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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Risk assessment of sea ice disasters on fixed jacket platforms in Liaodong Bay

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 17:06
Risk assessment of sea ice disasters on fixed jacket platforms in Liaodong Bay
Ning Xu, Shuai Yuan, Xueqin Liu, Yuxian Ma, Wenqi Shi, and Dayong Zhang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1107–1121, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1107-2020, 2020
Sea ice disasters seriously threaten the safety of oil platforms in the Bohai Sea. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out risk assessments of sea ice disasters on oil platforms in the Bohai Sea. The analysis results showed that efficient sea ice prevention strategies could largely mitigate the sea-ice-induced vibration-related risks to jacket platforms. The sea ice risk assessment method can be applied in the design, operation, and management of other engineering structures.

Satellite hydrology observations as operational indicators of forecasted fire danger across the contiguous United States

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 17:06
Satellite hydrology observations as operational indicators of forecasted fire danger across the contiguous United States
Alireza Farahmand, E. Natasha Stavros, John T. Reager, Ali Behrangi, James T. Randerson, and Brad Quayle
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1097–1106, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1097-2020, 2020
Wildfires result in billions of dollars of losses each year. Most wildfire predictions have a 10 d lead-time. This study introduces a framework for a 1-month lead-time prediction of wildfires based on vapor pressure deficit and surface soil moisture in the US. The results show that the model can successfully predict burned area with relatively small margins of error. This is especially important for operational wildfire management such as national resource allocation.

Non-stationary analysis of water level extremes in Latvian waters, Baltic Sea, during 1961–2018

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 13:51
Non-stationary analysis of water level extremes in Latvian waters, Baltic Sea, during 1961–2018
Nadezhda Kudryavtseva, Tarmo Soomere, and Rain Männikus
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-100,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
The paper demonstrates a finding of a very sudden change in the nature of water level extremes in the Gulf of Riga. The shape of the distribution is variable with time, it abruptly changed for several years and then suddenly got restored. If similar sudden changes happen in other places in the world, then not taking into account the non-stationarity can lead to a significant underestimation of the future risks potentially caused by the water level extreme events.

Measuring the seismic risk along the Nazca-Southamerican subduction front: Shannon entropy and mutability

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 13:51
Measuring the seismic risk along the Nazca-Southamerican subduction front: Shannon entropy and mutability
Eugenio E. Vogel, Felipe G. Brevis, Denisse Pastén, Víctor Muñoz, Rodrigo A. Miranda, and Abraham C.-L. Chian
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-86,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
Among the subduction fronts in the World the Nazca-South American is one of the most active. We have chosen four zones along this front to do a comparative study on possible different dynamics. Data are public and well tested in the last decades. The methods are original since mutability and Shannon entropy are not always used in this kind of problems and, to our knowledge, this is the first time they are combined. The North of Chile could be the zone with more chances for a large earthquake.

Comparing an insurer's perspective on building damages with modelled damages from pan-European winter windstorm event sets: a case study from Zurich, Switzerland

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 13:51
Comparing an insurer's perspective on building damages with modelled damages from pan-European winter windstorm event sets: a case study from Zurich, Switzerland
Christoph Welker, Thomas Röösli, and David N. Bresch
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-115,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
How representative are local building insurers' claims to assess winter windstorm risk? In our case study of Zurich (CH), we use a risk model for windstorm building damages and compare three different inputs: insurance claims, historical and probabilistic windstorm datasets. We find that long-term risk is more robustly assessed based on windstorm datasets than on claims data only. Our open-access method allows European building insurers to complement their risk assessment with modelling results.

Does the AO index have predictive power regarding extreme cold temperatures in Europe?

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 19:05
Does the AO index have predictive power regarding extreme cold temperatures in Europe?
Tamás Bódai and Torben Schmith
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-117,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
A lot of people work outdoors year-round and their work safety is of basic concern. For example, in shipping route planning, it is very important to be able to know well in advance how long time crew can stay on deck to carry out their task, which depends on the temperature. We examine one element of a forecast system with respect to the choice of the quantity that it relies on. The forecast of cold extremes can be much more precise when relying on a local quantity rather than a nonlocal one.

Assessment of probability distributions and minimum storage draft-rate analysis in the equatorial region

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 18:28
Assessment of probability distributions and minimum storage draft-rate analysis in the equatorial region
Hasrul Hazman Hasan, Siti Fatin Mohd Razali, Nur Shazwani Muhammad, Zawawi Samba Mohamed, and Firdaus Mohamad Hamzah
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-105,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
This study concentrates on three significant issues. First, to find the best-fit models for determining the frequency analysis of low flow over return periods. Second, to evaluate the threshold level value for drought analysis, and finally, to estimate the storage-draft rate required at the recurrence interval for the streamflow station in Selangor. The results are useful for developing measures to maintain flow variability and can be used to develop policies for risk management.

Review article: Natural hazard risk assessments at the global scale

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 13:51
Review article: Natural hazard risk assessments at the global scale
Philip J. Ward, Veit Blauhut, Nadia Bloemendaal, James E. Daniell, Marleen C. de Ruiter, Melanie J. Duncan, Robert Emberson, Susanna F. Jenkins, Dalia Kirschbaum, Michael Kunz, Susanna Mohr, Sanne Muis, Graeme A. Riddell, Andreas Schäfer, Thomas Stanley, Ted I. E. Veldkamp, and Hessel C. Winsemius
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1069–1096, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1069-2020, 2020
We review the scientific literature on natural hazard risk assessments at the global scale. In doing so, we examine similarities and differences between the approaches taken across the different hazards and identify potential ways in which different hazard communities can learn from each other. Finally, we discuss opportunities for learning from methods and approaches being developed and applied to assess natural hazard risks at more continental or regional scales.

Responses to severe weather warnings and affective decision-making

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 05:52
Responses to severe weather warnings and affective decision-making
Philippe Weyrich, Anna Scolobig, Florian Walther, and Anthony Patt
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-110,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Informing people of an impending hazard can lead them to adopt behavior to mitigate the harm. In this study we examine whether giving more information, and giving it earlier, leads to a greater behavioral response. Our results, which are contextually dependent, show that providing more information has no effect on behavior, and that longer lead times lead to less behavioral change. These results conflict with those from previous studies. These previous studies differed from ours in terms of the research methods: while past studies examined people's anticipated responses to hypothetical warnings, we conducted a field experiment to observe people's responses to actual warnings of real hazards. Theory from cognitive science suggests that this difference matters. In situations of high stress people may make decisions using a faster decision pathway that is rather emotion-driven, while in less stressful situations they are more likely to base their decisions on information. The difference between actual and hypothetical warnings would capture this mismatch in stress levels, and account for the divergent findings. At the same time, the cognitive theory has been hard to test in the field, because of the ethical challenge of submitting people to actually dangerous conditions. Therefore, our results are not only relevant for the design of warning information, but also provide important empirical support for the theory of different decision-making pathways.

A New View on Risk of Typhoon Occurrence in the Western North Pacific

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 05:52
A New View on Risk of Typhoon Occurrence in the Western North Pacific
Kelvin S. Ng and Gregor C. Leckebusch
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-74,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
Of severe tropical cyclones (TCs) lead to devastating losses. Nevertheless, to construct a robust risk assessment is difficult based on historical TC records only. This paper addresses this issue by introducing a computationally simple approach, using operational ensemble forecasts to build a physically consistent high-impact TC event set with data equivalent to more than 10 000 years of TC events. This method will be of high relevance for insurance and disaster risk reduction applications.

Rainfall and rockfalls in the Canary Islands: assessing a seasonal link

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 19:00
Rainfall and rockfalls in the Canary Islands: assessing a seasonal link
Massimo Melillo, Stefano Luigi Gariano, Silvia Peruccacci, Roberto Sarro, Rosa Marìa Mateos, and Maria Teresa Brunetti
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-111,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
In Canary Islands, a link between rainfall and rockfall occurrence is found for most of the year, except for the warm season. Empirical rainfall thresholds for rockfalls are first proposed for Gran Canaria and Tenerife and the dependence of the thresholds on the mean annual rainfall is discussed. The use of thresholds in early warning system might contribute to mitigate the rockfall hazard in the archipelago and reduce the associated risk.

A spatial decision support system for enhancing resilience to floods: bridging resilience modelling and geovisualization techniques

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 05:52
A spatial decision support system for enhancing resilience to floods: bridging resilience modelling and geovisualization techniques
Charlotte Heinzlef, Vincent Becue, and Damien Serre
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1049–1068, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1049-2020, 2020
The objective of this article is to propose a spatial decision support tool based on geovisualization techniques and a resilience assessment method for flood risk management. The methodology proposed integrates decision-making by identifying characteristics of urban resilience to facilitate its understanding with a visual tool. Results demonstrate a way to operationalize the concept of resilience at a local scale, integrating local stakeholders into a participative process.

Erosion risk assessment and identification of susceptibility lands using the ICONA model and RS and GIS techniques

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 18:17
Erosion risk assessment and identification of susceptibility lands using the ICONA model and RS and GIS techniques
Hossein Esmaeili Gholzom, Hassan Ahmadi, Abolfazl Moeini, and Baharak Motamed Vaziri
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-85,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Soil erosion in Iran due to the destruction of natural resources has intensified in recent years and land use changes have played a significant role in this process. On the other hand, the lack of data in most watersheds to evaluate erosion and sedimentation for finding quick and timely solutions for watershed management has made the use of models inevitable. The purpose of this study was to use the ICONA model and RS and GIS techniques to assess the risk of erosion and to identify areas sensitive to water erosion in the kasilian watershed in northern Iran. The results of this study showed that with very high slope class percentage (20 %–35 %) and sensitivity of shemshak formation to weathering which covers a large part of the watershed, soil erodibility class is high. But there is adequate land cover along with high percentage of natural forest cover, it has mitigated erosion. For this reason, the kasilian watershed is generally classified as low to moderate of erosion risk. Based on the erosion risk map, results show that the moderate class had the highest percentage of erosion risk (26.26 %) at the watershed. On the other hand, the low erosion risk class comprises a significant portion (25.44 %) of the catchment area. Also, 10.92 % of the catchment area contains a very high erosion risk class, with most of it in rangeland and Rock outcrops second. However, the erodibility of the kasilian watershed is currently controlled by appropriate land cover, but the potential susceptibility to erosion is high. If land cover is redused due to inadequate land management, the risk of erosion is easily increased.

Assimilation of Himawari-8 Imager Radiance Data with the WRF-3DVAR system for the prediction of Typhoon Soulder

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 18:17
Assimilation of Himawari-8 Imager Radiance Data with the WRF-3DVAR system for the prediction of Typhoon Soulder
Dongmei Xu, Aiqing Shu, and Zhankui Zhang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-120,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Himawari-8 is a new generation geostationary meteorological satellite launched by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). It carries the Advanced Himawari imager (AHI) onboard, which can continuously monitor high-impact weather events with high frequency space and time. The assimilation of AHI was implemented with the framework of the mesoscale numerical model WRF and its three-dimensional variational assimilation system (3DVAR) for the analysis and prediction of typhoon Soudelor in the Pacific Typhoon season in 2015. The effective assimilation of AHI Imager data in tropical cyclone with rapid intensify development has been realized. The results show that after assimilating the AHI imager data under clear sky conditions, the typhoon position in the background field in the model is effectively corrected compared with the control experiment without AHI data. It is found that assimilation of AHI imager data is able to improve the analyses of the water vapor and wind in typhoon inner-core region. The analyses and forecast of the typhoon minimum sea level pressure, the maximum near-surface wind speed, and the typhoon track are further improved.

Global-scale benefit–cost analysis of coastal flood adaptation to different flood risk drivers using structural measures

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 18:17
Global-scale benefit–cost analysis of coastal flood adaptation to different flood risk drivers using structural measures
Timothy Tiggeloven, Hans de Moel, Hessel C. Winsemius, Dirk Eilander, Gilles Erkens, Eskedar Gebremedhin, Andres Diaz Loaiza, Samantha Kuzma, Tianyi Luo, Charles Iceland, Arno Bouwman, Jolien van Huijstee, Willem Ligtvoet, and Philip J. Ward
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1025–1044, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1025-2020, 2020
We present a framework to evaluate the benefits and costs of coastal adaptation through dikes to reduce future flood risk. If no adaptation takes place, we find that global coastal flood risk increases 150-fold by 2080, with sea-level rise contributing the most. Moreover, 15 countries account for 90 % of this increase; that adaptation shows high potential to cost-effectively reduce flood risk. The results will be integrated into the Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer web tool.

Brief communication: simple-INSYDE, development of a new tool for flood damage evaluation from an existing synthetic model

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 18:17
Brief communication: simple-INSYDE, development of a new tool for flood damage evaluation from an existing synthetic model
Marta Galliani, Daniela Molinari, and Francesco Ballio
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-76,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)
INSYDE is a multi-variable, synthetic model for flood damage assessment to dwellings. The analysis and use of this model highlighted some weaknesses, linked to its complexity, that can undermine its usability and correct implementation. This study proposes a simplified version of INSYDE which maintains its multi-variable and synthetic nature, but has simpler mathematical formulations permitting an easier use and a direct analysis of the relation between damage and its explanatory variables.

Preface: Advances in flood risk assessment and management

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 17:10
Preface: Advances in flood risk assessment and management
Cristina Prieto, Dhruvesh Patel, and Dawei Han
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1045–1048, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1045-2020, 2020

Floods are among Earth's most common and most destructive natural hazards, affecting human lives and properties directly and indirectly around the world. The frequency and magnitude of extreme flooding have been increasing in many parts of the world in recent decades (see, e.g. Berghuijs et al., 2017; Blöschl et al., 2019a; Marijnissen et al., 2019), hampering human well-being and economic growth in both developed and developing countries. Flood risk management carries out the flood risk assessment and uses appropriate resources (human, finance, science and technology, and nature) to control the flood risk (Han, 2011), which is an urgent challenge for the scientific and engineering communities to address.

In a similar way to “Twenty-three unsolved problems in hydrology” (Blöschl et al., 2019b), despite decades of research in this field, there are still many unsolved problems in floods as well. This special issue “Flood Risk Assessment and Management” is an outcome of the session “Flood Risk Assessment and Management” in the Naturals Hazards Division at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly held in Vienna, Austria. The session series has been organized annually at EGU since 2018. This special issue presents a wide range of in-depth research studies based on flood modelling (including hydrological modelling and hydrodynamic modelling), hazard mapping, flood damage and risk assessment as well as studies that focus on flood relief prioritization, mitigation strategies and flood policies. Extraordinary floods and debris flows are also included due to dam and dike breaks and extreme storms over gullies in mountain areas. The nine articles in this special issue are broadly introduced in the following three categories.

Multi-temporal landslide activity investigation by spaceborne SAR interferometry: Polish Carpathians case study

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 17:10
Multi-temporal landslide activity investigation by spaceborne SAR interferometry: Polish Carpathians case study
Kamila Pawluszek-Filipiak, Mahdi Motagh, and Andrzej Borkowski
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-112,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

The main goal of this research is the activity state verification of existing landslide inventory maps using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI). The study was conducted in Małopolskie municipality, a rural setting with a sparse urbanization in Polish Flysch Carpathians. PSI have been applied using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from ALOS PALSAR, and Sentinel 1A/B from different acquisition geometry (ascending and descending orbit) to increase PS coverage and overcome geometric effects due to layover and shadowing. The Line-Of-Sight PSI measurements were projected to the steepest slope, which allows to homogenize the results from diverse acquisition modes and to compare displacement velocities with different slope orientations. Additionally, landslide intensity (motion rate) and expected damages maps were generated and verified during filed investigations. High correlation between PSI results and in-situ damage observations has been confirmed. Activity state and landslide-related expected damage map have been confirmed for 43 out of a total of 50 landslides investigated in the field. The short temporal baseline provided by Sentinel satellite 1A/B data allows increasing of the PS density significantly. The study substantiates usefulness of SAR based landslide activity monitoring for land use and land development, even in rural areas.

Direct flood risk assessment of the European road network: an object-based approach

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 17:10
Direct flood risk assessment of the European road network: an object-based approach
Kees C. H. van Ginkel, Francesco Dottori, Lorenzo Alfieri, Luc Feyen, and Elco E. Koks
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-104,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 0 comments)

River floods pose a significant threat to road transport infrastructure in Europe. This study presents a high-resolution object-based continental-scale assessment of direct flood risk of the European road network for the present climate, using high-resolution exposure data from OpenStreetMap. A new set of road-specific damage functions is developed and validated for an observed flood event. We estimate the median annual expected direct damage from river floods to road infrastructure in Europe at 250 million euro per year. A comparison with grid-based approaches suggests that these methods likely overestimate direct flood damage to road infrastructure and might allocate infrastructural damage to the wrong land use classes. A first validation shows that our object-based method computes realistic damage estimates, paving the way for targeted risk adaptation strategies.

Flood Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Traditional Buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 17:10
Flood Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Traditional Buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dina D'Ayala, Kai Wang, Yuan Yan, Helen Smith, Ashleigh Massam, Valeriya Filipova, and Joy Jacqueline Pereira
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-96,2020
Preprint under review for NHESS (discussion: open, 1 comment)
A localised empirical model that consists multi-level parameters has been built to evaluate the flood vulnerability of residential buildings in a heritage community of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A new economic loss model is developed to quantify the flood risk in terms of replacement cost, taking into account both specific vulnerability and a normalised depth-damage ratio function. The findings provide multi-scale flood-resistant strategies for the protection of individual residential buildings.

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