NNMK16002U Natural Hazards

Volume 2017/2018

In an increasingly economically integrated, urbanized and populated world, society’s vulnerability to natural hazards has never been greater. This course provides an introduction to the different types of natural hazard, their location, scale and frequency and the science of the processes at work during, for example, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, storms, meteor impacts and space weather events. Case studies will be used to illustrate methods of natural hazard risk assessment, warning and mitigation.

Learning Outcome


At the end of this class the student should have a basic understanding of

  • The different types of natural hazard, their scale and frequency

  • The location of high-risk, natural hazard, zones

  • Climatic and other effects of large volcanic eruptions

  • Mass-extinction events in the geological record

  • Age dating methods for determining event frequency beyond the historical record

  • Methods of natural hazard risk assessment, warning and mitigation



Carry out a simple risk assessment study of a natural hazard.

Knowledge of basic statistical tools for risk analysis, Experience in using various natural hazard software packages; e.g. as used in the prediction of ash dispersal and deposition during explosive volcanic eruptions.


A basic understanding of the different types of natural hazards and their relative societal risks.

Design scientific projects to assess a natural hazards. Read and critically assess scientific papers and reports on natural hazards.

A basic understanding of geologic processes is desirable but not a pre-requisite.
Lectures, weekend fieldtrip, project assignment.
The course is mainly aimed at students with a natural sciences education but the content also has relevance to those taking The Master of Disaster Management Programme at KU (http:/​/​www.mdma.ku.dk/​masters_programme/​) and similar programs at other universities.

There is an expected fee of 100 kr. per ekskursion day which must be paid before each field trip.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Field Work
  • 24
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 102
  • Project work
  • 25
  • Theory exercises
  • 25
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min.
Continuous assessment
The oral exam is with 48 hours preparation time. 48 hours before the exam, each student will receive a randomly assigned question (based on course content) on which he/she will have to give an oral presentation of 15 minutes. For the remaining 15 minutes the student will be asked questions that are based on the presentation and the rest of the Natural Hazards course.

Reports and other forms of continuous assessment will form 50% of the one final mark. The remaining 50% is given for the oral exam.
All aids allowed

PowerPoint or similar

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Only the oral examination may be re-taken during the re-examination period. It will be in the same format as the original oral exam. Corrected coursework assignments (continuous assessment) can be re-submitted during the teaching period, and will be re-graded, with the final grade representing an average of the two scores. A however, resubmission of the course work is not a requirement, just an option.  

Criteria for exam assesment

Active participation in the course and handed in project work and assignments.

Satisfactory completion of project work is a pre-requisite to attend the final exam.