Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans
Professor, Geological Engineering
Location: ESC 303
Phone: 519-888-4567 x33232


Stephen Evans is interested in the occurrence and behavior of natural hazards , with a focus on catastrophic landslides, landslide dams, glacial hazards, and tsunamis.

As an expert in hazard assessment and risk analysis of these phenomena, his research has taken him to many countries in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the Americas (including Italy, Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Algeria, the Philippines, Japan, China, Peru, El Salvador, United States and Canada).

Research Interests

  • Engineering Geology: geology in the design and performance of engineering works
  • Geospatial modelling, advanced remote sensing techniques and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Hazard assessment and risk analysis of catastrophic natural hazards, especially catastrophic landslides
  • Urban damage systems and life loss in conflict and natural disasters
  • Threats to Aquatic Ecosystems and their Interaction
  • Geohazards: Risks and Prevention
  • Increasingly Complex Water Challenges
  • Sustainable Water Use and Management
  • Water Security in Mega Cities

Scholarly Research

Professor Evans is interested in the occurrence and behavior of catastrophic landslides, landslide dams, glacial hazards, tsunami and other natural hazards , hazard assessment (including magnitude and frequency), risk analysis, and natural disasters. Investigation of the 2011 Japan tsunami, has also led to the conceptual development of the architecture and behavior of urban damage systems and related life loss. Recent projects have included an analysis of the largest non-volcanic landslide on Earth at Seymareh (Zagros Mountains, Iran), the analysis of urban damage in the 2011 Tohoku tsunami (Japan), the 1962 and 1970 mass flows from Nevados Huascaran (Andes of Peru), the formation, filling, and subsequent partial draining of Lake Gojal (a rockslide-dammed lake on the Hunza River in northern Pakistan), the geometry of urban damage in conflict in the Middle East. catastrophic landslides in the glacier environment of NW North America (including Mount Meager (British Columbia - 2010), Lituya Mountain (Alaska - 2012), and Lamplugh Glacier (Alaska - 2016) - supported by NSERC Discovery Grant and Grant from Canadian Space Agency the analysis of tsunami hazard on Canada's Pacific Coast. catastrophic landslides in China, including an analysis of the gigantic Daguangbao rockslide, triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan Province (with Professor R. Huang, Chengdu) - supported by Open Fund, Chengdu University of Technology urban damage and civilian life loss in conventional missile attacks investigation of the 2016 twin glacier collapses in western Tibet


  • 1983 PhD Geology (Engineering Geology), Department of Geology, University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • 1977 MSc (Eng.) Civil Engineering (Soil Mechanics), Department of Civil Engineering, Imperial College, London
  • 1976 MA Geography, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • 1969 BSc (Hons.) Geography (with Geology subsiidiary), Department of Geography, King's College, London
  • Professional Engineer, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia


  • 2004 Thomas Roy Award, Canadian Geotechnical Society (Engineering Geology Division)
  • 2001 AEG (Association of Engineering Geologists) Publication Award for best paper in Environmental and Engineering Geosciences
  • 1995 Canadian Geotechnical Society Prize for best paper in Canadian Geotechnical Journal


  • Co-edited the volume on Catastrophic Landslides published by the Geological Society of America in 2002 in the series Reviews in Engineering Geology
  • NATO country co-director of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on Massive Rock Slope Failure New Models for Hazard Assessment held in Celano, Italy in June 2002 and lead editor of the book Landslides from Massive Rock Slope Failure published by Springer in the NATO Science Series
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) country co-director of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on The Security of Natural and Artificial Rockslide Dams held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in June 2004 and lead editor of the book Natural and Artificial Rockslide Dams to be published by Springer in the NATO Science Series
  • Editorial Board - Frontiers in Earth Science: Geohazards and Georisks
  • Lead Convenor, NSERC Connect Workshop on Landslides in Canada, Harrison Hot Springs, BC, October 2016.

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Geotechnical Society
  • Geological Society of America
  • American Geophysical Union
  • International Association of Engineering Geology and Environment

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Member, The Water Institute
  • Fellow, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo


  • CIVE 750 - Topics in Geotechnical Engineering
    • Taught in 2022, 2023
  • EARTH 270 - Disasters and Natural Hazards
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
  • EARTH 438 - Engineering Geology
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
  • EARTH 490 - Field Course
    • Taught in 2020
  • EARTH 638 - Advanced Engineering Geology
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Delaney, K.B. and Evans, S.G. 2015. The 2000 Yigong landslide (Tibetan Plateau), rockslide-dammed lake and outburst flood: review, remote sensing analysis, and process modelling. Geomorphology, 246, 377-393.
  • Evans, S.G. and Delaney, K.B. 2015. Catastrophic mass flows in the mountain glacial environment. In: Haeberli, W. and Whiteman, C.A. (eds.). Snow and Ice-Related Hazards, Risks and Disasters, Elsevier, 563-606.
  • Delaney, K.B. and Evans, S.G. 2017. The evolution (2010-2015) and engineering mitigation of a rockslide-dammed lake (Hunza River, Pakistan); characterisation by analytical remote sensing. Engineering Geology, 220, 65-75.
  • Cuervo, V., Burge, L., Beaugrand, H., Hendershot, M., & Evans, S.G. Downstream geomorphic response of the 2014 Mount Polley Tailings Dam Failure, British Columbia. Proceedings, 4th World Landslide Forum, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2017, 9 p.
  • Kaab, A., Leinss, S., Gilbert, A., Bühler, Y., Gascoin, S., Evans, S.G., Bartelt, P., Berthier, E., Brun, F., Chao, W-A., Farinotti, D., Gimbert, F., Guo, W., Huggel, C., Kargel, J.S., Leonard, G., Tian, L., Treichler, D., Yao, T. 2018. Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability. Nature Geoscience.
  • Evans, S.G. and DeGraff, J.V. (Editors) 2002. Catastrophic landslides: effects, occurrences and mechanisms. Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. 15, 412 p.
  • Evans, S.G. Scarascia-Mugnozza, G., Strom, A.L., and Hermanns, R.L. (Editors) 2006. Landslides from massive rock slope failure. NATO Science Series IV, v. 49, Springer, Dordrecht, 689p.
  • Evans, S.G., Hermanns, R.L., Strom, A.L., and Scarascia-Mugnozza, G. (Editors) 2011. Natural and Artificial Rockslide Dams, Lecture Notes in the Earth Sciences v. 133, Springer, Heidelburg, 642p.
  • Please see Stephen G. Evans' Google Scholar profilefor a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.

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