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Uncovering the hidden threat of Marine Geohazards in Europe

Today, our society depends on critical coastal and marine infrastructure such as ports, telecommunication cables and renewable energy installations. With increasing human activities conducted in the marine environment and an increasing population living at the coast, society is becoming more exposed and vulnerable to the impacts of marine geohazards. This Policy Brief raises awareness about dormant geological risks in European coastal regions, and makes recommendations for future research and policy. It summarises the main messages and recommendations from the recent EMB Position Paper Nº26 on “Marine Geohazards: Safeguarding Society and the Blue Economy from a Hidden Threat”, published in December 2021.

Marine geological hazards, or geohazards, pose significant threats to society and many Blue Economy sectors (e.g. offshore energy, tourism and fisheries). As coastal human populations and the economic activities conducted in the marine and coastal environments are increasing, society and the economy will be more exposed and vulnerable to marine geohazards. However, awareness and knowledge of these hazards is limited, especially in a European context. This Policy Brief raises awareness about dormant geological risks in European coastal regions, and makes recommendations for future research and policy. It summarises the main messages and recommendations from the recent EMB Position Paper Nº26 on “Marine Geohazards: Safeguarding Society and the Blue Economy from a Hidden Threat”, published in December 2021.

Considering that marine geohazards are unavoidable and will certainly continue to occur in the future, it is crucial to improve and expand our knowledge of their processes, trigger mechanisms and precursors. The Policy Brief points towards relevant actions that would ensure the development of effective risk-mitigation strategies and science-based management practices and policies, which will contribute to protecting coastal populations and economic activities at sea.

See the news item about its launch here, and find out more about our working group on geohazards here.