Geotechnical Hazards

Module aims

  • To introduce the students to fundamental elements of engineering seismology and seismic hazard assessment, including the effects of soil deposits at the site, as well as to present basic concepts concerning other geohazards, such as volcanoes, tsunamis and landslides. 
  • To enable the students to use hazard assessment as a generic tool which can be applied to all types of geohazards.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

  • Understand major types of geotechnical/geological hazards: volcanoes, tsunamis, ground shaking, landslides. 
  • Describe approaches applied in hazard zonation, prediction and monitoring. 
  • Understand the mechanisms that trigger major landslides (mudslides and flows). 
  • Develop basic competence in assessing seismic hazard and in characterising earthquake actions. 
  • Evaluate the seismic response of soil layers. 
  • Evaluate the liquefaction potential using simplified methodologies. 
  • Estimate slope movements induced by seismic motion.

Module syllabus

This module will cover: 

  • Introduction to major Geohazards (volcanoes, tsunamis, ground shaking and landslides).  
  • Landslides (flows and mudslides): mechanisms, hazard zonation, monitoring, management and mitigation.  
  • Fundamentals of Engineering Seismology (ground motion parameters, source characterisation, recurrence relationships and ground motion prediction equations).  
  • Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analyses (PSHA).  
  • Epistemic uncertainty and logic trees; seismic hazard and design codes.  
  • Fundamentals of wave propagation, dynamic soil properties and site effects.  
  • Site response analysis and its incorporation into PSHA.  
  • Liquefaction: mechanisms, assessment of hazard and estimation of liquefaction induced deformations.  
  • Seismic Slope Stability.

Reading list

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