Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis – geoscientific topics are frequently only noticed by the public when they cause lasting, often catastrophic changes near to or on the Earth’s surface. Because geohazards of this kind can significantly affect or alter our environment, they deserve particular consideration in geoscientific research. They also pose a substantial risk of economic loss. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake (Japan) resulted in a tsunami and consequently the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The Munich Reinsurance Company have estimated the total damage caused at 210 billion dollars for this one event alone. This shows that geohazards can have far-reaching consequences.
Geological structures are the result of geological developments that often lasted many millions of years. Most of the associated changes are barely noticeable or entirely imperceptible to humans. This is due to the speed with which they happen or the great depth at which they take place. However, some geological processes pose a potential risk to infrastructure or even human life that should not be underestimated. Changes connected to geohazards of this type often happen slowly at first, and we frequently have scant knowledge of their location in the subsurface. LIAG addresses the further development and the use of geophysical methods to improve the identification of suspected sites, visualise structures with more precision and record processes better. Current research focuses on the areas of neotectonics and faults and subrosion. On the one hand, the researchers conduct basic research, but on the other hand, the knowledge gained is also intended to support political decision-makers in the form of recommendations for action to prepare for future hazards and to take precautionary measures. In many projects, there is close cooperation with universities, research institutes and local specialised institutions, among others.
Current focus research