Stanford UniversitySchool Resources
Exploding volcano at night

Reducing Disaster Risks

Understanding threats and reducing risks to human wellbeing

Thousands of lives and billions of dollars have been lost in recent natural disasters such as the 2010 Haiti and 2015 Nepal earthquakes and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Not to mention the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Geohazards have shaped and reshaped the planet for millennia. Now climate change is adding to the threats, even as urban centers are expanding and more people are living in vulnerable locations.

We study Earth processes—what causes them and how to predict where and when they will happen—but we also seek to reduce the risks to human wellbeing, especially in increasingly populated and vulnerable cities worldwide. Our expertise in both subsurface-originating hazards and the surface changes brought about by shifts in climate and land use provides a unique vantage point from which to analyze a new breed of potential hazards and risks.

Meet some of the faculty involved in Reducing Disaster Risks

Jenny Suckale
Jenny Suckale

Assistant Professor of Geophysics

Simon Klemperer
Simon Klemperer

Professor of Geophysics

Tiziana Vanorio
Tiziana Vanorio

Assistant Professor of Geophysics

greg beroza
Greg Beroza

Professor of Geophysics

Eric Dunham
Eric Dunham

Associate Professor of Geophysics

Howard Zebker
Howard Zebker

Professor of Geophysics and Electrical Engineering

Paul Segall
Paul Segall

Professor of Geophysics

A "billion sensors" earthquake observatory with optical fibers

The same optical fibers that deliver high-speed internet and HD video to our homes could one day double as seismic sensors for monitoring and studying earthquakes.

Navigate to item

New tool to reduce risk of triggering manmade earthquakes

A new software tool can help reduce the risk of manmade earthquakes by calculating the probability that oil and gas injection activities will trigger slip in nearby faults.

Navigate to item

News related to Reducing Disaster Risks

Climate, infrastructure, and Hurricane Harvey

Stanford experts comment on how climate change and infrastructure planning contribute to the severity of impacts from extreme weather events like Harvey.

Navigate to Climate, infrastructure, and Hurricane Harvey

High purpose computing for natural disaster reduction

Jenny Suckale shows us how the behavior of a melting glacier in the Antarctic doesn’t act like a melting ice cube, and why that matters.

Navigate to High purpose computing for natural disaster reduction

Oklahoma's rise in quakes linked to manmade causes

Mark Zoback speaks to 60 Minutes about the high incidence of earthquakes in Oklahoma, where oil and gas production is injecting vast amounts of wastewater into the earth.

Navigate to Oklahoma's rise in quakes linked to manmade causes
maillinkedindouble carrot leftarrow leftdouble carrotplayerinstagramclosecarrotquotefacebooktwitterplusminussearchmenuarrowcloudclock