Colm Jordan

Dr Colm Jordan

Lead of ODA Global Geological Risk; Head of BGS Geodesy and Earth Observation
BGS Keyworth

Colm is a geomorphologist with expertise in multi-hazard monitoring and characterisation. He has extensive international experience, gained through projects in the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia. His work includes risk management information services in the Caribbean and managing national landslide hazard assessments for nine sub-Saharan African countries. He provides advice to the UK Government; had is a trained project manager for the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters and has responded to events in Ecuador, Japan, Sierra Leone and Nepal. Currently he is PI of a large international project (METEOR) addressing exposure, multi-hazards and vulnerability in Nepal and Tanzania.

Colm Jordan’s biography

  • 2016 – ongoing: PI of ODA Global Geological Risk Platform
  • 2007 – ongoing: Team Leader of Earth and Planetary Observation and Monitoring
  • 2002: PhD (part-time) University of London, Queen Mary
  • 1999 – 2007: Senior Remote Sensing Geologist, BGS
  • 1998: Remote Sensing Consultant, Geological Consultants (Ireland) Ltd.
  • 1996 – 1998: College Lecturer (part-time), University College Dublin
  • 1994: MSc University of Aberdeen, Environment Remote Sensing
  • 1994 – 1998: Remote Sensing Geologist, Geological Survey of Ireland
  • 1993: Archaeologist, Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit
  • 1993: Quaternary/Glacial Geologist, Geological Survey of Ireland
  • 1992: BA (Hons) University College Dublin, Geography & Archaeology

Research interests

  • Digital geological mapping
  • Geomorphology
  • Quaternary geology and glaciology
  • Remote Sensing: airborne and satellite
  • UAV (drone) development and deployment
  • Visualisation (3D)

Current projects and collaboration

ORCID: 0000000206246496

Key papers

Carney, J N, Jordan, C J, Thomas, C W, Condon, D J, Kemp, S J, and Duodo, J A. (2010). Lithostratigraphy, sedimentation and evolution of the Volta Basin in Ghana. Precambrian Res, 183 (4). 701-724. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2010.08.012

CLARK C D, EVANS D J,A, KHATWA A, BRADWELL T, JORDAN C J, MARSH S H, MITCHELL W A, and BATEMAN M D. (2004). Glacial map of Britain and GIS database. Boreas Vol 33 No. 4 pp269-380.

CLARK C D, HUGHES A, GREENWOOD S, JORDAN C J and SEJRUP H P. (2012). Pattern and timing of retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet, Quat Sci Rev. v44 pp112-146

Cigna, F., Bateson, L., Jordan, C J. and Dashwood, C. (2014). Simulating SAR geometric distortions and predicting Persistent Scatterer densities for ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT C-band SAR and InSAR applications: nationwide feasibility assessment to monitor the landmass of Great Britain with SAR imagery Remote Sensing of Environment, 152, 441–466

Evans H, Pennington C, Jordan C J & Foster C (2013). Mapping a nation’s landslides: a novel multi-stage methodology for landslide mapping and inventory within the UK In C. Margottini et al. (eds), Landslides Science and Practice, Vol.1. Springer-Verlag, Special Publication, Berlin Heidelberg 2013. pp21-27

Fawdon, P., J. R. Skok, M. R. Balme, C. L. Vye-Brown, D. A. Rothery, and C. J. Jordan (2015). The Geological History of Nili Patera, Mars J. Geophys. Res. Planets, Vol120, Issue 5, pp951-977

HUGHES, A.L.C., CLARK, C.D. and JORDAN, C.J. (2010) Subglacial bedforms of the last British Ice Sheet, Journal of Maps v2010, 543-563. 10.4113/jom.2010.1111.

Haworth C, Li Z, Mills J and Jordan C J (2016) Multi-platform InSAR for active landslide monitoring. Proceedings of the European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium, Prague 2016

Hughes, A.L.C., Clark, C.D. and Jordan, C J. (2014). Flow pattern evolution of the last British Ice Sheet. Quat Sci Rev. Vol 89, pp 148-168

JORDAN C J, CARNEY J, THOMAS C and McDONNELL P. (2008). Application of remote sensing and field mapping to a revision of the geology of the Volta Basin. In: Kalsbeek (ed) The Voltaian Basin, Ghana. pp 87-90. ISBN 978-87-7871-233-2

JORDAN C J, CARNEY J, TURNER P, BATESON L, McDONNELL P and THOMAS C. (2008). Application of digital data to the Airborne Geophysics Project in the Volta Basin. In: Kalsbeek (ed) The Voltaian Basin, Ghana. pp 91-94. ISBN 978-87-7871-233-2.

Jordan C J & Napier B (2015). Developing digital mapping techniques at the British Geological Survey In: Bowman, M., Smyth, H. R., Good, T. R., Passey, S. R., Hirst, J. P. P. & Jordan, C. J. (eds) The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 436

Jordan C J, Chevrel S, Coetzee H, Ben-Dor E, Ehrler C, Fischer C, Grebby S R, Kerr G, Livne I, Kopačková V, Kylychbaev E, McEvoy F and Adar S. (2013). EO-MINERS: monitoring the environmental and societal impact of the extractive industry using Earth Observation Proc 2013 IEEE IGARSS Melbourne, Australia. ISBN: 978-1-4799-1113-4 p1741-1744.

Jordan C J, Dijkstra T, Grebby S, van Westen, Densmore A, Rosser N, van der Kooij (2016) Landslide inventory mapping for disaster relief and risk management in the Caribbean and Nepal Proceedings of the European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium, Prague 2016

Jordan C J, Dijkstra T, Hobbs P, King N, Purser G, Rochelle C and Traut K (2016) Research and application of small unmanned aerial vehicles for terrestrial and atmospheric geoscience at the British Geological Survey. Proceedings of the Small UAS for Environmental Research Conference, Worcester June 2016

Jordan C J, Rochelle C, Holyoake S, Hobbs P, King N, Surtees S and Traut K (2016) Developing UAV systems for landscape and atmosphere monitoring at the British Geological Survey. Proceedings of the Geological Remote Sensing Group Annual Conference, London 2016.

Jordan C J, Sigmundsson F, Vogfjord K, Gudmundsson M T, Kristinsson I, Loughlin S, Ilyinskaya E, Hooper A, Kylling A, Witham C, Bean C, Braiden A, Ripepe M & Prata F. (2013). FUTUREVOLC: A European Volcanological Supersite Observatory in Iceland, a monitoring system and network for the future Proc 2013 IEEE IGARSS Melbourne, Australia. ISBN: 978-1-4799-1113-4 p286-289.

Jordan C J, Tappin D, Evans H, Suguwara D & Goto K (2011) Integrated remote sensing and fieldwork in the aftermath of the Japan Tohoku Tsunami. Proceedings of the OGEO/GRSG Conference, Frascati 7-9 December 2011

Morino C, Conway S J, Saemundsson T, Balme M R, Helgason J K, Hillier J, Jordan C J and Argles T (2016) The effect of ground-ice on the mobility and behaviour of landslides: a case study in northern Iceland. Proceedings of the XI International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP). Potsdam, Germany 20-24 June 2016.

Morino C, Conway S J, Saemundsson T, Balme M R, Helgason J K, Jordan C J, Hillier J, and Argles T (2017) How thawing ground ice can affect the mobility of landslides: the case study of Móafellshyrna Mountain in northern Iceland, Geophysical Research Abstracts. Vol. 19, EGU 2017-16384-4, 2017. EGU General Assembly 2017

Radshaw P, Dijkstra T, Free M, Jordan C J, Morley A and Fraser S (2017) Landslide risk assessment for the built environment in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Mikoš M., Vilímek V., Yin Y., Sassa K. (eds) Advancing Culture of Living with Landslides. WLF 2017. Springer, Cham pp5-12 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-53483-1_2

SMITH M, JORDAN C J & WALSBY J C(2011). Credit where credit’s due: developing authorship strategies in the geosciences. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122 (1). *******1016/j.pgeola.2010.10.001

Tappin D, Evans H M, Jordan C J, Richmond B, Sugawara D & Goto Kazuhisa. (2012). Coastal changes in the Sendai area from the impact of the 2011 Tōhoku-oki tsunami: interpretations of time series satellite images, helicopter-borne video footage and field observations Sed Geol Vol 282 pp151-174

Commissioned reports

Bateson L B, Evans H M and Jordan C J. (2011). GMES-service for assessing and monitoring subsidence hazards in coastal lowloand areas around Europe. , SubCoast D3.5.1. BGS OR/11/069

Boon D P, Jordan H M, Jordan C J and Dijkstra T A (2017) Sierra Leone Multi-hazards Study: Freetown Landslides – literature review and inventory sourcing. British Geological Survey Internal Report IR/17/030. 53pp.

Dijkstra T, Jordan C J, Boon D, Grebby S and Diaz-Doce D (2016) Landslide susceptibility and trigger assessments for Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Senegal. British Geological Survey Commercial Report CR/16/030. 28pp

Jordan C J & Grebby S (2014) . Risk Information Services for Disaster Risk management (DRM) in the Caribbean: Service Readiness Document. British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/14/064. 31pp.

Jordan C J, Bateson L B, and Glanfield G. (2012). PANGEO: Enabling Access to Geological Information in Support of GMES; D3.1 Survey Team Requirements and Recommendations V2, PanGeo Report. BGS CR/11/117

Jordan C J, Carney J, Thomas C W, McDonnell P, Turner P, McManus K & McEvoy F M. (2009). Ghana Airborne Geophysics Project in the Volta and Keta Basin: BGS Final Report British Geological Survey Commissioned Report, CR/09/002. 325pp

Jordan C J, Grebby S, Fleming C, Fischer C & Wittmer D. (2013). Earth Observation Product Review. Earth Observation for Monitoring and Observing Environmental and Societal Impacts of Mineral Resources Exploration and Exploitation CEC FP7 Project EO-MINERS, Deliverable D4.1, 77pp

Ward R, Smedley P, Allen G, Baptie B, Daraktchieva Z, Horleston A, Jones D, Jordan C J, Lewis A, Lowry D, Purvis R and Rivett M (2017) Environmental Baseline Monitoring Project: Phase II – Final Report. British Geological Survey Open Report OR/17/049. 172pp

Published outputs

NERC Open Research Archive — Dr Colm Jordan

Bowman, M., Smyth, H. R., Good, T. R., Passey, S. R., Hirst, J. P. P. & Jordan, C. J. (eds) 2016. The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 436

More than 100 peer reviewed papers, conference papers, articles and reports

Over 100 maps published


  • 3D visualisation
  • Digital mapping and GIS
  • Geological mapping in Quaternary terrains
  • Geomorphological mapping
  • Image acquisition, processing and interpretation
  • Qualified UAV/drone pilot
  • Research and project leadership

Boards and committees

  • Chair of Advisory Board of the East Midlands Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (EMCoE)
  • Member, NERC NEODASS Steering Committee
  • 2016: Chair of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc)
  • 2016: Member, NERC Airborne Remote Sensing Research Facility Steering Committee

Professional association

  • Fellow of RSPSoc

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