By the end of the course, the student:
Has gained in-depth knowledge of processes and phenomena in and on the Earth’s surface that lead to natural and man-induced hazards,
Has learned methods and techniques of how to monitor and predict risks and their distribution in time and space, in particular regarding past hazard reconstruction, the use of geostatistics, and the construction of spatio-temporal or GIS-based models,
Has obtained insight into the way risk analysis and mapping or disaster / damage assessment is done for example by re-insurance companies at local, regional and global scales,
Has acquired knowledge about the impact of environmental hazards on society (e.g., economy, migration, emotional),
Is able to critically evaluate available information and data and on the basis of that formulate advice and decision support on how to mitigate unfavourable effects of environmental hazards.
The world is continuously alerted by major environmental hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding and drought, landslides, and their aftermath. Recent events include earthquakes in Haïti, Chile, China, New Zealand or Japan with the resulting devastating tsunami, flooding in Pakistan and Australia, volcanic eruptions in Iceland and Indonesia. These natural hazards become disastrous where a growing population is forced to live in marginal areas with elevated risks, leading to numerous victims and major economic damage in case of events. Building on the knowledge that Earth Scientists have of the Earth System, this course provides the necessary overview of processes and tools necessary to minimize damage and victims, through better understanding links between causes and related risks. Students will then be able to effectively communicate their knowledge to managers and a general public. This concerns not only natural hazards that are highly unpredictable in their precise timing, but also risks related to human activities such as unwanted effects of prolonged pollution (e.g., tipping points of systems leading to hypoxia or toxic algal blooms in aquatic systems), mass movements or induced seismicity related to, e.g., CO2 sequestration, shale gas winning or geothermal exploration.
The course is organised in lectures and exercises / practicals that will be given by experts in their respective field, both from within Utrecht University and external. Furthermore, the students will work on independent projects, resulting in a final paper that will be presented to fellow students.
The course ‘Hazards and Risk assessment’ forms part of the Track ‘Geohazards and Earth Observation’ of the program ‘Earth Structure and water’. Recommended courses for this track are:
GEO4-4406 Earth Surface Modelling
GEO4-4412 Statistics and data analysis in Physical Geography
GEO4-4433 Advanced GIS for geoscientists
|Je moet een geldige toelatingsbeschikking hebben|
|You are expected to have basic familiarity with environmental and/or earth sciences processes, (geo)statistics, GIS and spatial modelling.||Verplicht materiaal|
|Lecture notes, scientific articles, handouts from overhead sheets and additional material will be handed out or made available via Blackboard.|
BeoordelingExercises 20%, final paper plus presentation 40%, exam 40%.