Welcome to the course

Over the next three weeks we will explore how extreme geological events have shaped our planet and what challenges future events might pose to us.

The course has been developed by a team of researchers and educators at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University.

Each member of the team specialises their research and teaching on the topics we cover on the course.

Introduce yourself

Please introduce yourself in the comments.

Tell us where you are from, your background and your motivations for taking this course.

Meet the team

Your lead educator is Dr Wim Degruyter, Lecturer in Geodynamics at Cardiff University. He focuses his research on understanding the physical mechanisms of volcanic eruptions. Our team also includes, Dr Claire Earlie, Dr Dan Hobley, Dr David Thompson, Dr Ernest Chi Fru, Dr Marc-Alban Millet and Dr Morten Andersen.


Our course mentors are Andrew Martin and Roberto Loza Espejel. They’ll be joining and supporting you during the course.

You can follow the team by using the links to their FutureLearn profiles. You’ll then be able to see all the comments they make.

Week by week

In Week 1, we will retrace how Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago and how it evolved to become a habitable planet. We will explore some of the extreme events our planet experienced along the way.

In Week 2, we will investigate some of the most extreme types of events our planet has experienced. We will examine some of the largest floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In Week 3, we will consider how our understanding of extreme geological events has developed over time. We will explore the risks and hazards they present us today, and how we should prepare for future events.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement, you must mark at least 90% of the steps in this course as complete. The Certificate comes in both printed and digital formats, so you can easily add it to your portfolio, CV or LinkedIn profile.

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This article is from the free online course:

Extreme Geological Events

Cardiff University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: