EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geomojis – a Global Symbology for Communicating Geosciences

Claire Shires, Friederike Spitzl-Dupic, Michaël Grégoire, Dana Martin, and Benjamin van Wyk de Vries
Claire Shires et al.
  • Université Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France (

Communicating geosciences across linguistic and cultural borders is becoming increasingly important in our globalised world, and it is as important to have a globally coherent communication as it is to have global research infrastructure. In the context of geological hazards and the geological environment, we need a clear system that enables specialists and others to communicate effectively with each other. By using symbols and pictograms to represent geohazards, we can communicate these hazards clearly and efficiently. Certain hazard symbols are already in use across the globe, such as those for chemical or environmental hazards. In this project, we focus on the geological environment and geohazards, and much of the work is done within a UNESCO Geoscience Programme project 'Geoheritage for Resilience', using geoheritage sites as sites for communication and testing. The geological pictograms, or ‘geomojis’, bridge the gap between simple symbols and words, crossing language borders by representing concepts that we have identified as particularly important for understanding geohazards and risk. Our geomojis are based on the Global Framework for Geology (see Global and Planetary Change, 2018 -, also introduced during the IUGG centenary at UNESCO. This shows the context where they fit in the Earth system. We invite feedback on the geomojis that we have created, to consolidate geoscience knowledge and create a basic standardised set of symbols for all geological hazards. This standardisation of geohazard symbols could improve communication not only between specialists and non-specialists, but between geologists themselves. The global framework and geomojis will help us to think outside the box of our specialist environment. The geohazard pictograms can be used for geoscience communication in all forms, from hazard and risk publications to signage at geological sites. They can be adapted and modified for the local context and needs, while providing a central, and global, base for comparison. We plan to use the geomojis to accompany a multilingual glossary on geological hazard and risk terminology, a project that we hope will help international geoscience communication.

How to cite: Shires, C., Spitzl-Dupic, F., Grégoire, M., Martin, D., and van Wyk de Vries, B.: Geomojis – a Global Symbology for Communicating Geosciences, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9945,, 2021.


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