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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners





Dr. O. P. Mishra


Dr. Saibal Ghosh


Dr. Fausto Guzzetti



Geosciences for Disaster Risk Reduction

Fausto Guzzetti (Italy)

Werner Marzocchi (Italy)

Hongey Chen (Taiwan)

i. A senior research scientist with the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Guzzetti is the Director of the CNR Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection. A founding member of the European Geosciences Union, he is member of the Italian National High Risk Committee.

ii. A Professor of Engineering Geology at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Dr. Hongey Chen is head of the Taiwan National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction.

Geosciences, Natural Hazards, Risk, Society, Response

Geohazards are ubiquitous and pose serious threats to the population, the economy and the environments in many areas of the world. Geohazards arise from the complex, and often poorly understood, interaction between natural phenomena and the anthropogenic environment. The symposium adopts a holistic approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and focuses on the roles of scientific, technological advancements for disaster risk reduction and welcomes contributions on the following topics: (i) Information sources, data availability, interoperability and management for hazard analyses and risk reduction, (ii) consolidated, emerging and new technologies for hazard monitoring, damage and impact assessment, and risk reduction, (iii) similarities and diversities of existing and innovative geohazard modelling approaches, their advantages and limitations, (iv) multi-hazards assessments, including hazard chains, domino effects and multiple hazards present in the same area at the same time, or at different times, (v) bridging the existing gap between scientifically-based forecasts and effective citizen warnings at all temporal and spatial scales, (vi) defining, quantifying, reducing and communicating uncertainty in geo-hazard assessment modelling and risk reduction, (vii) the role of legal systems and liability / accountability issues for effective disaster risk reduction, and (viii) ethical and deontological issues in geohazard science for natural hazards disaster risk reduction.

Geohazards in Inter and Intra Plate Tectonic Regimes

Sandip K Som


A. P. Singh


Shuichi Hasegawa (Japan)

1. A senior research scientist on Earthquake Geology, Landslides, GPS Geodesy, Geodynamics in Geological Survey of India

2. A senior research scientist on seismology and geodynamics at ISR, Gandhinagar, India

3. A senior researcher on slope stability, active tectonics from Japan

Natural Hazards, Geodynamics, Plate Boundary, GPS Geodesy

Plate Tectonics refers to the geological processes that physically construct and shape the surface of planet Earth and is also capable of producing the most violent and destructive physical events (earthquake, volcanism, tsunami, landslide, etc.) which may occur in inter-plate or intra-plate regions with different kinematics. Geohazards due to these physical events provide a growing global challenge to the professional community. This symposium explores the implications of primary research, secondary consequences and tertiary conclusions related to all types of natural hazards in relation to crustal dynamics. The issues include identification and characterisation of seismogenic and non-seismogenic faults at different tectonic settings under contemporary tectonic stress environment, recurrence intervals for faults that are capable of generating earthquakes, temporal and spatial clustering of earthquakes, event chronologies, delineation of high strain zones and its relation with present tectonic stress, governing factors and comprehensive modelling on real time and delayed earthquake triggered landslide, critical factors for tsunami generation and its effect on wave probation-inundation, prediction of volcanism through volcanic seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission etc. at inter-plate regions and hotspot related intra-plate seismicity. Contributors are encouraged to present work that shows new discoveries, methods, practices and scientific results which can be successfully applied globally to benefit society in general as they are linked to our efforts to improve understanding of, resilience to and management of such natural threats.

Landslides, Other Related Mass-Wasting Hazards and Associated Risks

Jonathan Godt (USA)

Oded Katz


Fausto Guzzetti (Italy)

Niroj K. Sarkar


i. A senior research scientist with USGS working on landslides.

ii. A senior research scientist with Geological Survey of Israel working on landslide and related hazards

iii. A senior research scientist with the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Guzzetti is the Director of the CNR Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection. He is the author on more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals on landslide mapping, hazard assessment and risk evaluation

iv. A senior research scientist with Geological Survey of India having long experience in landslide research in the Himalayas

Landslide, Hazards, Risk, Modelling, Forecasting

Landslides hazard, in many areas of the world cause significant societal and economic damage. Due to their large natural variability, and the inherent difficulties to recognize and map landslides where and when they occur, landslides and their damaging effects remain difficult to predict. This limits the ability to mitigate landslide risk, and to reduce their societal, economic and environmental consequences. This symposium will provide an opportunity to present and discuss new results in one or more of the following themes: (i) detection and mapping of landslides, including subaqueous landslides, from the local to the global scale, (ii) landslide initiation and propagation mechanisms, and their physical and numerical modelling, (iii) landslide and slope monitoring strategies and methods, with emphasis on new or emerging technologies, (iv) statistical and physically-based modelling of landslide processes, and model validation methods, (v) temporal and geographical landslide forecasting models and methods, at all scales, (vi) physical (e.g., geophysical, climate, environmental) and human drivers of landslides, and their expected impacts given their projected geographical and temporal variations, (vii) landslide vulnerability estimation, economic impact and risk assessment, mitigation methods

Transboundary Disasters: Prediction, Preparedness and Prevention

Cees J. van Westen

(The Netherlands)

Peter T. Bobrowsky (Canada)

i. Associate Professor, Multi-Hazards and Risk Assessment, cascading hazards, h-Index Scopus: 34, 116 documents, PhD’s supervised: 20, MSc’s supervised: 100, worked in many countries (including India, China).

ii. Senior Research Scientist with Natural Resources, Canada, authors of many papers and book section, having long research association with natural hazards.

Multi-hazards, cascading events, earthquakes, marine, atmospheric, meteorological

This symposium aims to address complex hazard interactions that may affect large areas, spanning across different countries. These disasters may have triggers that are remote from the affected areas, and require exchange of information between different regions or countries. The symposium will address four types of transboundary disasters and hazard interactions:

There could be transboundary hazards related to earthquakes: co-seismic and post-seismic events in mountains, such as landslides, debris flows, landslide lake outburst flows (LLOF), Glacial lake outburst flows (GLOF).

Related to complex interactions related to marine hazards (tsunami’s) and their triggers (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, large submarine landslides, meteorite impacts).

Transboundary disasters can also have atmospheric origin, related to dispersion of volcanic ash clouds, smoke from major forest fires, dust storms etc.

Transboundary disasters having origin in large extreme meteorological events, such as tropical storms, cyclones, monsoon, and their associated hydro-meteorological hazards, such as large flooding events, landslides, debris flows, wind damage etc.

The symposium would like to bring scientists together that address the complex interaction between different hazards and focus on methods for spatial and temporal prediction and modelling.

Monitoring, Predictability and Early Warning of Geohazards

Chandan Ghosh


Hemanta Hazarika (Japan)

Anand J Puppala (USA)

1. Dr. Chandan Ghosh, Professor, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), New Delhi, India; T:011-23438297; email:;;

2. Dr. Hemanta Hazarika, Professor Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, Department of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation, Geo-disaster Prevention Engineering Research Laboratory, (Research Group of Adaptation to Global Geo-disaster and Environment), West Building No. 2, Room No. 1124, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan, Tel: +81-92-802-3369 Fax: +81-92-802-3368, E-mail:;

3. Dr Anand J Puppala, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Civil Engineering University of Texas, Arlington USA, Phone:001 8179661645, email:;

Geohazards pose an increasing threat to society and therefore, it is necessary to develop models and methodologies for better understanding societal impacts in terms of life loss and economic setback in developmental perspectives. Predicting or developing well-tuned early warning for events like landslides (mass movements), earthquake, avalanche, flood, Volcanic mud flows (Lahars), sinkholes, etc. has been a hot topic for research and governance issues. At some specific areas in the globe, Earthquake induced submarine landslides cause Tsunami and cascading effect of the same to coastal habitats are woefully noted. While early warning for Tsunami is available, the same for earthquake is in nascent stage. The early warning systems incorporate the monitoring of physical processes and mechanisms for measuring, modelling and predicting geohazards. Developing early warning systems also requires setting criteria for parameters to be monitored and threshold values; equipment and systems; coordinating satellite radar data with local monitoring stations; planning monitoring programs for high-risk areas; and developing computer-aided decision-making tools with e.g. mobile data mapping and retrieval, and information management using geographical information technology (GIT), Remote sensing (RS), IT Enabled services, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D modelling. It is also important to prepare user-guidelines for data review, alarm facility and follow-up, telemetry/VSAT/WiFi links, and actions to be taken in the event of threshold values being exceeded andin-place automated warning signal dissemination procedure for individual and administrative users is also required, followed by safety and action plans. This symposium invites contribution on various such aspects of Monitoring, predictability and early warning of geohazards

Urbanization and Geohazards

R K Srivastava


Mriganka Ghatak (India)

1. Dr. R.K. Srivastava served government as member of All India

Services and thus possesses extensive field experience in various capacities,

particularly in the field of Disaster management (DM) and Environment &

Forests. He planned and executed major infrastructure and urban

development projects in state of Jharkhand... To his credit there are

publications on subjects of Flood Management, Smart City, Urban setups

under climate change induced risks and several others in National and

International journals, besides authoring book on Disaster Management of

India published by UNDP Dr. Srivastava is now actively engaged in

contributing his expertise to help assist Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central

University in Delhi to run the courses on Disaster Management and Climate


2. The areas of expertise of Mriganka Ghatak include Quaternary Geology, Earthquake Geology with special reference to Active Fault Studies, Tectonic Geomorphology, Paleoclimate studies. He has extensive experience of working with the major regional and global stakeholders in the field of Disaster Management. He has played an active role in global DRR activities with special focus in SAARC region

Urbanization, Geohazards, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Urban Planning

As per United Nations reports, 55% of the present global population resides in urban areas and this percentage is expected to rise to 68% by 2050; an addition of 2.5 billion people in the urban areas compared to present status. While the urban population in 1950 was 571 million, by 2050 it is going to witness a steep rise to 4.2 billion.

This unprecedented growth in urban areas is to a great extent, unplanned, without taking into account proper land use planning, adoption to existing building codes and regulations which are major contributors to the layers of vulnerabilities of urban areas. While many of the existing/ upcoming urban agglomerates are located in identified hazard zones like seismic zones, landslide prone areas, others are located in coastal areas are exposed to threats arising from sea level changes. Economic status of the urban population adds to the risk as the economically marginalized groups are pushed to the fringe and more hazardous areas. New aspects of urban hazards are appearing in the past decades in form of increasing trends of urban floods, stampede, road/rail accidents, industrial disasters, coastal degradation.

The proposed symposia ‘Urbanization and Geohazards’ aims to provide a platform for the global geoscientific community to deliberate on and share innovative research experiences in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) practices in urban areas. Contributors are encouraged to present work on new tools for risk assessment and mitigation; role of geosciences in mainstreaming DRR practices; improving present DRR policies; resource management; urban early warning; increasing community participation; use of big data in urban DRR etc. Interested professionals are encouraged to also contribute through more innovative ideas.

Mining and Industrial Hazards and Subsidence

D. Jean Hutchinson


Gurdeep Singh (India)

1. D. Jean Hutchinson is a Professor of Geological Engineering at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. Jean is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and is the IAEG Vice-President for North America.

2. Gurdeep Singh is Vice Chancellor, Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag, was recently Director of the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, and is a Fellow & Life member of the National Environmentalists Association, India.

Environmental impact; ground surface instability; progressive rehabilitation and management; stakeholder engagement;

The proposed symposia will cover the following topics related to mining geohazards:

• Ground surface instability created by failure of pit and quarry walls

• Instability of mining and industrial waste products, including waste rock and tailings piles, with consideration of both physical and environmental impacts. Case histories of good design and or failures.

• Caving and subsidence into underground workings, considering mining methods which result in these issues, the rate of deformation and potential for sudden collapse

• Application of novel techniques to detect and monitor hazards.

• Case histories of managing the mining / industrial hazards and development of long-term solutions.

• All of these topics may be considered at the time of operation or in the context of long-term effects after mining has ceased.

• Mine closure planning framework.

• Physical stability and/or environmental impacts of mining geohazards.

Geohazards Risk Reduction Measures and Mitigation

Helen J. Reeves


D. Jean Hutchinson (Canada)

1. Helen Reeves is Science Director for Engineering Geology & Infrastructure at The British Geological Survey, UK. Helen is UK NHP HIM CO-Chair & IAEG UK National Group President/Secretary.

2. Jean Hutchinson is a Professor of Geological Engineering at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. Jean is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and is the IAEG Vice-President for North America.

This symposium will highlight geoscientists’ contributions to both the UN Sendai Framework for Action and Sustainable Development Goals by indicating the methodologies and case histories of how hazard and risk assessments contribute to geohazard risk reduction across the world. Social, economic and policy implications will be included within the symposium and highlight what methods and techniques have succeeded or where such measures have failed.

This symposium will present examples from across a board range of geological hazards (e.g. earthquakes, ground subsidence, landslides, geomagnetic storms, tsunami, and volcanic hazards) and demonstrate novel solutions for mitigation and risk reduction for both single and multi-hazard impacts. Solutions that manage warnings and evacuation or result in engineered physical mitigation will be portrayed.

Geohazards Risk: Communications, Education & Knowledge Exchange

Bruce D. Malamud


Maneesha V. Ramesh


Mirianna Budimir (UK)

1. Bruce D Malamud is Professor of Natural & Environmental hazards at King's College London, past president of the EGU Natural Hazards division, and current executive editor of Natural Hazards & Earth System Sciences.

2. Maneesha Ramesh is Director & Professor at Amrita Center for Wireless Networks & Applications, Dean for Amrita Center for Int. Programs, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, with wide experience in landslide early warning.

3. Mirianna Budimir received her PhD from University of Southampton on global cascading hazards and is currently a Senior Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser at Practical Action, UK.

Warning, Forecasting, Awareness, Knowledge transfer

In this symposium we solicit abstracts on the broad theme of communications, education & knowledge exchange with respect to geohazard risk across a broad range of natural or anthropogenic hazards. These include but are not limited to:

• Knowledge exchange related to geohazard risk, by and between researchers, the public, policy makers, and practitioners, using different types of communications (e.g., maps, visualization of risk and uncertainty, digital platforms);

• Approaches that address barriers and bridges in the science-policy-practice interface that hinder and support application of geohazard risk related knowledge;

• The use of local knowledge by researchers to understand geohazard risk (including vulnerability, exposure and hazard);

• The use of social media to help inform geohazard risk assessments;

• Geohazard risk related mobile phone applications to communicate crowd-sourced data, help educate a local population, and a source of warning messages;

• The teaching of natural hazards an geohazard risk to university and lower-level students, using innovative techniques to promote understanding;

• The communications and education of geohazards risk with a perspective on marginalised groups (including gender and age).

Global Disaster Risk Reduction Policies: Status, Scope and Future Perspectives

Mriganka Ghatak


Shahnaz Huq Hussain (Bangladesh)

1. The areas of expertise of Mriganka Ghatak include Quaternary Geology, Earthquake Geology with special reference to Active Fault Studies, Tectonic Geomorphology, Paleoclimate studies. He has extensive experience of working with the major regional and global stakeholders in the field of Disaster Management. He has played an active role in DRR in SAARC region and worked in close collaboration with global DRR stakeholders.

2. Dr. Shahnaz Huq Hussain is a well-established name in the field of Geography and Environment. She has taught and researched in this field for 40 years with special emphasis on Gender, Disaster and Climate Change. Conducted three SAARC trainings on Climate change, River Erosion & embankment safety management in South Asia, organized jointly by the SAARC Disaster Management Centre, New Delhi, India and the University Of Dhaka, Bangladesh, during 2009, 2012 & 2014.

DRR, Policies, Disaster Management, Framework, Risk Reduction

One of the prime requirements of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in global, regional, national and local level is robust policies, their implementation and revision of the existing policies as necessary. Giving due recognition to DRR and developing risk resilience down to community level, there have been several policies/ frameworks from time to time. One of the earlier global initiatives for risk reduction has been declaration of 1990-1999 as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). Within IDNDR framework, Yokohama Strategy (1994) was one of the first adoptions of all-encompassing plan of action for rest of the decade. Subsequent Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA, 2000-2015) had set time bound strategic goals, priorities and expected outcomes. HFA had an in-built system of monitoring progress and the process of the next cycle of global DRR was set in motion by 2012 through consultations and inter-governmental negotiations. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has been adopted by the states for the period 2015-2030. Drawing from the experience of the previous exercises, the Sendai Framework has laid strong emphasis on disaster risk management against mere disaster management.

The DRR policies/ interventions have also been on regional scale viz. ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and SAARC Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters (SRRND). However, such adopted commitments have seen failures- SRRND, even after ratification by the members, is yet to be set in operation.

In light of the above, under the aegis of 36th International Geological Congress (IGC), the professional and stakeholders of DRR are invited to deliberate on the issues related to status, scope and future initiatives in DRR. This symposium intends to deliberate on good practices, success stories, role of SDG/MDGs, potential of assessment reports, areas of future concern for DRR in global to community level, learning experiences from past policies that can still be adopted. This symposium aspires to be a trendsetter, inviting all DRR stakeholder bodies, paving way for future participation of DRR communities in IGC.