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Online Training: Geological Hazards: Their Occurrence, Monitoring and Mitigation - Brownfield Sites

04 September 2024
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Event type:
Contributes to CPD, Virtual event, Online Training
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Online Training, Geohazards
Virtual event
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* Please note this course has a change of date and will now take place on 4 September 2024 *

A geological hazard (geohazard) is the consequence of an adverse combination of geological processes and ground conditions, sometimes precipitated by anthropogenic activity. The term implies that the event is unexpected and likely to cause significant loss or harm. 

To understand geohazards and mitigate their effects, expertise is required in the key areas of engineering geology, hydrogeology, geotechnical engineering, risk management, communication and planning, supported by appropriate specialist knowledge of subjects such as seismology and volcanology. There is a temptation for geoscientists involved in geohazards to get too focused on the 'science' and lose sight of the purpose of the work, which is to facilitate the effective management and mitigation of the consequences of geohazards within society.

The study and assessment of geohazards into the wider social context, helping the engineering geologist to better communicate the issues concerning geohazards in the UK to the client and the wider public.

Module Overview

Risks of Brownfield Land

Geology can be a source of natural or anthropogenic contamination, as well as a pathway or barrier to contaminant migration and, as groundwater, a receptor in its own right. This course will provide an overview of geological sources of contamination across the British Isles. Such contamination needs to be considered in evaluating proposed development sites as well as protecting existing uses from harm or pollution.
Heavy metals at levels that can exceed soil screening levels are encountered in clays of several periods. Such natural contaminants are often characterised by low bioavailability. Mineralised areas, whether historically mined or not, are characterised by very high levels of metals that may require remediation despite their usually low bioavailability. 

Decomposition of natural materials and waste can release biogenic methane that can migrate and ignite. Ignition of slower release of geogenic methane from specific formations has been associated with several tragic accidents. Inhalation of naturally released carcinogenic radon gas is linked to over 1000 deaths per year. Carbon dioxide and other hazardous ground gases are also associated with specific formations.

Anthropogenic sources of contamination are associated with historic land uses, waste disposal, spread of made ground, accidents and military activities. 

The webinar will review planning, and specifically brownfield redevelopment, policies in each of the four countries and reflect on the consequence for brownfield reuse of the 4 July general election.


Paul Nathanail

Paul Nathanail is a Chartered Geologist and Specialist in Land Condition. He is the Technical Director of specialist consultants Land Quality Management, and past chair of the National Brownfield Forum and DlSiLC board of directors. His 2009 Glossop lecture is a good reference to support this lecture in the absence of a chapter in EGSP 29. 

Time and date

This module will take place virtually via Zoom on 4 September 2024 at 16:00 BST and will run until approximately 17:30 BST, depending on audience participation.


 Fellow   £65
 Non-Fellow  £110
 Corporate Patron
 Student Member
 Student Non-Member  £24
 Retired Fellow  £65

If you are not a Fellow of the Society, save money for this course and much more by applying for Fellowship. Find out further details.


We offer students a generous discount. Please verify your student status by either registering with your student email address, or uploading a photograph of your student identification/acceptance letter. 

The Society offers a limited number of concessionary rates for those in financial hardship. Contact (Please note you may be required to provide details/evidence to support your application for this.)


If you require an invoice to register for this course, please email

Registration will close 24 hours before the event takes place. 

We can offer bespoke discounts on group registrations of five or more. Please email to enquire.

GSL reserves the right to postpone or cancel a Training Course in the event of low interest. In this instance, a full refund will be offered for registration fees

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