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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS)

Rogue waves, rogue events and extreme wave kinematics in spatio-temporal fields of simulated sea statesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1759-1771, 2013Author(s): A. Sergeeva and A. SlunyaevAn approach to the extensive study of rogue wave occurrence in numerical
simulations is presented. As a result of numerical simulations of the
unidirectional wave evolution, spatio-temporal fields of wave data of the
size 20 min × 10 km are obtained with high
resolution in time and space and are used for statistical analysis with the
focus on extreme waves. Having the exhaustive information on the wave
evolution enables us to capture the detailed picture of individual rogue
waves; to detect intermittent rogue wave events, which last for a
significantly longer time, and hence, to depict the portrait of a rogue wave.
Due to the benefit of having full-wave data, the question of relation between
extreme wave kinematics and extremely high waves is discussed in the
statistical sense. 2013/07/09 - 23:20

Forcing factors of cloud-to-ground lightning over Iberia: regional-scale assessmentsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1745-1758, 2013Author(s): J. A. Santos, M. A. Reis, F. De Pablo, L. Rivas-Soriano, and S. M. LeiteCloud-to-ground lightning in a sector covering the Iberian Peninsula, the
Balearic Islands and nearby seas (36–44° N,
10° W–5° E) is analysed in the period from
2003 to 2009 (7 yr). Two Iberian lightning detection networks, composed
of 18 sensors over Portugal and Spain, are combined for the first time in
the present study. The selected characteristics are cloud-to-ground flashes
(CGFs), first stroke peak current, polarity and multiplicity (number of
strokes in a given flash). This study examines the temporal (on hourly,
monthly and seasonal timescales) and spatial variability of CGFs. The
influence of five forcing factors on lightning (elevation, lifted index,
convective available potential energy and daily minimum and maximum
near-surface air temperatures) over the Iberian sector is also assessed. For
regional-scale assessments, six subsectors with different climatic
conditions were analysed separately. Despite important regional differences,
the strongest lightning activity occurs from late spring to early autumn,
and mostly in the afternoon. Furthermore, CGFs are mainly located over
high-elevation areas in late spring to summer, while they tend to occur over
the sea in autumn. The results suggest that (1) orographically forced
thunderstorms over mountainous areas, mostly from May to September, (2) tropospheric
buoyancy forcing over western-central and northern regions in
summer and over the Mediterranean regions in autumn, and (3) near-surface
thermal contrasts from October to February largely control the location of
lightning in Iberia. There is no evidence of different forcings by polarity.
A clear correspondence between summertime precipitation patterns and CGFs is
also found. 2013/07/05 - 14:11

Complementary methods to plan pedestrian evacuation of the French Riviera's beaches in case of tsunami threat: graph- and multi-agent-based modellingNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1735-1743, 2013Author(s): A. Sahal, F. Leone, and M. PérocheSmall amplitude tsunamis have impacted the French Mediterranean shore
(French Riviera) in the past centuries. Some caused casualties; others only generated
economic losses. While the North Atlantic and Mediterranean tsunami warning
system is being tested and is almost operational, no awareness and
preparedness measure is being implemented at a local scale. Evacuation is to
be considered along the French Riviera, but no plan exists within
communities. We show that various approaches can provide local stakeholders
with evacuation capacities assessments to develop adapted evacuation plans
through the case study of the Cannes–Antibes region. The complementarity
between large- and small-scale approaches is demonstrated with the use of
macro-simulators (graph-based) and micro-simulators (multi-agent-based) to select
shelter points and choose evacuation routes for pedestrians located on the
beach. The first one allows automatically selecting shelter points and
measuring and mapping their accessibility. The second one shows potential
congestion issues during pedestrian evacuations, and provides leads for the
improvement of urban environment. Temporal accessibility to shelters is
compared to potential local and distal tsunami travel times, showing a 40 min
deficit for an adequate crisis management in the first scenario, and
a 30 min surplus for the second one. 2013/07/05 - 14:11

A relative vulnerability estimation of flood disaster using data envelopment analysis in the Dongting Lake region of HunanNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1723-1734, 2013Author(s): C.-H. Li, N. Li, L.-C. Wu, and A.-J. HuThe vulnerability to flood disaster is addressed by a number
of studies. It is of great importance to analyze the vulnerability of
different regions and various periods to enable the government to make
policies for distributing relief funds and help the regions to improve their
capabilities against disasters, yet a recognized paradigm for such studies
seems missing. Vulnerability is defined and evaluated through either physical
or economic–ecological perspectives depending on the field of the researcher
concerned. The vulnerability, however, is the core of both systems as it
entails systematic descriptions of flood severities or disaster management
units. The research mentioned often has a development perspective, and in
this article we decompose the overall flood system into several factors:
disaster driver, disaster environment, disaster bearer, and disaster
intensity, and take the interaction mechanism among all factors as an
indispensable function. The conditions of flood disaster components are
demonstrated with disaster driver risk level, disaster environment stability
level and disaster bearer sensitivity, respectively. The flood system
vulnerability is expressed as vulnerability = f(risk, stability,
sensitivity). Based on the theory, data envelopment analysis method (DEA) is
used to detail the relative vulnerability's spatiotemporal variation of a
flood disaster system and its components in the Dongting Lake region.

The study finds that although a flood disaster system's relative
vulnerability is closely associated with its components' conditions, the
flood system and its components have a different vulnerability level. The
overall vulnerability is not the aggregation of its components'
vulnerability. On a spatial scale, zones central and adjacent to Dongting
Lake and/or river zones are characterized with very high vulnerability. Zones
with low and very low vulnerability are mainly distributed in the periphery
of the Dongting Lake region. On a temporal scale, the occurrence of a
vibrating flood vulnerability trend is observed. A different picture is
displayed with the disaster driver risk level, disaster environment stability
level and disaster bearer sensitivity level.

The flood relative vulnerability estimation method based on DEA is
characteristic of good comparability, which takes the relative efficiency of
disaster system input–output into account, and portrays a very diverse but
consistent picture with varying time steps. Therefore, among different
spatial and time domains, we could compare the disaster situations with what
was reflected by the same disaster. Additionally, the method overcomes the
subjectivity of a comprehensive flood index caused by using an a priori
weighting system, which exists in disaster vulnerability estimation of
current disasters. 2013/07/05 - 14:11

Synoptic climatology of winter intense precipitation events along the Mediterranean coastsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1707-1722, 2013Author(s): M. Reale and P. LionelloThe link between winter (December-January-February) precipitation events at
15 Mediterranean coastal locations and synoptic features (cyclones and
Northern Hemisphere teleconnection patterns) is analyzed. A list of
precipitation events has been produced; q percentile thresholds (Thq)
and corresponding frequency Nq (for q equal to 25, 50, 90 and 98) have
been considered. A negative trend has been detected in total precipitation
and N50 at many locations, while no significant trend in N25,
N90 and N98 has been found. The negative phase of the North
Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the East Atlantic/West Russia pattern (EAWR)
compete for exerting the largest influence on the frequency of the 25th, 50th
and 90th percentiles, with EAWR and NAO exerting their largest influence in
the central and western Mediterranean areas, respectively. All percentiles
show a similar behavior except for the 98th percentile, which shows no
convincing link to any teleconnection pattern. The cyclone tracks that are
associated with precipitation events have been selected using the ERA-40
reanalysis data, and a strong link between intense precipitation and cyclones
is shown for all stations. In general, the probability of detecting a cyclone
within a distance of 20° from each station increases with the
intensity of the precipitation event and decreases with the duration of a dry
period. The origin and track of cyclones producing intense precipitation
differ among different areas. When precipitation occurs in the northwestern
Mediterranean, cyclones are generally either of Atlantic origin or secondary
cyclones associated with the passage of major cyclones north of the
Mediterranean Basin, while they are mostly generated inside the region itself
for events at the eastern Mediterranean coast. An important fraction of
intense events in the southern areas is produced by cyclones
that are generated over northern Africa. The analysis of sea level pressure
and geopotential height at 500 hPa highlights the important role of cyclone
depth, circulation strength, surrounding synoptic condition, and of slow
speed of the cyclone center for producing intense precipitation events. 2013/07/05 - 14:11

Influence of flood risk characteristics on flood insurance demand: a comparison between Germany and the NetherlandsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1691-1705, 2013Author(s): I. Seifert, W. J. W. Botzen, H. Kreibich, and J. C. J. H. AertsThe existence of sufficient demand for insurance coverage against infrequent
losses is important for the adequate function of insurance markets for
natural disaster risks. This study investigates how characteristics of flood
risk influence household flood insurance demand based on household surveys
undertaken in Germany and the Netherlands. Our analyses confirm the
hypothesis that willingness to pay (WTP) for insurance against
medium-probability medium-impact flood risk in Germany is higher than WTP for
insurance against low-probability high-impact flood risk in the Netherlands.
These differences in WTP can be related to differences in flood experience,
individual risk perceptions, and the charity hazard. In both countries there
is a need to stimulate flood insurance demand if a relevant role of private
insurance in flood loss compensation is regarded as desirable, for example,
by making flood insurance compulsory or by designing information campaigns. 2013/07/02 - 02:31

Influence of flood risk characteristics on flood insurance demand: a comparison between Germany and the NetherlandsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1691-1705, 2013Author(s): I. Seifert, W. J. W. Botzen, H. Kreibich, and J. C. J. H. AertsThe existence of sufficient demand for insurance coverage against infrequent
losses is important for the adequate function of insurance markets for
natural disaster risks. This study investigates how characteristics of flood
risk influence household flood insurance demand based on household surveys
undertaken in Germany and the Netherlands. Our analyses confirm the
hypothesis that willingness to pay (WTP) for insurance against
medium-probability medium-impact flood risk in Germany is higher than WTP for
insurance against low-probability high-impact flood risk in the Netherlands.
These differences in WTP can be related to differences in flood experience,
individual risk perceptions, and the charity hazard. In both countries there
is a need to stimulate flood insurance demand if a relevant role of private
insurance in flood loss compensation is regarded as desirable, for example,
by making flood insurance compulsory or by designing information campaigns. 2013/07/02 - 02:31

Brief Communication: A new perspective on the Australian rip current hazardNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1687-1690, 2013Author(s): R. Brander, D. Dominey-Howes, C. Champion, O. Del Vecchio, and B. BrightonRip currents are strong, narrow offshore flows of water which occur on many
of the world's beaches and represent a serious hazard to bathers. In
Australia, rip currents account for an average of 21 confirmed human
fatalities per year. Based on an analysis of the longest existing data
records, rip currents account for more human fatalities in Australia on
average each year than bushfires, floods, and cyclones combined. This
finding raises important questions regarding the levels of attention placed
on the low intensity, but high frequency rip current hazard in relation to
high profile and episodic natural hazards. 2013/06/28 - 15:45

Investigation of the characteristics of geoelectric field signals prior to earthquakes using adaptive STFT techniquesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1679-1686, 2013Author(s): W. Astuti, W. Sediono, R. Akmeliawati, A. M. Aibinu, and M. J. E. SalamiAn earthquake is one of the most destructive natural disasters that can
occur, often killing many people and causing large material losses. Hence, the ability to
predict earthquakes may reduce the catastrophic effects caused by this
phenomenon. The geoelectric field is a feature that can be used to
predict earthquakes (EQs) because of significant changes in the
amplitude of the signal prior to an earthquake. This paper presents a
detailed analysis of geoelectric field signals of earthquakes which occurred
in 2008 in Greece. In 2008, 12 earthquakes occurred in Greece. Five of
them were recorded with magnitudes greater than Ms = 5R (5R), while seven of
them were recorded with magnitudes greater than Ms = 6R (6R). In the
analysis, the 1st significant changes of the geoelectric field signal
are detected. Then, the signal is segmented and windowed. The adaptive short-time Fourier transform (adaptive STFT) technique is then applied to the windowed
signal, and the spectral analysis is performed thereafter. The results show that
the 1st significant changes of the geoelectric field prior to an
earthquake have a significant amplitude frequency spectrum compared to other
conditions, i.e. normal days and the day of the earthquake, which can be used
as input parameters for earthquake prediction. 2013/06/28 - 15:45

Joint analysis of infrasound and seismic signals by cross wavelet transform: detection of Mt. Etna explosive activityNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1669-1677, 2013Author(s): A. Cannata, P. Montalto, and D. PatanèThe prompt detection of explosive volcanic activity is crucial since this
kind of activity can release copious amounts of volcanic ash and gases into
the atmosphere, causing severe dangers to aviation. In this work, we show how
the joint analysis of seismic and infrasonic data by wavelet transform
coherence (WTC) can be useful to detect explosive activity, significantly
enhancing its recognition that is normally done by video cameras and thermal
sensors. Indeed, the efficiency of these sensors can be reduced (or
inhibited) in the case of poor visibility due to clouds or gas plumes. In
particular, we calculated the root mean square (RMS) of seismic and
infrasonic signals recorded at Mt. Etna during 2011. This interval was
characterised by several episodes of lava fountains, accompanied by lava
effusion, and minor strombolian activities. WTC analysis showed significantly
high values of coherence between seismic and infrasonic RMS during explosive
activity, with infrasonic and seismic series in phase with each other, hence
proving to be sensitive to both weak and strong explosive activity. The WTC
capability of automatically detecting explosive activity was compared with
the potential of detection methods based on fixed thresholds of seismic and
infrasonic RMS. Finally, we also calculated the cross correlation function
between seismic and infrasonic signals, which showed that the wave types
causing such seismo-acoustic relationship are mainly incident seismic and
infrasonic waves, likely with a common source. 2013/06/26 - 12:46

A novel approach to evaluate and compare computational snow avalanche simulationNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1655-1667, 2013Author(s): J.-T. FischerAn innovative approach for the analysis and interpretation of snow avalanche
simulation in three dimensional terrain is presented. Snow avalanche
simulation software is used as a supporting tool in hazard mapping. When
performing a high number of simulation runs the user is confronted with a
considerable amount of simulation results. The objective of this work is to
establish an objective, model independent framework to evaluate and compare
results of different simulation approaches with respect to indicators of
practical relevance, providing an answer to the important questions:
how far and how destructive does an avalanche move down
slope. For this purpose the Automated Indicator based Model Evaluation and
Comparison (AIMEC) method is introduced. It operates on a coordinate system
which follows a given avalanche path. A multitude of simulation runs is
performed with the snow avalanche simulation software SamosAT (Snow Avalanche
MOdelling and Simulation – Advanced Technology). The variability of
pressure-based run out and avalanche destructiveness along the path is
investigated for multiple simulation runs, varying release volume and model
parameters. With this, results of deterministic simulation software are
processed and analysed by means of statistical methods. Uncertainties
originating from varying input conditions, model parameters or the different
model implementations are assessed. The results show that AIMEC contributes
to the interpretation of avalanche simulations with a broad applicability in
model evaluation, comparison as well as examination of scenario variations. 2013/06/22 - 11:43

Comparison between qualitative rockfall risk rating systems for a road affected by high traffic intensityNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1643-1653, 2013Author(s): P. Budetta and M. NappiThe paper deals with the assessment of the rockfall risk for a road stretch,
in southern Italy, affected by high traffic intensity. Three qualitative
rockfall risk rating systems (QRSs) which use an exponential scoring with a
base of 3 were employed, and then the results were compared. The used methods
are the following: the Rockfall Hazard Rating System, a modified version of
this method already proposed in the past by one of the authors, and the
modified version of the Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System. The studied
road stretch is about 11 km in length and is part of a very tortuous
road flanked by rock slopes characterised by complex geostructural and
geomechanical layouts. The road was subdivided into 56 sections, defined so
as to have – as much as possible – homogeneous geological characteristics.
By means of the three QRSs, it was possible to ascertain that high levels of
rockfall risks are due to the lack of ditches, a very limited percentage of
decision sight distance (PDSD) values and a small roadway width, whereas a
subordinate factor is the hazard caused by rockfalls. Several positive and
negative aspects arising from the use of the employed methods are
highlighted and discussed. 2013/06/22 - 11:43

Operational tsunami modelling with TsunAWI – recent developments and applicationsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1629-1642, 2013Author(s): N. Rakowsky, A. Androsov, A. Fuchs, S. Harig, A. Immerz, S. Danilov, W. Hiller, and J. SchröterIn this article, the tsunami model TsunAWI (Alfred Wegener Institute) and its application for hindcasts,
inundation studies, and the operation of the tsunami scenario repository for
the Indonesian tsunami early warning system are presented. TsunAWI was
developed in the framework of the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning
System (GITEWS) and simulates all stages of a tsunami from the origin and the
propagation in the ocean to the arrival at the coast and the inundation on
land. It solves the non-linear shallow water equations on an unstructured
finite element grid that allows to change the resolution seamlessly between a
coarse grid in the deep ocean and a fine representation of coastal
structures. During the GITEWS project and the following maintenance phase,
TsunAWI and a framework of pre- and postprocessing routines was developed
step by step to provide fast computation of enhanced model physics and to
deliver high quality results. 2013/06/22 - 11:43

Assessing social capacity and vulnerability of private households to natural hazards – integrating psychological and governance factorsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1613-1628, 2013Author(s): J. Werg, T. Grothmann, and P. SchmidtPeople are unequally affected by extreme weather events in terms of
mortality, morbidity and financial losses; this is the case not only for
developing, but also for industrialized countries. Previous research has
established indicators for identifying who is particularly vulnerable and
why, focusing on socio-demographic factors such as income, age, gender,
health and minority status. However, these factors can only partly explain
the large disparities in the extent to which people are affected by natural
hazards. Moreover, these factors are usually not alterable in the short to
medium term, which limits their usefulness for strategies of reducing social
vulnerability and building social capacity. Based on a literature review and
an expert survey, we propose an approach for refining assessments of social
vulnerability and building social capacity by integrating psychological and
governance factors. 2013/06/21 - 15:10

Assessment of static flood modeling techniques: application to contrasting marshes flooded during Xynthia (western France)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1595-1612, 2013Author(s): J. F. Breilh, E. Chaumillon, X. Bertin, and M. GravelleThis study aims to assess the performance of raster-based flood modeling
methods on a wide diversity of coastal marshes. These methods are applied to
the flooding associated with the storm Xynthia, which severely hit the
western coast of France in February 2010. Static and semi-dynamic methods
are assessed using a combination of LiDAR data, post-storm delineation of
flooded areas and sea levels originating from both tide gauge measurements
and storm surge modeling. Static methods are applied to 27 marshes showing a
wide geomorphological diversity. It appears that these methods are suitable
for marshes with a small distance between the coastline and the landward
boundary of the marsh, which causes these marshes to flood rapidly. On
the contrary, these methods overpredict flooded areas for large marshes
where the distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the
marsh is large, because the flooding cannot be considered as instantaneous.
In this case, semi-dynamic methods based on surge overflowing volume
calculations can improve the flooding prediction significantly. This study
suggests that static and semi-dynamic flood modeling methods can be
attractive and quickly deployed to rapidly produce predictive flood maps of
vulnerable areas under certain conditions, particularly for small distances between the
coastline and the landward boundary of the low-lying coastal area. 2013/06/20 - 16:28

Effectiveness of modified pushover analysis procedure for the estimation of seismic demands of buildings subjected to near-fault ground motions having fling stepNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1579-1593, 2013Author(s): A. Mortezaei and H. R. RonaghNear-fault ground motions with long-period pulses have been identified as
being critical in the design of structures. These motions, which have caused
severe damage in recent disastrous earthquakes, are characterized by a
short-duration impulsive motion that transmits large amounts of energy into
the structures at the beginning of the earthquake. In nearly all of the past
near-fault earthquakes, significant higher mode contributions have been
evident in building structures near the fault rupture, resulting in the
migration of dynamic demands (i.e. drifts) from the lower to the upper
stories. Due to this, the static nonlinear pushover analysis (which utilizes
a load pattern proportional to the shape of the fundamental mode of
vibration) may not produce accurate results when used in the analysis of
structures subjected to near-fault ground motions. The objective of this
paper is to improve the accuracy of the pushover method in these situations
by introducing a new load pattern into the common pushover procedure.
Several pushover analyses are performed for six existing reinforced concrete
buildings that possess a variety of natural periods. Then, a comparison is
made between the pushover analyses' results (with four new load patterns)
and those of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)-356 with reference to nonlinear dynamic time-history
analyses. The comparison shows that, generally, the proposed
pushover method yields better results than all FEMA-356 pushover analysis
procedures for all investigated response quantities and is a closer match to
the nonlinear time-history responses. In general, the method is able to
reproduce the essential response features providing a reasonable measure of
the likely contribution of higher modes in all phases of the response. 2013/06/20 - 16:28

Coupled atmosphere ocean climate model simulations in the Mediterranean region: effect of a high-resolution marine model on cyclones and precipitationNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1567-1577, 2013Author(s): A. Sanna, P. Lionello, and S. GualdiIn this study we investigate the importance of an eddy-permitting
Mediterranean Sea circulation model on the simulation of atmospheric
cyclones and precipitation in a climate model. This is done by analyzing
results of two fully coupled GCM (general circulation models) simulations, differing only for the
presence/absence of an interactive marine module, at very
high-resolution (~ 1/16°), for the simulation of the 3-D
circulation of the Mediterranean Sea. Cyclones are tracked by applying an
objective Lagrangian algorithm to the MSLP (mean sea level pressure) field. On annual basis, we find a
statistically significant difference in vast cyclogenesis regions (northern
Adriatic, Sirte Gulf, Aegean Sea and southern Turkey) and in lifetime,
giving evidence of the effect of both land–sea contrast and surface heat
flux intensity and spatial distribution on cyclone characteristics.
Moreover, annual mean convective precipitation changes significantly in the
two model climatologies as a consequence of differences in both air–sea
interaction strength and frequency of cyclogenesis in the two analyzed
simulations. 2013/06/20 - 16:28

Review Article: Lake and breach hazard assessment for moraine-dammed lakes: an example from the Cordillera Blanca (Peru)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1551-1565, 2013Author(s): A. Emmer and V. VilímekGlacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and related debris flows represent a
significant threat in high mountainous areas across the globe. It is
necessary to quantify this threat so as to mitigate their
catastrophic effects. Complete GLOF hazard assessment incorporates two
phases: the probability of water release from a given glacial lake is
estimated through lake and breach hazard assessment while the endangered
areas are identified during downstream hazard assessment. This paper
outlines a number of methods of lake and breach hazard assessment, which can
be grouped into three categories: qualitative, of which we outline eight;
semi-quantitative, of which we outline two; and quantitative, of which we
outline three. It is considered that five groups of critical parameters are
essential for an accurate regionally focused hazard assessment method for
moraine-dammed lakes in the Cordillera Blanca. These comprise the
possibility of dynamic slope movements into the lake, the possibility of a
flood wave from a lake situated upstream, the possibility of dam rupture
following a large earthquake, the size of the dam freeboard (or ratio of dam
freeboard), and a distinction between natural dams and those with remedial
work. It is shown that none of the summarised methods uses all these
criteria with, at most, three of the five considered by the outlined
methods. A number of these methods were used on six selected moraine-dammed
lakes in the Cordillera Blanca: lakes Quitacocha, Checquiacocha,
Palcacocha, Llaca, Rajucolta, and Tararhua. The results have been compared
and show that each method has certain advantages and disadvantages when used
in this region. These methods demonstrate that the most hazardous lake is
Lake Palcacocha. 2013/06/19 - 06:13

The combination of DInSAR and facility damage data for the updating of slow-moving landslide inventory maps at medium scaleNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1527-1549, 2013Author(s): L. Cascini, D. Peduto, G. Pisciotta, L. Arena, S. Ferlisi, and G. FornaroTesting innovative procedures and techniques to update landslide inventory
maps is a timely topic widely discussed in the scientific literature. In
this regard remote sensing techniques – such as the Synthetic Aperture
Radar Differential Interferometry (DInSAR) – can provide a valuable
contribution to studies concerning slow-moving landslides in different
geological contexts all over the world. In this paper, DInSAR data are
firstly analysed via an innovative approach aimed at enhancing both the
exploitation and the interpretation of remote sensing information; then,
they are complemented with the results of an accurate analysis of
survey-recorded damage to facilities due to slow-moving landslides. In
particular, after being separately analysed to provide independent landslide
movement indicators, the two datasets are combined in a DInSAR-Damage matrix
which can be used to update the state of activity of slow-moving landslides.
Moreover, together with the information provided by geomorphological maps,
the two datasets are proven to be useful in detecting unmapped phenomena.
The potentialities of the adopted procedure are tested in an area of
southern Italy where slow-moving landslides are widespread and accurately
mapped by using geomorphological criteria. 2013/06/19 - 06:13

Dispersion of tsunamis: does it really matter?Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1507-1526, 2013Author(s): S. Glimsdal, G. K. Pedersen, C. B. Harbitz, and F. LøvholtThis article focuses on the effect of dispersion in the field of tsunami
modeling. Frequency dispersion in the linear long-wave limit is first briefly
discussed from a theoretical point of view. A single parameter, denoted as
"dispersion time", for the integrated effect of frequency dispersion is
identified. This parameter depends on the wavelength, the water depth during
propagation, and the propagation distance or time. Also the role of long-time
asymptotes is discussed in this context. The wave generation by the two main
tsunami sources, namely earthquakes and landslides, are briefly discussed
with formulas for the surface response to the bottom sources. Dispersive
effects are then exemplified through a semi-idealized study of a
moderate-strength inverse thrust fault. Emphasis is put on the directivity,
the role of the "dispersion time", the significance
of the Boussinesq model employed (dispersive effect), and the effects of the transfer from
bottom sources to initial surface elevation. Finally, the experience from a
series of case studies, including earthquake- and landslide-generated
tsunamis, is presented. The examples are taken from both historical (e.g. the
2011 Japan tsunami and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami) and potential tsunamis
(e.g. the tsunami after the potential La Palma volcanic flank collapse).
Attention is mainly given to the role of dispersion during propagation in the
deep ocean and the way the accumulation of this effect relates to the
"dispersion time". It turns out that this parameter is useful as a first
indication as to when frequency dispersion is important, even though
ambiguity with respect to the definition of the wavelength may be a problem
for complex cases.
Tsunamis from most landslides and
moderate earthquakes tend to display dispersive behavior, at least in some
directions. On the other hand, for the mega events of the last decade
dispersion during deep water propagation is mostly noticeable for
transoceanic propagation. 2013/06/19 - 06:13

A study of the behavior of the terminator time shifts using multiple VLF propagation paths during the Pakistan earthquake (M = 7.2) of 18 January 2011Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1501-1506, 2013Author(s): S. Ray and S. K. ChakrabartiOn 18 January 2011, at 20:23 UTC, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 occurred in
southwestern Pakistan (latitude 28°44' N, longitude
63°56' E) at a depth of 68 km. We present the results of the
analysis of very low frequency (VLF) radio signals, received at three
stations located in India. We analyze the VLF signals around this earthquake
day and look for possible precursory effects of this earthquake. For our
analysis, we use four different VLF propagation paths. These propagation
paths are DHO–IERC (Sitapur), VTX–Pune, VTX–ICSP (Indian Centre for Space
Physics, Kolkata) and NWC–IERC. We observed significant shifts of the
"sunrise terminator time" (SRT) for DHO–IERC and VTX–Pune paths. For
DHO–IERC path, the SRT of the VLF signals shifted towards nighttime three
days before the earthquake day, and in the case of VTX–Pune path it shifted
towards nighttime just one day before the earthquake day. For VTX–Kolkata
path, the shift of SRT is four days before the earthquake day, but here the
shift is not so strong, somewhere between 2σ and 3σ lines. For
the other two paths, namely, DHO–IERC and VTX–Pune, the terminator time
shifts crossed the 3σ line. We found no significant shifts of SRT for
NWC–IERC propagation path. Higher deviation in the VTX–Pune path as
compared to VTX–ICSP path could be due to the proximity of the former to the
epicenter. Similarly, DHO–IERC path is over the epicenter while NWC–IERC
path is totally away from the epicenter. This could be the reason why the
effect in DHO–IERC path is stronger than that in NWC–IERC path. 2013/06/19 - 06:13

Social vulnerability assessment using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SEVI model) and the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI model) – a case study for Bucharest, RomaniaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1481-1499, 2013Author(s): I. Armaș and A. GavrișIn recent decades, the development of vulnerability frameworks has enlarged the
research in the natural hazards field. Despite progress in developing the
vulnerability studies, there is more to investigate regarding the
quantitative approach and clarification of the conceptual explanation of the social
component. At the same time, some disaster-prone areas register limited
attention. Among these, Romania's capital city, Bucharest, is the most
earthquake-prone capital in Europe and the tenth in the world. The location
is used to assess two multi-criteria methods for aggregating complex
indicators: the social vulnerability index (SoVI model) and the spatial
multi-criteria social vulnerability index (SEVI model). Using the data of the
2002 census we reduce the indicators through a factor analytical approach to
create the indices and examine if they bear any resemblance to the known
vulnerability of Bucharest city through an exploratory spatial data analysis
(ESDA). This is a critical issue that may provide better understanding of the
social vulnerability in the city and appropriate information for authorities
and stakeholders to consider in their decision making. The study emphasizes
that social vulnerability is an urban process that increased in a
post-communist Bucharest, raising the concern that the population at risk
lacks the capacity to cope with disasters. The assessment of the indices
indicates a significant and similar clustering pattern of the census
administrative units, with an overlap between the clustering areas affected
by high social vulnerability. Our proposed SEVI model suggests adjustment
sensitivity, useful in the expert-opinion accuracy. 2013/06/19 - 06:13

Stakeholders' issues for action during the warning process and the interpretation of forecasts' uncertaintiesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1469-1479, 2013Author(s): L. Créton-Cazanave and C. LutoffThis article considers the socio-geographical approach carried out as part of
the MedUp program. It presents a study of the ways that the French "actors"
manage forecast uncertainties during a flash flood warning process. In order
to better understand the role of forecasts' uncertainties in decision making,
we focused on the actions people took and how what they say explains their
actions. The practices of actors involved in warnings for the Vidourle
watershed (Gard, France), in particular, are analyzed using a practice-based
approach. A set of categories of the "actors" was developed based on their
descriptions of the problems they faced during the flash flood warning,
independent of their socio-professional status and position in the warning
chain. Five actor profiles result from this: Translators, Managers,
Committed, Navigators and Vulnerable. For each profile, specific action
contexts are defined, determining how each deals with uncertainty. 2013/06/11 - 16:23

Assessing gridded observations for daily precipitation extremes in the Alps with a focus on northwest ItalyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1457-1468, 2013Author(s): M. Turco, A. L. Zollo, C. Ronchi, C. De Luigi, and P. MercoglianoIn this study we compare three gridded observed datasets of daily
precipitation (EOBS, MAP and NWIOI) over the Great Alpine Region (GAR) and a
subregion in northwest Italy (NWI) in order to better understand the past
variability of daily climate extremes and to set up a basis for developing
regional climate scenarios. The grids are first compared with respect to
their temporal similarity by calculating the correlation and relative mean
absolute error of the time series. They are then compared with respect to
their spatial similarity to the climatology of the ETCCDI indices
(characterizing total precipitation, dry and wet spells and extremes with
short return periods). The results indicate first that most EOBS gridpoint
series in northeastern Italy have to be shifted back by 1 day to have
maximum overlap of the measurement period and, second, that both the temporal
and spatial similarities of most indices are higher between the NWIOI and MAP
than between MAP or the NWIOI and EOBS. These results suggest that, although
there is generally good temporal agreement between the three datasets, EOBS
should be treated with caution, especially for extreme indices over the GAR
region, and it does not provide reliable climatology over the NWI region. The
high agreement between MAP and NWIOI, on the other hand, builds confidence in
using these datasets. Users should consider carefully the limitations of the
gridded observations available: the uncertainties of the observed datasets
cannot be neglected in the overall uncertainties cascade that characterizes
climate change studies. 2013/06/11 - 16:23

Augmenting Austrian flood management practices through geospatial predictive analytics: a study in CarinthiaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1445-1455, 2013Author(s): S. M. Ward and G. PaulusThe Danube River basin has long been the location of significant flooding
problems across central Europe. The last decade has seen a sharp increase in
the frequency, duration and intensity of these flood events, unveiling a dire
need for enhanced flood management policy and tools in the region. Located in
the southern portion of Austria, the state of Carinthia has experienced a
significant volume of intense flood impacts over the last decade. Although
the Austrian government has acknowledged these issues, their remedial actions
have been primarily structural to date. Continued focus on controlling the
natural environment through infrastructure while disregarding the need to
consider alternative forms of assessing flood exposure will only act as a
provisional solution to this inescapable risk. In an attempt to remedy this
flaw, this paper highlights the application of geospatial predictive
analytics and spatial recovery index as a proxy for community resilience, as
well as the cultural challenges associated with the application of foreign
models within an Austrian environment. 2013/06/11 - 16:23

How much does participatory flood management contribute to stakeholders' social capacity building? Empirical findings based on a triangulation of three evaluation approachesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1427-1444, 2013Author(s): M. Buchecker, S. Menzel, and R. HomeRecent literature suggests that dialogic forms of risk communication are more
effective to build stakeholders' hazard-related social capacities. In spite
of the high theoretical expectations, there is a lack of univocal empirical
evidence on the relevance of these effects. This is mainly due to the
methodological limitations of the existing evaluation approaches. In our
paper we aim at eliciting the contribution of participatory river
revitalisation projects on stakeholders' social capacity building by
triangulating the findings of three evaluation studies that were based on
different approaches: a field-experimental, a qualitative long-term ex-post
and a cross-sectional household survey approach. The results revealed that
social learning and avoiding the loss of trust were more relevant benefits of
participatory flood management than acceptance building. The results suggest
that stakeholder involvements should be more explicitly designed as tools for
long-term social learning. 2013/06/06 - 07:13

Early warning of snow-caused disasters in pastoral areas on the Tibetan PlateauNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1411-1425, 2013Author(s): W. Wang, T. Liang, X. Huang, Q. Feng, H. Xie, X. Liu, M. Chen, and X. WangThis study develops a model for early warning of snow-caused livestock
disasters on a county basis and proposes a method of qualitative risk
assessment of snow disasters at 500 m resolution for pastoral areas on
the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Data used for the model development include remote
sensing data, statistical data of weather, livestock, and social economy,
and 45 typical snow disaster cases from 2000 to 2010. The principal component
analysis (PCA) approach is used to choose 7 crucial factors that contribute over
85% of information for early warning snow disasters on the TP. They are mean
annual probability of snow disaster, number of snow-covered days, livestock
stocking rate, continual days of mean daily temperature below −10 °C,
grassland burial index, rate of snow-covered grassland, and per livestock
gross domestic product. The chosen 411 cases from 2008 to 2010 are used to
validate the prediction results from the developed early warning model, with
an overall accuracy of 85.64% in predicting snow disasters and no
disasters. This suggests that the early warning approach developed in the
study has operational potential for predicting snow disasters on the TP. 2013/06/06 - 07:13

Variation in the estimations of ETo and crop water use due to the sensor accuracy of the meteorological variablesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1401-1410, 2013Author(s): R. Moratiel, A. Martínez-Cob, and B. LatorreIn agricultural ecosystems the use of evapotranspiration (ET) to improve
irrigation water management is generally widespread. Commonly, the crop ET
(ETc) is estimated by multiplying the reference crop
evapotranspiration (ETo) by a crop coefficient (Kc).
Accurate estimation of ETo is critical because it is the main
factor affecting the calculation of crop water use and water management. The
ETo is generally estimated from recorded meteorological variables
at reference weather stations. The main objective of this paper was assessing
the effect of the uncertainty due to random noise in the sensors used for
measurement of meteorological variables on the estimation of ETo,
crop ET and net irrigation requirements of grain corn and alfalfa in three
irrigation districts of the middle Ebro River basin. Five scenarios were
simulated, four of them individually considering each recorded meteorological
variable (temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation and wind speed) and
a fifth scenario combining together the uncertainty of all sensors. The
uncertainty in relative humidity for irrigation districts Riegos del Alto
Aragón (RAA) and Bardenas (BAR), and temperature for irrigation district
Canal de Aragón y Cataluña (CAC), were the two most important factors
affecting the estimation of ETo, corn ET
(ETc_corn), alfalfa ET
(ETc_alf), net corn irrigation water requirements
(IRncorn) and net alfalfa irrigation water requirements
(IRnalf). Nevertheless, this effect was never greater than
±0.5% over annual scale time. The wind speed variable (Scenario 3) was the
third variable more influential in the fluctuations (±) of
evapotranspiration, followed by solar radiation. Considering the accuracy for
all sensors over annual scale time, the variation was about ±1% of
ETo, ETc_corn,
ETc_alf, IRncorn, and
IRnalf. The fluctuations of evapotranspiration were higher at
shorter time scale. ETo daily fluctuation remained lower than
5 % during the growing season of corn and alfalfa. This estimation
fluctuation in ETo, ETc_corn,
ETc_alf , IRncorn, and
IRnalf at daily time scale was within an acceptable range, and it
can be considered that the sensor accuracy of the meteorological variables is
not significant in the estimation of ETo. 2013/06/03 - 22:50

Trends in adverse weather patterns and large wildland fires in Aragón (NE Spain) from 1978 to 2010Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1393-1399, 2013Author(s): A. Cardil, D. M. Molina, J. Ramirez, and C. Vega-GarcíaThis work analyzes the effects of high temperature days on large wildland
fires during 1978–2010 in Aragón (NE Spain). A high temperature day
was established when air temperature was higher than 20 °C
at 850 hPa. Temperature at 850 hPa was chosen because it properly characterizes
the low troposphere state, and some of the problems that affect surface
reanalysis do not occur. High temperature days were analyzed from April to
October in the study period, and the number of these extreme days increased
significantly. This temporal trend implied more frequent adverse weather
conditions in later years that could facilitate extreme fire behavior. The
effects of those high temperatures days in large wildland fire patterns have
been increasingly important in the last years of the series. 2013/05/31 - 19:35

Urban micro-scale flood risk estimation with parsimonious hydraulic modelling and census dataNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1375-1391, 2013Author(s): C. Arrighi, M. Brugioni, F. Castelli, S. Franceschini, and B. MazzantiThe adoption of 2007/60/EC Directive requires European countries to implement
flood hazard and flood risk maps by the end of 2013. Flood risk is the
product of flood hazard, vulnerability and exposure, all three to be
estimated with comparable level of accuracy. The route to flood risk
assessment is consequently much more than hydraulic modelling of inundation,
that is hazard mapping. While hazard maps have already been implemented in
many countries, quantitative damage and risk maps are still at a preliminary
level. A parsimonious quasi-2-D hydraulic model is here adopted, having many
advantages in terms of easy set-up. It is here evaluated as being accurate in
flood depth estimation in urban areas with a high-resolution and up-to-date
Digital Surface Model (DSM). The accuracy, estimated by comparison with
marble-plate records of a historic flood in the city of Florence, is
characterized in the downtown's most flooded area by a bias of a very few
centimetres and a determination coefficient of 0.73. The average risk is
found to be about 14 € m−2 yr−1, corresponding to about 8.3% of residents' income. The
spatial distribution of estimated risk highlights a complex interaction
between the flood pattern and the building characteristics. As a final
example application, the estimated risk values have been used to compare
different retrofitting measures. Proceeding through the risk estimation
steps, a new micro-scale potential damage assessment method is proposed. This
is based on the georeferenced census system as the optimal compromise between
spatial detail and open availability of socio-economic data. The results of
flood risk assessment at the census section scale resolve most of the risk
spatial variability, and they can be easily aggregated to whatever upper
scale is needed given that they are geographically defined as contiguous
polygons. Damage is calculated through stage–damage curves, starting from
census data on building type and function, for the main categories in the
study area: structures, household contents and commercial contents. This
method is tested in the area of the St. Croce district in Florence, one of the
most seriously affected in the famous 1966 flood. 2013/05/31 - 19:35

Review article: Assessing the costs of natural hazards – state of the art and knowledge gapsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1351-1373, 2013Author(s): V. Meyer, N. Becker, V. Markantonis, R. Schwarze, J. C. J. M. van den Bergh, L. M. Bouwer, P. Bubeck, P. Ciavola, E. Genovese, C. Green, S. Hallegatte, H. Kreibich, Q. Lequeux, I. Logar, E. Papyrakis, C. Pfurtscheller, J. Poussin, V. Przyluski, A. H. Thieken, and C. ViavatteneEfficiently reducing natural hazard risks requires a thorough understanding
of the costs of natural hazards. Current methods to assess these costs employ
a variety of terminologies and approaches for different types of natural
hazards and different impacted sectors. This may impede efforts to ascertain
comprehensive and comparable cost figures. In order to strengthen the role of
cost assessments in the development of integrated natural hazard management,
a review of existing cost assessment approaches was undertaken. This review
considers droughts, floods, coastal and Alpine hazards, and examines
different cost types, namely direct tangible damages, losses due to business
interruption, indirect damages, intangible effects, and the costs of risk
mitigation. This paper provides an overview of the state-of-the-art cost
assessment approaches and discusses key knowledge gaps. It shows that the
application of cost assessments in practice is often incomplete and biased,
as direct costs receive a relatively large amount of attention, while
intangible and indirect effects are rarely considered. Furthermore, all parts
of cost assessment entail considerable uncertainties due to insufficient or
highly aggregated data sources, along with a lack of knowledge about the
processes leading to damage and thus the appropriate models required.
Recommendations are provided on how to reduce or handle these uncertainties
by improving data sources and cost assessment methods. Further
recommendations address how risk dynamics due to climate and socio-economic
change can be better considered, how costs are distributed and risks
transferred, and in what ways cost assessment can function as part of
decision support. 2013/05/29 - 16:09

Towards a database on societal impact of Mediterranean floods within the framework of the HYMEX projectNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1337-1350, 2013Author(s): M. C. Llasat, M. Llasat-Botija, O. Petrucci, A. A. Pasqua, J. Rosselló, F. Vinet, and L. BoissierThe NW Mediterranean region experiences every year heavy rainfall and flash
floods that occasionally produce catastrophic damages. Less frequent are
floods that affect large regions. Although a large number of databases
devoted exclusively to floods or considering all kind of natural hazards do
exist, usually they only record catastrophic flood events. This paper deals
with the new flood database that is being developed within the framework of
HYMEX project. Results are focused on four regions representative of the NW
sector of Mediterranean Europe: Catalonia, Spain; the Balearic Islands,
Spain; Calabria, Italy; and Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and
PACA, France. The common available 30-yr period starts in 1981 and ends
in 2010. The paper shows the database structure and criteria, the comparison
with other flood databases, some statistics on spatial and temporal
distribution, and an identification of the most important events. The paper
also provides a table that includes the date and affected region of all the
catastrophic events identified in the regions of study, in order to make
this information available for all audiences. 2013/05/25 - 07:46

Automated identification of potential snow avalanche release areas based on digital elevation modelsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1321-1335, 2013Author(s): Y. Bühler, S. Kumar, J. Veitinger, M. Christen, A. Stoffel, and SnehmaniThe identification of snow avalanche release areas is a very difficult task.
The release mechanism of snow avalanches depends on many different terrain,
meteorological, snowpack and triggering parameters and their
interactions, which are very difficult to assess. In many alpine regions
such as the Indian Himalaya, nearly no information on avalanche release
areas exists mainly due to the very rough and poorly accessible terrain, the
vast size of the region and the lack of avalanche records. However avalanche
release information is urgently required for numerical simulation of
avalanche events to plan mitigation measures, for hazard mapping and to
secure important roads. The Rohtang tunnel access road near Manali, Himachal
Pradesh, India, is such an example. By far the most reliable way to identify
avalanche release areas is using historic avalanche records and field
investigations accomplished by avalanche experts in the formation zones. But
both methods are not feasible for this area due to the rough terrain, its
vast extent and lack of time. Therefore, we develop an operational, easy-to-use
automated potential release area (PRA) detection tool in Python/ArcGIS
which uses high spatial resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) and
forest cover information derived from airborne remote sensing instruments as
input. Such instruments can acquire spatially continuous data even over
inaccessible terrain and cover large areas. We validate our tool using a
database of historic avalanches acquired over 56 yr in the neighborhood
of Davos, Switzerland, and apply this method for the avalanche tracks along
the Rohtang tunnel access road. This tool, used by avalanche experts,
delivers valuable input to identify focus areas for more-detailed
investigations on avalanche release areas in remote regions such as the
Indian Himalaya and is a precondition for large-scale avalanche hazard
mapping. 2013/05/25 - 07:46

Some comments on the potential seismogenic origin of magnetic disturbances observed by Di Lorenzo et al. (2011) close to the time of the 6 April 2009 L'Aquila earthquakeNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1313-1319, 2013Author(s): F. Masci and G. De LucaIn this paper we provide comments about the potential seismogenic origin of
magnetic disturbances that Di Lorenzo et al. (2011) observed from few minutes
before to about one hour after the 6 April 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. The
coincidence with the earthquake induced the authors to think that the
observed magnetic signals were linked to the main phase of the seismic event.
Here, we will discuss the unusual polarization in the X–Z plane of the
magnetic disturbances observed by Di Lorenzo et al. (2011), the model of
source that the authors have proposed for the generation of these signals,
and the time length of the magnetic data set shown in their paper. We will
also discuss some possible generation mechanisms for electromagnetic
seismogenic signals that could support the authors' findings. Finally, we
will consider seismic and geodetic data from L'Aquila area just before and
after the 6 April 2009 earthquake. We conclude that there is no evidence to
support the hypothesis that magnetic disturbances documented by Di Lorenzo et
al. (2011) had a seismogenic origin. 2013/05/25 - 07:46

Integrated multi-criteria flood vulnerability approach using fuzzy TOPSIS and Delphi techniqueNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1293-1312, 2013Author(s): G. Lee, K.-S. Jun, and E.-S. ChungThis study aims to develop a new procedure that combines multi-criteria
spatial vulnerability analysis with the traditional linear probabilistic
risk approach. This approach is named integrated fuzzy flood
vulnerability assessment because it combines the watershed-based vulnerability
framework with stream-based risk analysis. The Delphi technique and
pressure-state-impact-response framework are introduced to objectively
select evaluation criteria, and the fuzzy TOPSIS technique is proposed to
address the uncertainty of weights to all criteria and crisp input data of
all spatial units. ArcGIS is used to represent the spatial results to all
criteria. This framework is applied to the south Han River basin in South
Korea. As a result, the flood vulnerability ranking was derived and
vulnerability characteristics of all spatial units were compared. This
framework can be used to conduct a prefeasibility study for flood mitigation
projects when various stakeholders should be included. 2013/05/22 - 15:09

Instant tsunami early warning based on real-time GPS – Tohoku 2011 case studyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1285-1292, 2013Author(s): A. Hoechner, M. Ge, A. Y. Babeyko, and S. V. SobolevTaking the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as an example, we demonstrate the ability
of real-time GPS to provide qualified tsunami early warning within minutes.
While in earlier studies we demonstrated the power of the so-called GPS
shield concept based on synthetic data, we here present a complete
processing chain starting from actual GPS raw data and fully simulate the
situation as it would be in a warning center. The procedure includes
processing of GPS observations with predicted high precision orbits,
inversion for slip and computation of the tsunami propagation and coastal
warning levels. We show that in case of the Tohoku earthquake, it would be
feasible to provide accurate tsunami warning as soon as 3 min after the
beginning of the earthquake. 2013/05/18 - 09:31

Hydraulic stream network conditioning by a tectonically induced, giant, deep-seated landslide along the front of the Apennine chain (south Italy)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1269-1283, 2013Author(s): A. Galeandro, A. Doglioni, A. Guerricchio, and V. SimeoneThe tectonic stresses that produced the uplift of Apennine chain ridge in
southern Italy generated advanced buried thrusts of allochthonous deposits
that induced deformations of foredeep deposits. This thrust may cause giant,
deep-seated landslides at the front of the chain. Starting from a specific
case history in low Biferno Valley, this work presents how giant, deep-seated
landslides along the front of the chain may be generated by the thrust of
allochthonous nappe of the chain. In addition, the influence that these huge
phenomena may have on landslide and flood susceptibility and on natural
hazards of the involved area is analysed.

The work presents an interpretation of local morphology and stream network
paths of low Biferno Valley as a consequence of a giant, deep-seated landslide
affecting the right side of the valley. The proposed interpretation is
supported by numerical geomorphological analyses of the area at stake. It is
shown how both the morphologies of the catchments of the river Biferno and its
tributary Cigno and stream paths are strongly conditioned by this large,
deep-seated landslide. This landslide deviates the stream paths affecting
both the flooding susceptibility of low Biferno Valley and landslide
susceptibility on the left side of Biferno Valley. 2013/05/17 - 09:19

A satellite-based global landslide modelNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1259-1267, 2013Author(s): A. Farahmand and A. AghaKouchakLandslides are devastating phenomena that cause huge damage around the
world. This paper presents a quasi-global landslide model derived using
satellite precipitation data, land-use land cover maps, and 250 m topography
information. This suggested landslide model is based on the Support Vector
Machines (SVM), a machine learning algorithm. The National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) landslide
inventory data is used as observations and reference data. In all, 70% of the data
are used for model development and training, whereas 30% are used for
validation and verification. The results of 100 random subsamples of
available landslide observations revealed that the suggested landslide model
can predict historical landslides reliably. The average error of 100
iterations of landslide prediction is estimated to be approximately 7%, while
approximately 2% false landslide events are observed. 2013/05/17 - 09:19

Analysis of extreme summers and prior late winter/spring conditions in central EuropeNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1243-1257, 2013Author(s): C. Träger-Chatterjee, R. W. Müller, and J. BendixDrought and heat waves during summer in mid-latitudes are a serious threat to
human health and agriculture and have negative impacts on the infrastructure,
such as problems in energy supply. The appearance of such extreme events is
expected to increase with the progress of global warming. A better
understanding of the development of extremely hot and dry summers and the
identification of possible precursors could help improve existing seasonal
forecasts in this regard, and could possibly lead to the development of early
warning methods.

The development of extremely hot and dry summer seasons in central Europe is
attributed to a combined effect of the dominance of anticyclonic weather
regimes and soil moisture–atmosphere interactions. The atmospheric
circulation largely determines the amount of solar irradiation and the amount
of precipitation in an area. These two variables are themselves major factors
controlling the soil moisture. Thus, solar irradiation and precipitation are
used as proxies to analyse extreme sunny and dry late winter/spring and summer
seasons for the period 1958–2011 in Germany and adjacent areas.

For this purpose, solar irradiation data from the European Center for Medium Range
Weather Forecast 40-yr and interim re-analysis dataset, as well as remote
sensing data are used. Precipitation data are taken from the Global
Precipitation Climatology Project. To analyse the atmospheric circulation
geopotential data at 850 hPa are also taken from the European Center for Medium
Range Weather Forecast 40-yr and interim re-analysis datasets.

For the years in which extreme summers in terms of high solar irradiation and
low precipitation are identified, the previous late winter/spring conditions
of solar irradiation and precipitation in Germany and adjacent areas are
analysed. Results show that if the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is
not very intensely developed, extremely high solar irradiation amounts,
together with extremely low precipitation amounts during late winter/spring,
might serve as precursor of extremely sunny and dry summer months to be
expected. 2013/05/17 - 09:19

Coupling X-band dual-polarized mini-radars and hydro-meteorological forecast models: the HYDRORAD projectNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 1229-1241, 2013Author(s): E. Picciotti, F. S. Marzano, E. N. Anagnostou, J. Kalogiros, Y. Fessas, A. Volpi, V. Cazac, R. Pace, G. Cinque, L. Bernardini, K. De Sanctis, S. Di Fabio, M. Montopoli, M. N. Anagnostou, A. Telleschi, E. Dimitriou, and J. StellaHydro-meteorological hazards like convective outbreaks leading to torrential
rain and floods are among the most critical environmental issues world-wide.
In that context weather radar observations have proven to be very useful in
providing information on the spatial distribution of rainfall that can
support early warning of floods. However, quantitative precipitation
estimation by radar is subjected to many limitations and uncertainties. The
use of dual-polarization at high frequency (i.e. X-band) has proven
particularly useful for mitigating some of the limitation of operational
systems, by exploiting the benefit of easiness to transport and deploy and
the high spatial and temporal resolution achievable at small antenna sizes.
New developments on X-band dual-polarization technology in recent years have
received the interest of scientific and operational communities in these
systems. New enterprises are focusing on the advancement of cost-efficient
mini-radar network technology, based on high-frequency (mainly X-band) and
low-power weather radar systems for weather monitoring and
hydro-meteorological forecasting.

Within the above context, the main objective of the HYDRORAD project was the
development of an innovative \mbox{integrated} decision support tool for weather
monitoring and hydro-meteorological applications. The integrated system tool
is based on a polarimetric X-band mini-radar network which is the core of
the decision support tool, a novel radar products generator and a
hydro-meteorological forecast modelling system that ingests mini-radar
rainfall products to forecast precipitation and floods.

The radar products generator includes algorithms for attenuation correction,
hydrometeor classification, a vertical profile reflectivity correction, a
new polarimetric rainfall estimators developed for mini-radar observations,
and short-term nowcasting of convective cells. The hydro-meteorological
modelling system includes the Mesoscale Model 5 (MM5) and the Army Corps of
Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center hydrologic and hydraulic modelling
chain. The characteristics of this tool make it ideal to support flood
monitoring and forecasting within urban environment and small-scale basins.
Preliminary results, carried out during a field campaign in Moldova, showed
that the mini-radar based hydro-meteorological forecasting system can
constitute a suitable solution for local flood warning and civil flood
protection applications. 2013/05/17 - 09:19