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Online Training: Geological Hazards: Their Occurrence, Monitoring and Mitigation - Carbonate hazard: mining and dissolution

09 September 2024
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Event type:
Contributes to CPD, Online Training, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Online Training, Geohazards
Virtual event
Event status:

*This course has now been rescheduled to take place on 9 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

Carbonate hazard: mining and dissolution

Carbonate rocks like limestone and chalk present a particular set of engineering geological challenges both to existing development and whenever new development is planned. The advent of national cavity databases assists with the preliminary checks of whether natural or mining cavities are recorded on site or in its vicinity, but it is usually essential to further understand ,in more detail, the site location in its wider geomorphological and historical context to truly assess the engineering risks. Many professional indemnity claims are frequently associated with a lack of due diligence of third party data, leading to incorrect assumptions and advice about sites and, in turn, risking unsafe development.

For natural cavities it is important to appreciate the range of types, depths and scales at which they can occur. The nature of the carbonate terrain and its geological and geomorphological development is important when creating a ground model for the site and using this to design and execute the ground investigation. The investigation needs to characterise the site sufficiently to provide safe engineering solutions. Similarly, knowledge of past regional factors (industries, styles, scales) that have led to the need for underground mining (often poorly or unrecorded and pre-dating published maps) requires appreciation in order to evaluate the potential for past mining at sites and how to develop safe site development strategies. 

The training session will concentrate upon (1) guidance for improved methodology for the assessment of sites underlain by carbonate terrains to check their geohazard potential, given that this appears to be a weakness for many geotechnical investigations, (2) consideration for investigation strategies and (3) review.


David Giles

Dr David Giles is Technical Director & Digital Imagery Consultant at CGL (Card Geotechnics Limited) with over 35 years’ experience in academia and the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics industry. His experience includes 28 years lecturing and researching in Engineering Geology in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. Dr Giles is an active member of the Engineering Group of the Geological Society of London, a past Chair and an active member of Geological Society Working Parties, including UK Geological Hazards, which he chairs, and the Engineering Geology and Geomorphology of Glaciated and Periglaciated Terrains. 

Time and date

This module will take place virtually via Zoom on Monday 9 September 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.)


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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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