Abstract

Every living thing on our planet could be affected, directly or indirectly by a geohazard of some kind, at some time. Whether directly by landslides, sinkholes, liquefaction of soils, swelling clays or indirectly by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or unstable sea-floor slopes, and overpressured zones threatening deepwater drilling half a world away—no region is completely immune. Many regional and even some local-scale geohazards have the potential for a worldwide impact. While sinkholes induced by limestone dissolution or elevated saturation of slide plains resulting in slope instability in alpine regions are predominantly local threats in specific geologic settings, entire continents can be affected by a massive offshore oil spill, soil amplification from large-magnitude earthquakes, or the saturation of commercial air space from a volcanic eruption. Exploration geophysicists are increasingly being called upon to use the many tools of their trade to either evaluate potential hazards or determine the ultimate impact a recently developed hazard will have.

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