand shrink–swell and the risk it poses to homes and businesses.
One year on: reflections on the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano in January 2022 has highlighted a global unpreparedness for the impacts from large-scale global events.
Five places in Yorkshire to assess key geological hazards
A field trip to Yorkshire has helped our data products team improve their output.
Introducing the BGS Debris Flow Susceptibility Model for Great Britain
Debris flows are a landslide hazard of particular concern to transport infrastructure managers and local authorities.
Film trilogy wins award and shares experiences of 1985 Nevado del Ruiz eruption
A collaborative film trilogy co-directed by BGS Volcanologist, Dr Anna Hicks, has won the overall ‘Dynamic Earth’ Theme Award at the Earth Futures Festival 2022.
Scientific report published
BGS was requested by the UK Government to address six questions related to recent scientific research on the hazard and risk from induced seismicity during hydraulic fracturing of shale rocks.
BGS GeoScour: bridging the river erosion data gap
The geological properties of bedrock and superficial deposits that make up riverbeds and banks are fundamental controls on the susceptibility of any given river reach to scouring.