Hazards Geophysics


What is Hazards Geophysics?

  • Hazards Geophysics quantifies and monitors with high temporal and spatial density the causes and distribution of Earth hazards (earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, landslides).

Image left: On Oct. 23, 2011, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck eastern Turkey, near the city of Van, the result of the collision between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. (NASA/JPL)








Studying hazards as a geophysicist bridges the intersection between the natural sciences, geotechnical engineering, and humanitarian efforts. You can study landslide mitigation, early warning earthquake detection, unexploded ordinance location, and much more. You learn to model Earth’s complex systems using a variety of techniques from satellites to drones to ground-based instruments. The models you produce inform proper land use and emergency response planning decisions resulting from a natural disaster. In this field of study, there are plenty of opportunities to go into the field and the skills you learn can be applied to the mining, geotechnical, civil, and environmental engineering world.
Kieran Coumou

MS Student, Mines Geophysics

Explore the Work

Hazards Geophysicists monitor earthquakes, assess seismic risk, and define the Earth’s deep interior structure. (Image: NASA)

Hazards Geophysicists monitor volcanoes, quantify the imminent eruption risk, and inform community response. (Photo: USGS)

Hazards Geophysicists drill deep sea sediments to understand the conditions responsible for triggering destructive tsunamis. (Photo: USGS)

Hazards Geophysicists monitor the structure and stability of shallow geological formations posing landslide risk. (Photo: Jeff Shragge)

Components of the Track

Geophysics Courses

  • GPGN 420 Electrical & Electromagnetics Methods
  • GPGN 470 Remote Sensing
  • GPGN 473 Cryosphere Geophysics
  • GPGN 455 Earthquake Seismology
  • GPGN 4XX Physical Oceanography*
  • GPGN 5xx Polar Cryrosphere*

Geology and Geological Engineering

  • GEOL 440 Plate Tectonics
  • GEGN 432 Geological Data Analysis
  • GEGN 473 Geological Engineering Site Investigations

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

  • HASS 360 Research, Values, Communication
  • HASS 427 Risk Communication
  • HASS 467 History of Earth and Environmental Issues

Distributive Science

  • Math 432 Spatial Statistics

*Course is under development