2023-2024 / RISQ2015-1

Natural risks and disasters


48h Th, 4d FW

Number of credits

 Advanced Master in Risk and Disaster Management (Registrations are closed)6 crédits 
 Advanced Master in Risk and Disaster Management in the Anthropocene Era5 crédits 


Alain Dassargues, Benjamin Dewals, Hans-Balder Havenith, Aurelia Hubert, N...


Aurelia Hubert

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

All year long, with partial in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course is composed of five parts:

  • Part 1: Land subsidence and groundwater salinizations (Prof. Alain Dassargues)
  • Part 2: Flood risk (Prof. Benjamin Dewals)
  • Part 3:  (Prof. Hans-Balder Havenith)
  • Part 4:  (Prof. Aurelia Hubert)
  • Part 5:  (Prof. Pierre Ozer)
Part 1 - Introduction to the physical processes leading to land subsidence due to groundwater pumping or drainage, and to groundwater salinization by irrigation practices and by seawater intrusion in coastal zones. Real-world examples are described allowing to point out prevention and remediation measures.

Based on real-world examples, Part 2 of the course provides an introduction to the complex issues of flood risk assessment and management. The course addresses shortly the following topics: types of floods, flood frequency estimation, influence of environmental changes, vulnerability and impacts, structural and non-structural measures for flood risk management, EU Floods Directive.

Part 3: overview on earthquake and landslide hazards and related risk. The commonly applied method of probabilistic seismic hazard assessment will be explained and some exercices will be done in class.

Part 4: 


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:understand the physical processes inducing land subsidence and groundwater salinisations

  • analyse a real case-study with respect to the processes described hereabove
  • understand the main physical processes influencing different types of floods
  • interpret the results of flood frequency analysis
  • identify main the main impacts of floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, karst system
  • suggest relevant measures for flood, karst, volcanic, seismic risk management
  • understand the difference between hazards and risks
  • perception of risks related to rare extreme geo-events with large impact potential

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Part 1 : general notions of physics and earth sciences are required. 
Part 2 of the course relies on fundamentals in physics (mechanics) and probability theory.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is based on theoretical lectures and on discussions with the students about real-world case studies. Since the course focuses more on a deep understanding of the concepts, the student is requested to take an active part in the lessons, during which the teachers foster direct interactions with the audience.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face lectures.

Recommended or required readings

Slides used during the lectures may be downloaded from eCampus.
The teacher recommends the reading of complementary material. All documents are made available on eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

For part 1, a personal report is required about the understanding and analysis of a real case study (if possible, located in the origin country of the student). The report evaluation is done on the basis of the understanding of the processes and on the basis of the personal approach adopted by the student.

For Part 2 of the course, a written exam takes place in January and in September.

For part 3, an oral-written exam will be organized in January.

For part 4, Report, cartographic exercice and oral présentions

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is taught in French, during the first semester.
The schedule and the room should be checked on CELCAT.


Aurelia Ferrari: Aurelia.Ferrari@uliege.be
Benjamin Dewals: B.Dewals@uliege.be
Alain Dassargues: Alain.Dassargues@uliege.be
Hans-Balder Havenith: HB.Havenith@uliege.be
Pierre Ozer: pozer@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online