NERC teams up with Professor Iain Stewart to explore the 'Anatomy of an Earthquake'

19 September 2014

NERC has teamed up with BBC presenter Professor Iain Stewart and Shadow Industries, a Bristol-based production company, to create a new short film called 'Anatomy of an Earthquake'.

The film uses graphics to provide an introduction to the physical causes of earthquakes, and what happens when a seismic hazard deep beneath the Earth's surface meets a vulnerable city above. It also asks how we can prepare our mega-cities for a direct seismic strike, as people around the world flock to urban centres.

The film was created with the GCSE and A-Level curricula in mind, and is intended as a new resource to introduce students to the topic.

It was created in partnership with NERC's British Geological Survey and Earthquakes without Frontiers, a programme jointly funded by NERC and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to improve understanding of the physical and social factors that cause vulnerability to earthquakes on continental interiors.

Subtitles (closed captions) are available once the video is playing.

Further information

NERC media office
01793 411568
07785 520929


1. Iain Stewart is a professor of Geosciences Communication at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University. He has presented a number of documentaries for the BBC, including How to Grow a Planet, Volcano Live and Rise of the Continents.

2. The British Geological Survey (BGS) - external link, a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is the nation's principal supplier of objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and information for decision making for governmental, commercial and individual users. The BGS maintains and develops the nation's understanding of its geology to improve policy making, enhance national wealth and reduce risk. It also collaborates with the national and international scientific community in carrying out research in strategic areas, including energy and natural resources, our vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and our general knowledge of the Earth system.

3. Shadow Industries provide specialists in a range of production environments, embracing, television, film, exhibition, and online content. Their projects are often complex, involving many partners, with deliveries required in multiple outputs. The combination of their understanding of emerging and existing technologies and the graphics production pipeline allow them to manage large-scale projects, on time and on budget. This has led to numerous RTS nominations and awards in recent years.

Press release: 25/14