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'GeoHazards' provides an introduction to the dynamic nature of the Earth’s surface and the hazards that geological processes pose for human society. The introductory course focuses on earthquake, volcanic, tsunami, and landslide hazards - exploring how the processes occur, how they can be hazardous to society, analyses disaster events, and identifies strategies that reduce the impact of disasters.
This course provides an introduction to the dynamic nature of the Earth’s surface, and the hazards that many geological phenomena pose for human society. Emphasis is placed on natural processes, specifically earthquake, volcanic, tsunami, and landslide hazards, with selected examples of both disastrous events and mitigation/management techniques. All of the teaching team are heavily involved in active research related to the 2010-2011 Canterbury and 2016 Kaikoura-Hurunui earthquakes. This research is utilised in lectures and practical classes. The topics covered are relevant to a wide range of disciplines including earth sciences, engineering, geography, environmental management, emergency management, social sciences, outdoor recreation, land-use planning, conservation, and secondary school teaching. Natural hazard case studies are selected which emphasise the societal effects, as well as those on the landscape, and current or recent examples are chosen where appropriate.
Goal of the Course:To introduce students to natural hazards of a geological origin that impact people, property and/or infrastructure at or on the Earth’s surface. Case studies are selected which emphasise the societal effects, as well as those on the landscape, and current or recent examples are chosen where appropriate.Learning Outcomes:Students successfully completing this course should have a basic understanding of:the theory of plate tectonics and the structure of the Earth’s crust and interior;the nature, causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions;the nature, causes and effects of landslides and river/coastal flooding;how natural processes as described above impact humans and societygeological hazard and risk; and how they can be assessed and mitigatedthe planning framework within which hazard management operates in New ZealandStudents will be able to:interpret the landscape to identify potential geohazards which could impact societyanalyse the complexities of managing geohazards operating within complex natural and human systemsidentify and prioritize resources for the mitigation of geohazards (workshop)create solutions mitigating risk (report + workshop)
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Three lectures per week and one full day workshopSee course outline on LEARN for weekly lecture topics
In-module assessments - 40% Workshop exercises - 30% - 08 SeptemberScientific Report - 30% - 16 October
Brown, L. J. et al;
Geology of the Christchurch urban area, scale 1:25 000
Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, 1992.
Goff, James R. , De Freitas, Christopher R;
Natural hazards in Australasia
Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Hyndman, Donald W. , Hyndman, David W;
Natural hazards and disasters
There are no required textbooks for this course.
Domestic fee $926.00
International fee $4,563.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment