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Introducing hazard and risk

At the start of the course, we introduced the concept of hazard and risk when looking at the Mount Etna eruption of 2017.

The hazard that Mount Etna presents are its numerous volcanic eruptions. Whereas, the associated risk is the damage it can do to us humans and our infrastructure.

We can also describe the difference like this:


This is possibility that something can cause damage or endanger life (e.g. a volcanic eruption, flood, an earthquake or tsunami). This is typically a natural process or phenomena and is fundamentally unavoidable.


This is the danger that a hazard poses to life or infrastructure.

In this activity, we’ll begin to explore these concepts by focussing in on some types of events we’ve considered in the course.

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This article is from the free online course:

Extreme Geological Events

Cardiff University

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