Shallow geohazards and risks

This team investigates the shallow geohazards that affect the UK and how we can best reduce the risks to society.

We examine and monitor shallow geohazards at local, regional and national scale using a combination of field survey and remote sensing techniques and are available to respond to national emergencies.

From our monitoring and observation data we build susceptibility models and model trigger thresholds for assessing vulnerability and risk, as well as providing a baseline against which to determine environmental change.

We undertake collaborative research and contribute to a number of International research programmes.

Our current research

Open day tank models ‘Tank model’ videos

In ‘The Disaster Zone’, at the 2013 BGS Open Day, the Shallow Geohazards and Risk Team presented a series of geohazards as tank models including retaining wall failure, quicksand, heave and a sink hole.

Caves, subsidence and soluble rocks Caves, subsidence and soluble rocks

Dissolution of soluble rocks produces landforms and features collectively known as 'karst' which can cause engineering problems.
National Karst Database, Limestone, chalk, gypsum, salt.

GeohazardClimate change and geohazards

Will flooding be more frequent or more severe? Will landslides or karst collapses be more frequent? Will the engineering of UK's infrastructure and housing be impacted by the shrinking and swelling of clay?

Flooding Flooding

Research into floodplains, their origins and implications for landscape development across Great Britain.

Ground shrinkage and subsidence Ground shrinkage and subsidence

Shrinking and swelling of the ground (often reported as subsidence) research to identify those areas most at risk.
Geotechnical and mineralogical investigations into rock types known to shrink.

Landslides Landslides

The definitive source of landslide information in Great Britain.
National Landslide Database, landslide case studies, surveying techniques, report a landslide.

Technology for hazard reduction Technology for hazard reduction

New analytical techniques and equipment.
Infrared soil measurement, terrestrial laser scanning, laser measurement of soil shrinkage.


Contact Dr Vanessa Banks for more information.