Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

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Combined list of the recent articles of the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences and the recent discussion forum Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussions
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Deriving slope movements for an imminent landslide along the Jinsha river

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 16:34
Deriving slope movements for an imminent landslide along the Jinsha river
Wentao Yang, Lianyou Liu, and Peijun Shi
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-137,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
We analyzed deformation of a moving slope along the Jinsha River from November 2015 to November 2019. The slope is 80 km downstream the famous Baige landslide, which caused two megafloods to downstream communities. This slope was relatively stable for the first three years (2015–2018) but moved significantly in the last year (2018–2019). The deformation is linked to seasonal precipitation. If this slope continues to slide down, it may have similar impacts as the Baige landslide.

The contribution of air temperature and ozone to mortality rates during hot weather episodes in eight German cities during the years 2000 and 2017

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 16:34
The contribution of air temperature and ozone to mortality rates during hot weather episodes in eight German cities during the years 2000 and 2017
Alexander Krug, Daniel Fenner, Hans-Guido Mücke, and Dieter Scherer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-91,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
This study investigates hot weather episodes in eight German cities which are statistically associated with increased mortality. Besides air temperature ozone concentrations partly explain these mortality rates. The strength of the respective contributions of the two stressors varies across the cities. Results highlight that during hot weather episodes, not only high air temperature affects urban populations; concurrently high ozone concentrations also play an important role for public health.

Forecasting dam height and stability of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 19:09
Forecasting dam height and stability of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway
Thierry Oppikofer, Reginald L. Hermanns, Vegard U. Jakobsen, Martina Böhme, Pierrick Nicolet, and Ivanna Penna
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-135,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
Damming of rivers is an important secondary effect of landslides due to upstream flooding and possible outburst floods in case of dam failure. For preliminary regional hazard and risk assessment of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway, we developed empirical relationships to assess the height and stability of landslide dams based on an inventory of 69 dams formed by rock slope failures in southwestern Norway and published landslide dam inventories from other parts of the World.

Probabilistic characterisation of coastal storm-induced risks using Bayesian Networks

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 16:39
Probabilistic characterisation of coastal storm-induced risks using Bayesian Networks
Marc Sanuy and Jose A. Jiménez
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-99,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Coastal areas are often affected by inundation and erosion storm-induced risks. Detailed local risk assessments usually propagate a source (storm) through a pathway (coastal morphology) to characterise hazards (i.e. erosion and inundation) at the receptors and assess corresponding consequences. A probabilistic estimation of hazards based on the coastal response requires assessing large amounts of source characteristics. In addition, the coast is a dynamic environment, and factors such as climate change projections or existing background erosion trends require performing risk analyses under different scenarios. This work applies Bayesian Networks (BNs) following the source-pathway-receptor-consequences scheme aiming to perform a probabilistic risk characterisation at the Tordera Delta (NE Spain). The BNs allow an efficient assessment of results from a large number of storms (179) and their simulated consequences at the receptor scale (~ 4000 receptors). Presented results highlight the storm characteristics with higher probabilities to induce given risk levels for inundation and erosion, and how these are expected to change under given scenarios of shoreline retreat due to background erosion. The BNs also output probabilistic distributions of the different risk levels conditioned to given distances to the beach inner limit, allowing for the definition of probabilistic setbacks.

Erosion after an extreme storm event in an arid fluvial system of the southern Atacama Desert: an assessment of the magnitude, return time, and conditioning factors of erosion and debris flow generation

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 16:34
Erosion after an extreme storm event in an arid fluvial system of the southern Atacama Desert: an assessment of the magnitude, return time, and conditioning factors of erosion and debris flow generation
Germán Aguilar, Albert Cabré, Victor Fredes, and Bruno Villela
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1247–1265, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1247-2020, 2020
We have calculated erosion caused by an extreme storm in the Atacama Desert. Erosion distribution depends on the ability of catchments to store sediments in stream networks between storms and generate debris flows during the storm. The order of magnitude of erosion is the same as the erosion rates calculated over the long term, so these storms have a relevant influence on the evolution of these arid fluvial systems.

Extreme wave analysis based on atmospheric pattern classification: an application along the Italian coast

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 16:34
Extreme wave analysis based on atmospheric pattern classification: an application along the Italian coast
Francesco De Leo, Sebastián Solari, and Giovanni Besio
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1233–1246, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1233-2020, 2020

This paper provides a methodology for classifying samples of significant wave-height peaks in homogeneous subsets in terms of the atmospheric circulation patterns behind the observed extreme wave conditions. Then, a methodology is given for the computation of the overall extreme value distribution by starting from the distributions fitted to each single subset. To this end, the k-means clustering technique is used to classify the shape of the wind fields that occurred simultaneously to and prior to the occurrences of the extreme wave events. This results in a small number of characteristic circulation patterns related to as many subsets of extreme wave values. After fitting an extreme value distribution to each subset, bootstrapping is used to reconstruct the omni-circulation pattern's extreme value distribution.

The methodology is applied to several locations along the Italian buoy network, and it is concluded from the obtained results that it yields a two-fold advantage: first, it is capable of identifying clearly differentiated subsets driven by homogeneous circulation patterns; second, it allows one to estimate high-return-period quantiles consistent with those resulting from the usual extreme value analysis. In particular, the circulation patterns highlighted are analyzed in the context of the Mediterranean Sea's atmospheric climatology and are shown to be due to well-known cyclonic systems typically crossing the Mediterranean basin.

Effect of the Slope Angle and Its Classification on Landslide

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 16:39
Effect of the Slope Angle and Its Classification on Landslide
Seda Çellek
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-87,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 2 comments)
In this study, the slope parameter used in the preparation of landslide susceptibility maps has been studied in detail. With the extensive literature research, it was determined how the researchers used the parameter and the its class ranges. Class ranges in selected areas of Turkey was determined to compare with the literature. Thus a highly preferred parameter has been studied in detail.

A Novel Approach to Assessing Nuisance Risk from Seismicity Induced by UK Shale Gas Development, with Implications for Future Policy Design

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 16:39
A Novel Approach to Assessing Nuisance Risk from Seismicity Induced by UK Shale Gas Development, with Implications for Future Policy Design
Gemma Cremen and Maximilian J. Werner
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-95,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

We propose a novel framework for assessing the risk associated with seismicity induced from hydraulic fracturing, which has been a notable source of recent public concern. The framework combines statistical forecast models for injection-induced seismicity, ground motion prediction equations, and exposure models for affected areas, to quantitatively link the volume of fluid injected during operations with the potential for nuisance felt ground motions. Such (relatively small) motions are expected to be more aligned with the public tolerance threshold for induced seismicity than larger ground shaking that could cause structural damage. This proactive type of framework, which facilitates control of the injection volume ahead of time for risk mitigation, has significant advantages over reactive-type magnitude and ground motion-based systems typically used for induced seismicity management. The framework is applied to the region surrounding the Preston New Road shale gas site in North West England. A notable finding is that the calculations are particularly sensitive to assumptions of the seismicity forecast model used, i.e. whether it limits the cumulative seismic moment released for a given volume or assumes seismicity is consistent with the Gutenberg–Richter distribution for tectonic events. Finally, we discuss how the framework can be used to inform relevant policy.

Modeling of E. coli distribution for hazard assessment of bathing waters affected by combined sewer overflows

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 16:39
Modeling of E. coli distribution for hazard assessment of bathing waters affected by combined sewer overflows
Luca Locatelli, Beniamino Russo, Alejandro Acero Oliete, Juan Carlos Sánchez Catalán, Eduardo Martínez-Gomariz, and Montse Martínez
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1219–1232, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1219-2020, 2020
Bathing water quality at public beaches is often compromised by the presence of urban sewer systems that usually discharge, mostly during rainfalls, untreated sewer water into lakes, rivers or seas. In this study we analyzed and quantified the impact of sewer discharges into the sea of a large Spanish city. This study provides a useful idea for local water managers and for people bathing in these areas about how long and how much an urban sewer system can affect the seawater quality.

A nonstationary analysis for investigating the multiscale variability of extreme surges: case of the English Channel coasts

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 16:48
A nonstationary analysis for investigating the multiscale variability of extreme surges: case of the English Channel coasts
Imen Turki, Lisa Baulon, Nicolas Massei, Benoit Laignel, Stéphane Costa, Matthieu Fournier, and Olivier Maquaire
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-101,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
We examine the variability of storm surges along the English Channel coasts and their connection with the global atmospheric circulation at the interannual and the interdecadal timescales using hybrid approaches combining the wavelet techniques and the probabilistic GEV models. Our hypothesis is that the physical mechanisms of the atmospheric circulation change according to the timescales and their connection with the local variability improves the prediction of the extreme surges.

Analysis of properties of the 19 February 2018 volcanic eruption of Mount Sinabung in S5P/TROPOMI and Himawari-8 satellite data

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 16:39
Analysis of properties of the 19 February 2018 volcanic eruption of Mount Sinabung in S5P/TROPOMI and Himawari-8 satellite data
Adrianus de Laat, Margarita Vazquez-Navarro, Nicolas Theys, and Piet Stammes
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1203–1217, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1203-2020, 2020
TROPOMI satellite measurements can accurately determine the height of thick volcanic ash clouds from a short-lived volcanic eruption of the Sinabung volcano in Indonesia. Standard geostationary satellite detection of volcanic ash was limited due to the presence of water and ice in the upper parts of volcanic ash clouds, a known issue. The TROPOMI satellite measurements do not suffer from this limitation, hence providing information where standard geostationary volcanic ash detection is limited.

Improving early warning of drought-driven food insecurity in southern Africa using operational hydrological monitoring and forecasting products

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 16:48
Improving early warning of drought-driven food insecurity in southern Africa using operational hydrological monitoring and forecasting products
Shraddhanand Shukla, Kristi R. Arsenault, Abheera Hazra, Christa Peters-Lidard, Randal D. Koster, Frank Davenport, Tamuka Magadzire, Chris Funk, Sujay Kumar, Amy McNally, Augusto Getirana, Greg Husak, Ben Zaitchik, Jim Verdin, Faka Dieudonne Nsadisa, and Inbal Becker-Reshef
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1187–1201, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1187-2020, 2020
The region of southern Africa is prone to climate-driven food insecurity events, as demonstrated by the major drought event in 2015–2016. This study demonstrates that recently developed NASA Hydrological Forecasting and Analysis System-based root-zone soil moisture monitoring and forecasting products are well correlated with interannual regional crop yield, can identify below-normal crop yield events and provide skillful crop yield forecasts, and hence support early warning of food insecurity.

Invited perspectives: How machine learning will change flood risk and impact assessment

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 18:32
Invited perspectives: How machine learning will change flood risk and impact assessment
Dennis Wagenaar, Alex Curran, Mariano Balbi, Alok Bhardwaj, Robert Soden, Emir Hartato, Gizem Mestav Sarica, Laddaporn Ruangpan, Giuseppe Molinario, and David Lallemant
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1149–1161, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1149-2020, 2020
This invited perspective paper addresses how machine learning may change flood risk and impact assessments. It goes through different modelling components and provides an analysis of how current assessments are done without machine learning, current applications of machine learning and potential future improvements. It is based on a 2-week-long intensive collaboration among experts from around the world during the Understanding Risk Field lab on urban flooding in June 2019.

Atmospheric Conditions Leading to an Exceptional Fatal Flash Flood in the Negev Desert, Israel

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 18:32
Atmospheric Conditions Leading to an Exceptional Fatal Flash Flood in the Negev Desert, Israel
Uri Dayan, Itamar M. Lensky, and Baruch Ziv
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-94,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
An intense rainstorm affected the Levant in April 2018 producing a heavy flood that took the lives of ten people. The timing was the end of the rainy season when rain is relatively rare. The study inquires what made this storm the most severe in the region during the spring in the latest 3 decades. We found it as the outcome of a deep low-level quai-stationary cyclone and low upper-level temperatures. Several moisture sources, including tropical, contributed also to the intensity of the storm.

HazMapper: A global open-source natural hazard mapping application in Google Earth Engine

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 18:32
HazMapper: A global open-source natural hazard mapping application in Google Earth Engine
Corey M. Scheip and Karl W. Wegmann
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-108,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
For many decades, natural disasters have been monitored by trained analysts using multiple satellite images to observe landscape change. This approach is incredibly useful, but our new tool, HazMapper, allows researchers and the scientific-curious public a web-accessible cloud-based tool to perform similar analysis. We intend for the tool to be used both in scientific research and to provide rapid response to global natural disasters like landslides, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions.

Monitoring of the reconstruction process in a high mountainous area affected by a major earthquake and subsequent hazards

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 16:48
Monitoring of the reconstruction process in a high mountainous area affected by a major earthquake and subsequent hazards
Chenxiao Tang, Xinlei Liu, Yinghua Cai, Cees Van Westen, Yu Yang, Hai Tang, Chengzhang Yang, and Chuan Tang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1163–1186, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1163-2020, 2020
Recovering from major earthquakes is a challenge due to a destablized environment. Over 11 years, we monitored a region hit by the Wenchuan earthquake, finding the loss caused by postseismic hazards was more than that caused by the earthquake. The main reason was a rush in reconstruction without proper hazard and risk assessment. It was concluded that postseismic recovery should consider not only spatial but also temporal dynamics of hazards as well as possible interaction among hazards.

Evaluation of Global Fire Weather Database reanalysis and short-term forecast products

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 18:32
Evaluation of Global Fire Weather Database reanalysis and short-term forecast products
Robert D. Field
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1123–1147, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1123-2020, 2020
This paper compares fire weather indices calculated from the NASA MERRA-2 reanlaysis to those calculated from a global network of weather stations, finding that, globally, biases in reanalysis fire weather are influenced firstly by temperature and relative humidity and, in certain regions, by precipitation biases. Fire weather forecasts using short-term NASA GEOS-5 weather forecasts are skillful 2 d ahead of time. This skill decreases more quickly with longer lead times at high latitudes.

Are Kenya Meteorological Department heavy rainfall advisories useful for forecast-based early action and early preparedness?

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 18:32
Are Kenya Meteorological Department heavy rainfall advisories useful for forecast-based early action and early preparedness?
David MacLeod, Mary Kilavi, Emmah Mwangi, Maurine Ambani, Joanne Robbins, Richard Graham, Pedram Rowhani, and Martin C. Todd
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-122,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
Forecasts of natural hazards save lives. But the accuracy of forecasts must be evaluated before use. Here we evaluate Heavy Rainfall Advisories over Kenya. We assess their ability to anticipate heavy rainfall, and show how well they warned of recent floods which had significant impacts. We find that although they effectively warn of heavy rainfall and flooding, issues such as a lack of spatial detail limit their utility for systematic approaches to preparedness.

Data limitations and potential of hourly and daily rainfall thresholds for shallow landslides

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 17:06
Data limitations and potential of hourly and daily rainfall thresholds for shallow landslides
Elena Leonarduzzi and Peter Molnar
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-125,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
Landslides are a natural hazard that affects alpine regions. Here we focus on rainfall induced shallow landslides and one of the most widely approaches used for their predictions, rainfall thresholds. We design several comparisons utilizing a landslide database and rainfall records in Switzerland. We find that using daily rather than hourly rainfall might be a better option in some circumstances, and mean annual precipitation and antecedent wetness can improve predictions at the regional scale.

Exploring the potential relationship between the occurrence of landslides and debris flows: A new approach

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 17:06
Exploring the potential relationship between the occurrence of landslides and debris flows: A new approach
Zhu Liang, Changming Wang, and Kaleem Ullah Jan Khan
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-127,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 4 comments)
This article explored the potential relationship between two geological hazards (landslides and debris flows) in a new way.The superposition and combination of different forms of the susceptibility zoning map of the two disasters can clearly and concisely reflect the relationship between the two, which provided a basis for the further study of the disaster chain and a more valuable reference for the local government personnel.

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