When the public becomes aware of geological hazards, it is usually because a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, a volcanic eruption or a tsunami has occurred elsewhere in the world. While we do occasionally experience some of these 'geohazards' in the UK, their effect is usually small. Yet, geological hazards here cause damage to buildings, structures and infrastructure worth between £0.5bn and £1bn every year. In addition, people occasionally lose their life or are injured. This lecture will discuss the geological hazards that affect us. In terms of financial loss, the most significant is swelling and shrinking of certain clay formations. Other natural hazards include landslides, dissolution of more soluble rocks and weak, compressible soils. In addition, 'anthropogenic geohazards' arise from the mineral extraction, the disposal of waste, construction, and contamination of the ground from chemical residues. The lecture will explain the difference between ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ and examine how geological hazards can be mitigated and the risks reduced.
Martin Culshaw is one of the UK's leading engineering geologists and
well-known as an engaging speaker. He is an Honorary Professor in
Engineering Geology at the University of Birmingham and was previously
Director of Environment and Hazards at the British Geological Survey. He has
published extensively in his field and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. Among many awards,
Martin has received the Glossop Medal of the Geological Society's
Engineering Group and the Hans Cloos Medal of the International Association
for Engineering Geology and the Environment.
At the Ulster Museum, wine reception 6.30-7pm, lecture 7-8.30pm.