Development of glacial hazard and risk minimisation protocols in rural environments

Reynolds International Ltd is maintaining access to the results of this important international research project undertaken by the former RGSL glacial hazards team under Prof. John Reynolds’ direction.

RGSL pioneered the development of guidelines for glacial hazard management through a project funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), between 2000 and 2003.

Project aims

  • To increase the understanding of glacial hazards, especially the growth and failure of glacial lakes.
  • To develop improved methods of inventory compilation.
  • To improve field methods of hazard and risk assessment.
  • To develop objective methods of hazard and risk assessment.
  • To review global methods of risk management.
  • To produce best practice guidelines for practitioners and managers.
  • To disseminate the outputs of the project to implementing agencies in affected countries.

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Technical procedures were tested and developed at sites in Nepal and Peru, whilst management issues were investigated with project partners INRENA in Peru. In order to disseminate the outputs of the project to the local problem holders, workshops were organised in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru. Reports and guidelines have been made available to the host country implementing agencies.

For more information, please download the original project summary [pdf].

Download Guidelines for the management of glacial hazards and risks

The original work to develop these Guidelines for the management of glacial hazards and risks was undertaken by Reynolds Geo-Sciences Ltd (RGSL) through a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the benefit of developing countries between 2000 and 2003. This is under the Knowledge and Research (KaR) scheme in grant R7816 Development of Glacial Hazard and Risk Minimisation Protocols in Rural Environments. The guidelines documents have been freely available since then on RGSL’s website. However, in July 2009, all of RGSL’s intellectual property rights were acquired by Reynolds International Ltd (RIL) and the guidelines have been freely available ever since via RIL’s website.

In 2014, it was decided to rebrand the guideline documents ahead of undertaking further technical revisions (which are ongoing) to reflect developments in glacial hazards research since 2003. The edition of the Guidelines for the management of glacial hazards and risks linked below is the 2003 version but simply reissued under the Reynolds International Ltd brand.



"CEGS have known of Reynolds International Ltd, previously Reynolds Geo-Sciences Ltd, since the mid-1990s and have utilised their services over the years for specific surveying in the former underground coal and iron ore fields of West Cumbria. As a lead consultant, we have used Reynolds International to successfully locate and define both the underground workings and the mine entries that pose a hazard to the built environment, especially shafts in the iron ore workings. Additionally, we have also enrolled on the CPD training courses that are organised by Professor John Reynolds and these provide an invaluable update to our professional skills. We will continue to use Reynolds International as our preferred specialist Geophysical consultancy because of the consistent high professional standards that are applied to every project."

Dennis R. E. Dickins, CEGS, Cumbria

"The British Embassy, Bucharest, has been working with Professor John Reynolds, of Reynolds International Ltd, since 2008 in order to ensure that the Embassy’s earthquake and emergency planning is up to date; and that all staff, dependents and the British community, for which the Embassy has a responsibility, are briefed on the causes, the preparations and the relevant actions in the event of an earthquake. Professors Reynolds’s knowledge, advice and guidance has been invaluable in ensuring that the embassy’s plan is as up to date and in an as workable format as possible. His knowledge is second to none and his guidance is clear concise and in an understandable format."

B A Davidson – HM Consul, Head of Corporate Services, Bucharest, Romania

"The earthquake preparedness training course provided by Professor John M. Reynolds for BAT Romania’ employees during 3 days in February this year was a well designed and tailored course given the high seismic hazard area where Romania is located. The main aim of the course was to provide our employees with necessary information to help them to reduce their own vulnerability at work, in their out-of-work activities and in their family lives. I was very pleased with the results of the training and, most importantly, I have received very positive feedback from participants. I recommend this course for other commercial organizations in Romania or abroad."

Eugen Stan, Business Security Manager