The Land Rover Defender 110 – known as one of the most effective and hardy 4x4s in the world – was handed over by the manufacturer to support the journey across 15,000 miles to some of the world’s worst countries affected by fault lines.
Earthquake hotspots such as Iceland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Iran will all be visited by the team over 12 weeks as they discover the challenges facing people who have to cope with as many as 78 earthquakes a day.
The Land Rover was chosen, according to Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), because it was the ideal vehicle to ‘go beyond their normal limits and boundaries’.
She added, "This project, made possible through our 30 year partnership with Land Rover, shows the power of geography and its impact on people, places and environments."
The distinctive box-like Defender was first introduced in 1947, and the cavernous interior and unrivalled off-road ability made it a firm favourite with British buyers.
The off-road ability will be tested to the limit in what Tamsin Davies, one of the explorers taking part in the trip, described as ‘harsh geographical conditions on a daily basis’.
After taking delivery of the Land Rover Defender 110, Davis said: "It’s taken months of preparation to get to this stage, and we are looking forward to getting started."
Land Rover, which also presented the three-strong team with £10,000, will be offsetting the carbon emissions from the journey via programmes in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The British manufacturer recently supplied a similar vehicle to a group of scientists who travelled around the Atlantic Ocean on the one metre contour line – a line representing where the ocean will have risen to in 100 years.