Earth hazards

Photograph from the SoufrièreHills Volcano, Montserrat

This theme centres on research into the dynamic processes in the Earth's core, mantle, and crust, and the space environment surrounding our planet. We need to understand how these processes create and control hazards to life, the environment, and economic infrastructure. This will enable better forecasts to be made of earthquake occurrence and volcanic eruptions, and of related hazards including tsunamis. Scientific knowledge is translated into information and risk analyses to assist decision makers in their task of developing adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimise harm.

Contact Dr John Rees for more information.

Related research

Earthquake seismology Earthquake seismology

This team runs the UK seismic network providing rapid access to data on seismic events to government, the private sector, academic researchers, the public and the media.

EarthquakesUK EarthquakesUK

Information about earthquakes in and around the British Isles.

Geomagnetism Geomagnetism

This team undertakes long-term monitoring of the Earth’s magnetic field through the operation of magnetic observatories in the UK and overseas.

Volcanology Volcanology

Our collaborative research with scientists at volcano observatories and universities worldwide is leading to a better understanding of volcanic systems and improved strategies for mitigation of volcanic risks.

landslides Landslides

We are the definitive source of landslide information in Great Britain.

Glacier monitoring Glacier monitoring

The BGS operate an observatory site at Virkisjökull in south-east Iceland, studying the evolution of the glacier and the surrounding landscape and their responses to regional climate.

Earth and planetary observation and mapping Earth and planetary observation and mapping

This team is focused on the development and application of remote sensing, data collection and visualisation technologies to support a wide range of geoscience applications.

Activities & highlights

Co-seismic landslides Ecuador Co-seismic landslides Ecuador — April 2016

The BGS has played a leading role in building an inventory of landslides and advising on the associated hazards following the M7.8 Ecuador earthquake on 16th April 2016.

Nepal earthquake response Nepal earthquake response — April 2015

Following the M7.8 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal on 25th April 2015, the UK played a leading role building an inventory of landslides and advising on the associated hazards.

Tsunami or meteotsunami? | South West England | June 2011
Tsunami or meteotsunami? | South West England | June 2011

On the 27 June a tsunami struck South West England between Penzance and Portsmouth; approximately 200 miles of coastline were affected.

Magnetic observatory installation | South Atlantic Blog 2011
Magnetic observatory installation | South Atlantic Blog 2011

This team undertakes long-term monitoring of the Earth’s magnetic field through the operation of magnetic observatories in the UK and overseas.

Tsunami sediments study and satellite mapping | Japan fieldwork 2011y Tsunami sediments study and satellite mapping | Japan fieldwork 2011

Our collaborative research with scientists at volcano observatories and universities worldwide is leading to a better understanding of volcanic systems and improved strategies for mitigation of volcanic risks.

April 2011 fieldwork | Virkisjökull Earth Observatory, Iceland April 2011 fieldwork | Virkisjökull Earth Observatory, Iceland

BGS scientists are heading to Iceland to continue installations of monitoring equipment at Virkisjökull, an outlet glacier of the Oraefajökull ice cap.

Afar Rift project | geological mapping Afar Rift project | geological mapping

Afar is part of the volcanically and seismically active portion of the African Rift and is one of the few places on Earth where we can witness plate divergence as the continental crust splits apart to form a new ocean.

Volcanic eruption in Iceland | April 2010g Volcanic eruption in Iceland | April 2010

Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano on the Eastern Volcanic Zone in southern Iceland, began to erupt on 14 April 2010.