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This inter-disciplinary course focuses on the dynamics of potentially hazardous geological events and the connections between geodynamics and societal risk.
This course focuses on the processes of geological hazards and how they impact on society. Some attention is given to techniques and strategies for hazard mitigation. Lectures on the tectonic evolution of New Zealand provide a framework for understanding contemporary earthquake, volcanic, flood and landslide hazards. Topics such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, liquefaction, rockfall, and flooding will all be addressed. Case studies revealing how natural and human environments were impacted by these hazards and how these hazards were successfully (or unsuccessfully) mitigated will be presented. Students taking this course will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of geological processes and impacts that will greatly benefit those wishing to do further tectonics and/or geohazards research.
Goal of the Course:Students will understand how geological hazards operate at the process level, and how geohazard behaviour over spatial and temporal time-scales influences how hazards are assessed and mitigated.Learning Outcomes:Students successfully completing this course will:Understand how New Zealand’s tectonic evolution and modern tectonic setting influences the locations and magnitudes of contemporary earthquake, landslide, and volcanic hazardsUnderstand the fundamentals that govern geohazard behaviour in both time and spaceUnderstand the links between hazards (e.g., seismically-triggered landslides, volcanically-triggered debris flows)Know how to develop risk assessments from hazard behaviourUnderstand the links between hazard behaviour and societal riskSummary of the Course Content - the topics coved by this course are:Introduction to geohazardsActive tectonics of New ZealandEarthquake science and paleoseismologyGeomorphic hazardsLandslides, rockfall, and rock fracturingFloodingHazards of eruptions: lava flows, pyroclastic density currents, lahars, ash fall and volcanic gasRisk assessment and mitigation of geological hazardsRisk and hazard communication
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.
Any 45 points at 200 level from GEOL.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Two one-hour lectures per weekThree one-hour tutorials in Week 10 of the course
There are no required textbooks for this course; students will be directed to specific journal articles or books as necessary.
Domestic fee $910.00
International fee $4,438.00
* 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 on the
department and colleges