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Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS)

Preface: Flood resilient communities – managing the consequences of floodingNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 14, 33-39, 2014Author(s): A. H. Thieken, S. Mariani, S. Longfield, and W. Vanneuville 2014/01/03 - 17:03

Precipitation dominates fire occurrence in Greece (1900–2010): its dual role in fuel build-up and drynessNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 14, 21-32, 2014Author(s): F. Xystrakis, A. S. Kallimanis, P. Dimopoulos, J. M. Halley, and N. KoutsiasHistorical fire records and meteorological observations spanning over one
century (1894–2010) were assembled in a database to collect long-term fire
and weather data in Greece. Positive/negative events of fire occurrence on
an annual basis were considered as the years where the annual values of the
examined parameters were above (positive values) or below (negative values)
the 95% confidence limits around the trend line of the corresponding
parameter. To analyse the association of positive/negative events of fire
occurrence with meteorological extremes, we proceeded with a cross-tabulation
analysis based on a Monte Carlo randomization.

Positive/negative values of total annual precipitation were randomly
associated with the corresponding values of burned areas, and significant
associations were observed for seasonal precipitation totals (spring and
fire season). Fire season precipitation is the dominant factor coinciding
with negative values of area burned, while years with high spring
precipitation coincide with years with large areas burned. These results
demonstrate the dual role of precipitation in controlling a fire's extent
through fuel build-up and dryness. Additionally, there is a clear
outperformance of precipitation-related variables compared with temperature-related weather
revealing that, at least in Greece, total area burned at the national
scale is controlled by precipitation totals rather than air temperature.

This analysis improves our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of
fire regimes and provides valuable information concerning the development of
models relating fire activity to weather parameters, which are essential
when facing a changing climate that may be associated with shifts in various
aspects of the typical fire regimes of ecosystems. Our results may allow
fire managers to more easily incorporate the effect of extreme weather
conditions into long-term planning strategies. They contribute to the
exploration of fire–climate relationships and may become more important if
climate change scenarios are used to predict the occurrence of future
extreme weather taking into consideration that climate change is discussed
on the basis of changes of extremes rather than changes in means. 2014/01/03 - 17:03

Numerical modeling of the lateral widening of levee breach by overtopping in a flume with 180° bendNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 14, 11-20, 2014Author(s): S.-T. Dou, D.-W. Wang, M.-H. Yu, and Y.-J. LiangFloods caused by levee breaching pose disastrous risks to the lower reaches
and the flood flow zones of rivers. Thus, a comprehensive assessment of flow
and sediment transport during floods must be performed to mitigate flood
disasters. Given that the flow state becomes relatively more complex and the
range of the submerged area becomes more extensive after a levee breach, this
paper established a flow and sediment model by using two-dimensional shallow
water equations (SWEs) to explore the breach development process and the flow
and sediment transport in a curved bed after a levee breach due to
overtopping. A three-element weighted essentially non-oscillatory Roe scheme
was adopted for the discretization of SWEs. In addition, a non-equilibrium
total-load sediment transport model was established to simulate the scour
depth development process of the breach. A stable equilibrium of the breach
was established based on flow shear force and soil shear strength. The
lateral widening of the breach was simulated by the scouring-collapse lateral
widening mode. These simulations, together with the levee breach experiment
conducted in the laboratory, demonstrate the validity of the flow and
sediment transport process established in this paper. The effects of water
head in and out of the watercourse, the flow rate, the levee sediment
grading, and other variables during levee breaching were also analyzed. The
mathematical model calculation provided a number of physical quantities, such
as flow rate and flow state at the breach, that are difficult to measure by
using the current laboratory facilities. The results of this research provide
fundamental data for developing measures that can reduce casualties and asset
loss due to floods caused by levee breaching. 2014/01/03 - 17:03

Comment on "Comparative study on earthquake and ground based transmitter induced radiation belt electron precipitation at middle latitude", by Sideropoulos et al. (2011)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 14, 1-9, 2014Author(s): J.-A. Sauvaud, M. Parrot, and E. SlominskaWe show that many, if not all, electron bursts with energy dispersion claimed
to be earthquake precursors by Sideropoulos et al. (2011) are due to the
cyclotron resonance of electrons with monochromatic waves from VLF
transmitters. The geographic distribution of the VLF-related electron bursts
is established during a period in 2007, when the powerful NWC transmitter is
off and 20 more transmitters are operating. 2014/01/03 - 17:03

Characteristics of high waves observed at multiple stations along the east coast of KoreaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3503-3514, 2013Author(s): S.-H. Oh and W.-M. JeongIn recent several years, extremely high waves occasionally struck the Korean
coast of the East Sea and caused severe coastal disasters almost every winter
season. In this paper, characteristics of such high waves are reported by
analyzing wave records collected at multiple stations along the east coast of
Korea. Meteorological data obtained at relevant weather stations were also
used in the analysis. The reason for appearance of the high waves was
identified as the strong northeasters due to extra-tropical low pressure
systems that had been rapidly developing in the East Sea. The general
mechanism concerning the formation and spatial evolution of such strong low
pressure systems was more clearly understood through the synthetic analysis
of the wave and meteorological data. In particular, the influence of
spatiotemporal features of the low pressure system on the resulting
characteristics of the high waves was described in more detail in this study.
Since the overall wave direction was also northeast, the first wave arrival
time on the coastline became later for a wave station whose latitude is
lower. At present, however, the arrival time of such high waves on the coast
as well as their intrinsic characteristics such as wave height and period are
not satisfactorily predicted by the daily weather forecast. Hence, it is
necessary to enhance predictability of the high waves by investigating
developmental mechanisms of the strong low pressure system in the winter
season more thoroughly. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Radiological data on building stones from a Spanish region: Castilla y LeónNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3493-3501, 2013Author(s): A. Pereira, D. Pereira, L. Neves, M. Peinado, and I. ArmenterosAs construction and building material, natural stone has a great potential to
promote the commercial activities of certain European regions. Such is the
case of Castilla y León in Spain, where many different rocks, ranging
from sedimentary to metamorphic and igneous, are commercialized for building
purposes. However, to be able to compete in a market subject to an economic
crisis, highly exacerbated in the construction sector, and to compete with
the lower prices offered by emerging countries, the issue would be to make
the Spanish offer more attractive. Here we propose a complete
characterization of rocks regarding their radiological properties, which are
related to their mineralogy and geochemistry. Rocks emit natural
radioactivity, and the presence of Rn and its decay products in dwellings has
become an important issue in North America and Europe owing to its
relationship with the carcinogenic effects of this gas. Although most of the studied rocks comply with the I
parameter proposed in the European Norm 112 for Radiological Protection (accepted value I ≤ 1; average for sedimentary rock: I = 0.22, SD 0.14; average for
metamorphic rocks: I = 0.70, SD 0.48; average for igneous rock: I = 0.86, SD
0.22), the inclusion of a proper radiological characterization in the list of
characteristics would guarantee quality and safety in their use in comparison
with products lacking this information. Some natural stones have been
demonized for the potential exhalation of natural radioactivity, and the
different parameters used should be addressed in a more systematic way. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Validation study of TMPA 3B42V6 in a typical alpine and gorge region: Jinsha River basin, ChinaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3479-3492, 2013Author(s): Y. C. Yang, G. W. Cheng, J. H. Fan, W. P. Li, J. Sun, and Y. K. ShaBecause of density and distribution flaws inherent with in
situ rainfall measurements, satellite-based rainfall products, especially
the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), were expected to offer an
alternative or complement for modeling of hydrological processes and water
balance analysis. This study aims at evaluating the validity of a standard
product, the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) 3B42V6, by
comparing it with in situ ground gauge datasets on a typical alpine and
gorge region in China, the Jinsha River basin. The validation study involved
the performance of the 3B42V6 product on 3 h, daily and monthly temporal scales.
Statistical analysis methods were used for rainfall and rain event
estimation. The results affirmed that the 3B42V6 product demonstrated increasing
accuracy when the temporal scales were increased from 3 h to daily to
monthly. The mean correlation coefficient of rainfall time series between
the 3B42V6 product and the gauge over the Jinsha River basin reached 0.34 on the
3 h scale, 0.59 on the daily scale, and 0.90 on the monthly scale. The
mean probability of detection (POD) of the 3B42V6 product reached 0.34 on the 3 h
scale and 0.63 on the daily scale. The 3B42V6 product of 80.4% of stations obtained
an acceptable bias (± 25%) over the investigation area. A threshold
of nearly 5.0 mm d−1 in daily rainfall intensity split the
3B42V6 product into overestimates (< 5.0 mm d−1) and
underestimates (> 5.0 mm d−1). The terrain
elements of altitude, longitude, and latitude were the major influencing
factors for 3B42V6 performance. In brief, the 3B42V6 dataset has great
potential for research on hydrologic processes, especially daily or large temporal scale. As for fine temporal scale applications,
such as flood predictions based on a 3 h scale dataset, it is necessary
to conduct adjustments or to combine the 3B42V6 product with gauges to be
more accurate regarding the issues in the study area or in analogous regions
with complicated terrains. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Preface: Marine and Lake PaleoseismologyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3469-3478, 2013Author(s): E. E. Gràcia, G. Lamarche, H. Nelson, and D. Pantosti 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Modelling of tsunami-like wave run-up, breaking and impact on a vertical wall by SPH methodNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3457-3467, 2013Author(s): M. H. Dao, H. Xu, E. S. Chan, and P. TkalichAccurate predictions of wave run-up and run-down are
important for coastal impact assessment of relatively long waves such as
tsunami or storm waves. Wave run-up is, however, a complex process involving
nonlinear build-up of the wave front, intensive wave breaking and strong
turbulent flow, making the numerical approximation challenging. Recent
advanced modelling methodologies could help to overcome these numerical
challenges. For a demonstration, we study run-up of non-breaking and
breaking solitary waves on a vertical wall using two methods, an enhanced
smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method and the traditional
non-breaking nonlinear model Tunami-N2. The Tunami-N2 model fails to capture
the evolution of steep waves at the proximity of breaking that was observed in
the experiments. Whereas the SPH method successfully simulates the wave
propagation, breaking, impact on structure and the reform and breaking
processes of wave run-down. The study also indicates that inadequate
approximation of the wave breaking could lead to significant
under-predictions of wave height and impact pressure on structures. The SPH
model shows potential applications for accurate impact assessments of wave
run-up on to coastal structures. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Maximising the usefulness of flood risk assessment for the River Vistula in WarsawNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3443-3455, 2013Author(s): A. Kiczko, R. J. Romanowicz, M. Osuch, and E. KaramuzThe derivation of the flood risk maps requires an estimation of maximum
inundation extent for a flood with a given return period, e.g. 100 or
500 yr. The results of numerical simulations of flood wave propagation
are used to overcome the lack of relevant observations. In practice,
deterministic 1-D models are used for that purpose. The solution of a 1-D model
depends on the initial and boundary conditions and estimates of model parameters
based on the available noisy observations. Therefore, there is a large
uncertainty involved in the derivation of flood risk maps using a single
realisation of a flow model. Bayesian conditioning based on multiple model
simulations can be used to quantify this uncertainty; however, it is too
computer-time demanding to be applied in flood risk assessment in practice,
without further flow routing model simplifications. We propose robust and
feasible methodology for estimating flood risk. In order to decrease the
computation times the assumption of a gradually varied flow and the application
of a steady state flow routing model is introduced. The aim of this work is an
analysis of the influence of those simplifying assumptions and uncertainty of
observations and modelling errors on flood inundation mapping and a quantitative
comparison with deterministic flood extent maps. Apart from the uncertainty
related to the model structure and its parameters, the uncertainty of the
estimated flood wave with a specified probability of return period (so-called
1-in-10 yr, or 1-in-100 yr flood) is also taken into account. In
order to derive the uncertainty of inundation extent conditioned on the design
flood, the probabilities related to the design wave and flow model uncertainties
are integrated. In the present paper that integration is done whilst taking into
account the dependence of roughness coefficients on discharge. The roughness is
parameterised based on maximum annual discharges. This approach allows for the
relationship between flood extent and flow values to be derived, thus giving
a cumulative assessment of flood risk. The methods are illustrated using the
Warsaw reach of the River Vistula as a case study. The results indicate that
deterministic and stochastic flood inundation maps cannot be quantitatively
compared. We show that the proposed simplified approach to flood risk assessment
can be applied even when breaching of the embankment occurs, with the condition
that the flooded area is small enough to be filled rapidly. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Social capacities for drought risk management in SwitzerlandNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3429-3441, 2013Author(s): S. Kruse and I. SeidlThis paper analyses the social capacities for drought risk management from
the perspective of national and regional water users and policy- and
decision-makers in Switzerland. The analysis follows five dimensions of
social capacities as prerequisites for drought risk management. Regarding
information and knowledge (1), basic data is available, however not assembled
for an integrated drought information system. As for technology and
infrastructure (2), limited proactive capacities are available with the
exception of a few of the drought-prone regions; in emergency response to
drought however, provisional capacities are put together. Regarding
organisation and management (3) most regions have enough personnel and
effective cooperation in the case of acute and sporadic drought; long-term
strategies though are largely missing. Economic resources (4) are sufficient
if droughts remain rare. Finally, institutions and policies (5) are not
sufficient for proactive drought risk management, but have been suitable in
the drought of 2003. Starting points for building social capacities are
first, to draw on the extensive experiences with the management of other
natural hazards, second to build an integrated drought information system,
including social and economic impacts, and third to improve the institutional
framework through consistent regulations and coordination for proactive
drought risk management. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

"Last mile" challenges to in situ volcanic data transmissionNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3419-3428, 2013Author(s): J. F. B. D. Fonseca, B. V. E. Faria, J. Trindade, G. Cruz, A. Chambel, F. M. Silva, R. L. Pereira, and T. VazãoScientists play a key role in volcanic risk management, but rely heavily on
fast access to data acquired in the vicinity of an active volcano. Hazardous
volcanoes are often located in remote areas were telecommunications
infrastructure is fragile. Besides being exposed directly to the volcanic
hazard, the infrastructure in such remote areas can also suffer from "last
mile" limitations derived from lack of market demand for data transmission
services. In this paper, we report on the findings of the FP7 MIAVITA project in
the topic of volcanic data transmission. We draw on the contribution of
partners from emergent or developing countries to identify the main
bottlenecks and fragilities. We also present the results of an experiment
conducted on Fogo Island, Cape Verde, to test the availability of VSAT
services adequate for volcanic monitoring. We warn against the false sense
of security resulting from increasingly ubiquitous connectivity, and point
out the lack of reliability of many consumer-type services, particularly
during emergencies when such services are likely to crash due to excess of
demand from the public. Finally, we propose guidelines and recommend best
practices for the design of volcanic monitoring networks in what concerns
data transmission. In particular, we advise that the data transmission
equipment close to the exposed area should be owned, operated and maintained
by the volcanic monitoring institution. We exemplify with the set-up of the
Fogo telemetric interface, which uses low-power licence-free radio modems to
reach a robust point of entry into the public network at a suitable distance
from the volcano. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Impacts of groundwater extraction on salinization risk in a semi-arid floodplainNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3405-3418, 2013Author(s): S. Alaghmand, S. Beecham, and A. HassanliIn the lower River Murray in Australia, a combination of a reduction in the
frequency, duration and magnitude of natural floods, rising saline
water tables in floodplains, and excessive evapotranspiration have led to an
irrigation-induced groundwater mound forcing the naturally saline
groundwater onto the floodplain. It is during the attenuation phase of
floods that these large salt accumulations are likely to be mobilised and
discharged into the river. This has been highlighted as the most
significant risk in the Murray–Darling Basin and the South Australian
Government and catchment management authorities have subsequently developed
salt interception schemes (SIS). The aim of these schemes is to reduce the hydraulic
gradient that drives the regional saline groundwater towards the River
Murray. This paper investigates the interactions between a river (River
Murray in South Australia) and a saline semi-arid floodplain (Clark's
floodplain) that is significantly influenced by groundwater lowering due to
a particular SIS. The results confirm that groundwater extraction maintains
a lower water table and a higher amount of fresh river water flux to the saline
floodplain aquifer. In terms of salinity, this may lead to less solute
stored in the floodplain aquifer. This occurs through three mechanisms,
namely extraction of the solute mass from the system, reducing the saline
groundwater flux from the highland to the floodplain and changing the
floodplain groundwater regime from a losing to a gaining one. It is shown
that groundwater extraction is able to remove some of the solute stored in
the unsaturated zone and this can mitigate the floodplain salinity risk. A
conceptual model of the impact of groundwater extraction on floodplain
salinization has been developed. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Toward a possible next geomagnetic transition?Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3395-3403, 2013Author(s): A. De Santis, E. Qamili, and L. WuThe geomagnetic field is subject to possible reversals or excursions of
polarity during its temporal evolution. Considering that: (a) in the last 83
million yr the typical average time between one reversal and the next (the
so-called chron) is around 400 000 yr, (b) the last reversal occurred
around 780 000 yr ago, (c) more excursions (rapid changes in polarity) can
occur within the same chron and (d) the geomagnetic field dipole is currently
decreasing, a possible imminent geomagnetic reversal or excursion would not
be completely unexpected. In that case, such a phenomenon would represent one
of the very few natural hazards that are really
global. The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is a great depression of the
geomagnetic field strength at the Earth's surface, caused by a reverse
magnetic flux in the terrestrial outer core. In analogy with critical point
phenomena characterized by some cumulative
quantity, we fit the surface extent of this anomaly over the last 400 yr
with power law or logarithmic functions in reverse time, also decorated by
log-periodic oscillations, whose final singularity (a critical point
tc) reveals a great change in the near future
(2034 ± 3 yr), when the SAA area reaches almost a hemisphere. An
interesting aspect that has recently been found is the possible direct
connection between the SAA and the global mean sea level (GSL). That the GSL
is somehow connected with SAA is also confirmed by the similar result when an
analogous critical-like fit is performed over GSL: the corresponding critical
point (2033 ± 11 yr) agrees, within the estimated errors, with the
value found for the SAA. From this result, we point out the intriguing conjecture
that tc would be the time of no return, after which the
geomagnetic field could fall into an irreversible process of a global
geomagnetic transition that could be a reversal or excursion of polarity. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the wildland urban interface in Sydney, AustraliaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3385-3393, 2013Author(s): O. F. Price and R. A. BradstockIn order to quantify the risks from fire at the wildland urban interface
(WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood
of spreading to the WUI. For each of the 999 fires in the Sydney region we
calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire's weather
and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of
burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance
interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only
a 5% chance that a fire starting >2.5 km from the interface would
reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance
remained above 30% even at distances >10 km. Fires were more likely
to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of
the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are
commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI
of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were
concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away
than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk
fires). Overall, 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so
there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI.
By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model,
we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but
the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a
variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to
match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also
provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire
management strategies can be conducted. 2013/12/24 - 06:57

Assessing institutional capacities to adapt to climate change: integrating psychological dimensions in the Adaptive Capacity WheelNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3369-3384, 2013Author(s): T. Grothmann, K. Grecksch, M. Winges, and B. SiebenhünerSeveral case studies show that social factors like institutions, perceptions
and social capital strongly affect social capacities to adapt to climate
change. Together with economic and technological development they are
important for building social capacities.

However, there are almost no methodologies for the systematic assessment of
social factors. After reviewing existing methodologies we identify the
Adaptive Capacity Wheel (ACW) by Gupta et al. (2010), developed for assessing
the adaptive capacity of institutions, as the most comprehensive and
operationalised framework to assess social factors. The ACW differentiates 22
criteria to assess 6 dimensions: variety, learning capacity, room for
autonomous change, leadership, availability of resources, fair governance.

To include important psychological factors we extended the ACW by two
dimensions: "adaptation motivation" refers to actors' motivation to
realise, support and/or promote adaptation to climate; "adaptation belief"
refers to actors' perceptions of realisability and effectiveness of
adaptation measures.

We applied the extended ACW to assess adaptive capacities of four sectors –
water management, flood/coastal protection, civil protection and regional
planning – in northwestern Germany. The assessments of adaptation
motivation and belief provided a clear added value. The results also revealed
some methodological problems in applying the ACW (e.g. overlap of
dimensions), for which we propose methodological solutions. 2013/12/20 - 16:06

Post-earthquake ignition vulnerability assessment of Küçükçekmece DistrictNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3357-3368, 2013Author(s): S. S. Yildiz and H. KaramanIn this study, a geographic information system (GIS)-based model was
developed to calculate the post-earthquake ignition probability of a
building, considering damage to the building's interior gas and electrical
distribution system and the overturning of appliances. In order to make our
model more reliable and realistic, a weighting factor was used to define the
possible existence of each appliance or other contents in the given
occupancy. A questionnaire was prepared to weigh the relevance of the
different components of post-earthquake ignitions using the analytical hierarchy
process (AHP). The questionnaire was evaluated by researchers who were
experienced in earthquake engineering and post-earthquake fires. The
developed model was implemented to HAZTURK's (Hazards Turkey) earthquake loss
assessment software, as developed by the Mid-America Earthquake Center with the
help of Istanbul Technical University. The developed post-earthquake
ignition tool was applied to Küçükçekmece, Istanbul, in
Turkey. The results were evaluated according to structure types, occupancy
types, the number of storeys, building codes and specified districts. The
evaluated results support the theory that post-earthquake ignition
probability is inversely proportional to the number of storeys and the
construction year, depending upon the building code. 2013/12/19 - 15:37

Assessing the spatial variability of coefficients of landslide predictors in different regions of Romania using logistic regressionNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3339-3355, 2013Author(s): M. C. Mărgărint, A. Grozavu, and C. V. PatricheIn landslide susceptibility assessment, an important issue is the correct
identification of significant contributing factors, which leads to the
improvement of predictions regarding this type of geomorphologic processes.
In the scientific literature, different weightings are assigned to these
factors, but contain large variations. This study aims to identify the
spatial variability and range of variation for the coefficients of landslide
predictors in different geographical conditions. Four sectors of
15 km × 15 km (225 km2) were selected for analysis from
representative regions in Romania in terms of spatial extent of landslides,
situated both on the hilly areas (the Transylvanian Plateau and Moldavian
Plateau) and lower mountain region (Subcarpathians). The following factors
were taken into consideration: elevation, slope angle, slope height, terrain
curvature (mean, plan and profile), distance from drainage network, slope
aspect, land use, and lithology. For each sector, landslide inventory,
digital elevation model and thematic layers of the mentioned predictors were
achieved and integrated in a georeferenced environment. The logistic
regression was applied separately for the four study sectors as the statistical
method for assessing terrain landsliding susceptibility. Maps of landslide
susceptibility were produced, the values of which were classified by using
the natural breaks method (Jenks). The accuracy of the logistic regression
outcomes was evaluated using the ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve and AUC (area under the curve) parameter, which show
values between 0.852 and 0.922 for training samples, and between 0.851 and
0.940 for validation samples. The values of coefficients are generally
confined within the limits specified by the scientific literature. In each
sector, landslide susceptibility is essentially related to some specific
predictors, such as the slope angle, land use, slope height, and lithology.
The study points out that the coefficients assigned to the landslide
predictors through logistic regression are capable to reveal some important
characteristics in landslide manifestation. The study also shows that the
logistic regression could be an alternative method to the current Romanian
methodology for landslide susceptibility and hazard mapping. 2013/12/19 - 15:37

A new-type flexible rock-shed under the impact of rock block: initial experimental insightsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3329-3338, 2013Author(s): S. Q. Shi, M. Wang, X. Q. Peng, and Y. K. YangA new concept of flexible rock-shed is proposed in this paper. The flexible
rock-shed is made of flexible nets held up by a specially designed, steel
vaulted structure. A 1:1 prototype is manufactured and tested for
functional evaluation with an impact experiment. It is shown that the structure
can stand for an impact energy of about 250 kJ without observable rupture of
the flexible nets or cables and can be put into service again with some
maintenances on the steel vaulted structure. Experimental data such as local
strains, peak loads and impact times are recorded by dynamic strain gauges,
load cells and a high-speed camera for structural analysis and some
complementary suggestions of improving and designing are offered with respect
to the joints and components. Finally, the advantages and limitations of the
flexible rock-shed are outlined and the limits of the present experimental
investigation and the future research for the flexible rock-shed are
proposed. 2013/12/18 - 11:53

Airborne geophysical mapping as an innovative methodology for landslide investigation: evaluation of results from the Gschliefgraben landslide, AustriaNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3313-3328, 2013Author(s): R. Supper, I. Baroň, D. Ottowitz, K. Motschka, S. Gruber, E. Winkler, B. Jochum, and A. RömerIn September 2009, a complex airborne geophysical survey was performed in
the large landslide affected area of the Gschliefgraben valley, Upper
Austria, in order to evaluate the applicability of this method for landslide
detection and mapping. An evaluation of the results, including different
remote-sensing and ground-based methods, proved that airborne geophysics,
especially the airborne electromagnetic method, has a high potential for
landslide investigation. This is due to its sensitivity to fluid and clay
content and porosity, which are parameters showing characteristic values in
landslide prone structures. Resistivity distributions in different depth
levels as well as depth slices along selected profiles are presented and
compared with ground geoelectrical profiles for the test area of

Further interesting results can be derived from the radiometric survey,
whereas the naturally occurring radioisotopes 40K and 232Th, as
well as the man-made nuclide 137Cs have been considered. While the
content of potassium and thorium in the shallow subsurface layer is
expressively related to the lithological composition, the distribution of
caesium is mainly determined by mass wasting processes. 2013/12/18 - 11:53

Coastal vulnerability assessment of Puducherry coast, India, using the analytical hierarchical processNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3291-3311, 2013Author(s): R. Mani Murali, M. Ankita, S. Amrita, and P. VethamonyAs a consequence of change in global climate, an increased frequency of natural hazards such as storm surges, tsunamis and cyclones, is predicted to have
dramatic affects on the coastal communities and ecosystems by virtue of the
devastation they cause during and after their occurrence. The tsunami of
December 2004 and the Thane cyclone of 2011 caused extensive human and
economic losses along the coastline of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. The
devastation caused by these events highlighted the need for vulnerability
assessment to ensure better understanding of the elements causing different
hazards and to consequently minimize the after- effects of the future
events. This paper demonstrates an analytical hierarchical process (AHP)-based approach to coastal vulnerability studies as an improvement to the
existing methodologies for vulnerability assessment. The paper also
encourages the inclusion of socio-economic parameters along with the
physical parameters to calculate the coastal vulnerability index using AHP-derived weights. Seven physical–geological parameters (slope, geomorphology,
elevation, shoreline change, sea level rise, significant wave height and
tidal range) and four socio-economic factors (population,
land use/land cover (LU/LC), roads and location of tourist areas) are
considered to measure the physical vulnerability index (PVI) as well as the
socio-economic vulnerability index (SVI) of the Puducherry coast. Based on
the weights and scores derived using AHP, vulnerability maps are prepared to
demarcate areas with very low, medium and high vulnerability. A combination
of PVI and SVI values are further utilized to compute the coastal vulnerability index (CVI). Finally, the various coastal segments are grouped
into the 3 vulnerability classes to obtain the coastal vulnerability map.
The entire coastal extent between Muthiapet and Kirumampakkam as well as the
northern part of Kalapet is designated as the high vulnerability zone, which
constitutes 50% of the coastline. The region between the southern coastal
extent of Kalapet and Lawspet is the medium vulnerability zone and the remaining
25% is the low vulnerability zone. The results obtained enable the
identification and prioritization of the more vulnerable areas of the region in order to further
assist the government and the residing coastal communities in better coastal
management and conservation. 2013/12/17 - 08:02

Temporal and spatial analyses on seismo-electric anomalies associated with the 27 February 2010 M = 8.8 Chile earthquake observed by DEMETER satelliteNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3281-3289, 2013Author(s): Y.-Y. Ho, J.-Y. Liu, M. Parrot, and J.-L. PinçonThis paper studies seismo-electromagnetic anomalies observed by the French
satellite DEMETER (Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from
Earthquake Regions) during the 27 February 2010 M = 8.8 Chile earthquake. The
nighttime electron density (Ne), electron temperature (Te), ion density
(Ni), ion temperature (Ti) and whistler counts (Cw) are investigated. A
statistical analysis of the box-and-whisker method is applied to see if data
of two or more groups under study are significantly different. A
cross-examination of temporal variations before and after shows that Ne and
Ni (Cw) increases (decreases) appear 10–20 days before the earthquake. A
comparison of data over the epicenter and those over its reference area can
be employed to discriminate the earthquake-related anomalies from global
effects. Results prove that anomalous enhancements of Ne, Ni, and Ti occur
specifically around the epicenter area. The intersection of the temporal and
spatial results confirms that Ne and Ni are useful and sensitive detecting
anomalous related to the 2010 M = 8.8 Chile earthquake. 2013/12/17 - 08:02

Climatic characteristics of summer human thermal discomfort in Athens and its connection to atmospheric circulationNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3271-3279, 2013Author(s): A. Bartzokas, C. J. Lolis, P. A. Kassomenos, and G. R. McGregorThe climate characteristics of summer human thermal discomfort in Athens and
its connection to atmospheric circulation are studied for the period
1954–2012. The human thermal discomfort is examined in terms of the
Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) discomfort index for calm and light wind
(3 ms-1) conditions. Its inter-annual variability is characterised
by a significant increase from the middle 1980s to the end of the study
period. The onset and the cessation of the discomfort period are found to
take place around the beginning of July and the end of August respectively,
but from middle 1980s the dates of onset and cessation have slightly moved
earlier and later, respectively, leading to a longer summer discomfort
period. The connection between human thermal discomfort and atmospheric
circulation is studied by examining the distribution of discomfort cases
across six objectively defined circulation types over Europe, based on Athens
weather characteristics. High values of the PMV discomfort index are mainly
associated with two typical high-summer pressure patterns with the intensity
of discomfort depending on the pressure gradient over the Aegean Sea. On the
contrary, low PMV discomfort index values prevail mainly on days typified by
the other four circulation types, which are more frequent during May, June,
and September. 2013/12/17 - 08:02

Tsunami evacuation modelling as a tool for risk reduction: application to the coastal area of El SalvadorNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3249-3270, 2013Author(s): P. González-Riancho, I. Aguirre-Ayerbe, I. Aniel-Quiroga, S. Abad, M. González, J. Larreynaga, F. Gavidia, O. Q. Gutiérrez, J. A. Álvarez-Gómez, and R. MedinaAdvances in the understanding and prediction of tsunami impacts allow the
development of risk reduction strategies for tsunami-prone areas. This paper
presents an integral framework for the formulation of tsunami evacuation
plans based on tsunami vulnerability assessment and evacuation modelling.
This framework considers (i) the hazard aspects (tsunami flooding
characteristics and arrival time), (ii) the characteristics of the exposed
area (people, shelters and road network), (iii) the current tsunami warning
procedures and timing, (iv) the time needed to evacuate the population, and
(v) the identification of measures to improve the evacuation process. The
proposed methodological framework aims to bridge between risk assessment and
risk management in terms of tsunami evacuation, as it allows for an
estimation of the degree of evacuation success of specific management
options, as well as for the classification and prioritization of the gathered
information, in order to formulate an optimal evacuation plan. The framework
has been applied to the El Salvador case study, demonstrating its
applicability to site-specific response times and population characteristics. 2013/12/14 - 12:07

Trends and variability in extreme precipitation indices over Maghreb countriesNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3235-3248, 2013Author(s): Y. Tramblay, S. El Adlouni, and E. ServatMaghreb countries are highly vulnerable to extreme hydrological events, such
as floods and droughts, driven by the strong variability of precipitation.
While several studies have analyzed the presence of trends in precipitation
records for the Euro-Mediterranean basin, this study provides a regional
assessment of trends on its southernmost shores. A database of 22 stations
located in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia with between 33 and 59 yr of daily
precipitation records is considered. The change points and trends are
analyzed for eleven climate indices, describing several features of the
precipitation regime. The issue of conducting multiple hypothesis tests is
addressed through the implementation of a false discovery rate procedure. The
spatial and interannual variability of the precipitation indices at the
different stations are analyzed and compared with large-scale atmospheric
circulation patterns, including the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), western
Mediterranean Oscillation (WEMO), Mediterranean Oscillation (MO) and El
Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Results show a strong tendency towards a
decrease of precipitation totals and wet days together with an increase in
the duration of dry periods, mainly for Morocco and western Algeria. On the
other hand, only a few significant trends are detected for heavy precipitation
indices. The NAO and MO patterns are well correlated with precipitation
indices describing precipitation amounts, the number of dry days and the
length of wet and dry periods, whereas heavy precipitation indices exhibit a
strong spatial variability and are only moderately correlated with large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns. 2013/12/14 - 12:07

Tephra hazard assessment at Mt. Etna (Italy)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3221-3233, 2013Author(s): S. Scollo, M. Coltelli, C. Bonadonna, and P. Del CarloIn this paper we present a probabilistic hazard assessment for tephra fallout
at Mt. Etna (Italy) associated with both short- and long-lived eruptions.
Eruptive scenarios and eruption source parameters were defined based on the
geological record, while an advection–diffusion–sedimentation model was
used to capture the variation in wind speed and direction with time after
calibration with the field data. Two different types of eruptions were
considered in our analysis: eruptions associated with strong short-lived
plumes and eruptions associated with weak long-lived plumes. Our
probabilistic approach was based on one eruption scenario for both types and
on an eruption range scenario for eruptions producing weak long-lived plumes.
Due to the prevailing wind direction, the eastern flanks are the most
affected by tephra deposition, with the 122 BC Plinian and 2002–2003
eruptions showing the highest impact both on infrastructures and agriculture. 2013/12/13 - 07:08

Novel method for hurricane trajectory prediction based on data miningNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3211-3220, 2013Author(s): X. Dong and D. C. PiThis paper describes a novel method for hurricane trajectory prediction based
on data mining (HTPDM) according to the hurricane's motion characteristics.
Firstly, all frequent trajectories in the historical hurricane trajectory
database are mined by using association analysis technology and their
corresponding association rules are generated as motion patterns. Then, the
current hurricane trajectories are matched with the motion patterns for
predicting. If no association rule is found for matching, a predicted result
according to the hurricane current movement trend would be returned. All
experiments are conducted with the Atlantic weather Hurricane/Tropical Data
from 1900 to 2008. The experimental results show that if the matching failure
part is contained, the prediction accuracy is 57.5%. Whereas, the valve
would be to 65% provided all matches are successful. 2013/12/11 - 20:56

Collisions of two breathers at the surface of deep waterNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3205-3210, 2013Author(s): A. I. Dyachenko, D. I. Kachulin, and V. E. ZakharovWe present results of numerical experiments on long-term evolution and
collisions of breathers (which correspond to envelope solitons in the NLSE
approximation) at the surface of deep ideal fluid. The collisions happen to
be nonelastic. In the numerical experiment it can be observed only after many
acts of interactions. This supports the hypothesis of "deep water
nonintegrability". The experiments were performed in the framework of the
new and refined version of the Zakharov equation free of nonessential terms
in the quartic Hamiltonian. Simplification is possible due to exact
cancellation of nonelastic four-wave interaction. 2013/12/09 - 20:39

Sea cliff instability susceptibility at regional scale: a statistically based assessment in the southern Algarve, PortugalNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3185-3203, 2013Author(s): F. M. S. F. Marques, R. Matildes, and P. RedweikSea cliff evolution is dominated by the occurrence of slope mass movements of
different types and sizes, which are a considerable source of natural hazard,
making their assessment a relevant issue in terms of human loss prevention
and land use regulations. To address the assessment of the spatial component
of sea cliff hazards, i.e. the susceptibility, a statistically based study
was made to assess the capacity of a set of conditioning factors to express
the occurrence of sea cliff failures affecting areas located along their top.

The study was based on the application of the bivariate information value and
multivariate logistic regression statistical methods, using a set of
predisposing factors for cliff failures, mainly related to geology
(lithology, bedding dip, faults) and geomorphology (maximum and mean slope,
height, aspect, plan curvature, toe protection), which were correlated with a
photogrammetry-based inventory of cliff failures that occurred in a 60 yr
period (1947–2007). The susceptibility models were validated against the
inventory data using standard success rate and ROC curves, and provided
encouraging results, indicating that the proposed approaches are effective
for susceptibility assessment. The results obtained also stress the need for
improvement of the predisposing factors to be used in this type of study and
the need for detailed and systematic cliff failure inventories. 2013/12/09 - 20:39

Shallow landslide's stochastic risk modelling based on the precipitation event of August 2005 in Switzerland: results and implicationsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3169-3184, 2013Author(s): P. Nicolet, L. Foresti, O. Caspar, and M. JaboyedoffDue to their relatively unpredictable characteristics,
shallow landslides represent a risk for human
infrastructures. Multiple shallow landslides can be triggered by
widespread intense
precipitation events. The event of August 2005 in Switzerland
is used in order to propose a risk model to predict the expected
number of landslides based on the precipitation amounts and
lithological units. The spatial distribution of rainfall is
characterized by merging data coming from operational weather radars
and a dense network of rain gauges with an artificial neural
network. Lithologies are grouped into four main units, with similar
characteristics. Then, from a landslide inventory containing more than
5000 landslides, a probabilistic relation linking the precipitation
amount and the lithology to the number of landslides in
a 1 km2 cell, is derived. In a next step, this relation is
used to randomly redistribute the landslides using Monte Carlo
simulations. The probability for a landslide to reach a building is
assessed using stochastic geometry and the damage cost is assessed
from the estimated mean damage cost using an exponential distribution
to account for the variability. Although the model reproduces well
the number of landslides, the number of affected buildings is underestimated. This seems to result from the human
influence on landslide occurrence. Such a model might be useful to
characterize the risk resulting from shallow landslides and its
variability. 2013/12/09 - 20:39

Application and reliability of techniques for landslide site investigation, monitoring and early warning – outcomes from a questionnaire studyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3157-3168, 2013Author(s): I. Baroň and R. SupperThe presented questionnaire study summarizes an evaluation of approaches,
techniques and parameters of slope-instability investigation and monitoring
of their occurrence, reliability and the applicability of the monitoring
techniques for early warning. The study is based on information collected
from 86 monitored landslides in 14 European and Asian countries. Based on
the responses, lidar ALS (airborne laser scanners), geophysical logging, aerial photographs,
resistivity surveying, GB InSAR (ground-based synthetic aperture radar
interferometer) and the refraction seismic were considered
the most reliable methods for investigation of structure and character of
landslides. Especially lidar ALS and geophysical logging were ranked high
despite their application at relatively few landslides. Precipitation
amount, pore-water pressure and displacement monitored by wire
extensometers, dGPS and total stations, followed by air temperature and
EM-emissions monitoring and displacement monitored by the TM 71 crack gauge
were considered the most promising parameters for early warning. 2013/12/09 - 20:39

Assessment of flash floods taking into account climate change scenarios in the Llobregat River basinNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3145-3156, 2013Author(s): M. Velasco, P. A. Versini, A. Cabello, and A. Barrera-EscodaGlobal change may imply important changes in the future occurrence and
intensity of extreme events. Climate scenarios characterizing these plausible
changes were previously obtained for the Llobregat River basin (NE Spain).
This paper presents the implementation of these scenarios in the HBV
(Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning) hydrological model. Then, the
expected changes in terms of flash flood occurrence and intensity are
assessed for two different sub-basins: the Alt Llobregat and the Anoia
(Llobregat River basin).

The assessment of future flash floods has been done in terms of the
intensity and occurrence of extreme events, using a peak over threshold (POT) analysis. For these
two sub-basins, most of the simulated scenarios present an increase of the
intensity of the peak discharge values. On the other hand, the future
occurrence follows different trends in the two sub-basins: an increase is
observed in Alt Llobregat but a decrease occurs in Anoia. Despite the
uncertainties that appear in the whole process, the results obtained can
shed some light on how future flash floods events may occur. 2013/12/06 - 18:14

Calibration of a real-time tsunami detection algorithm for sites with no instrumental tsunami records: application to coastal tide-gauge stations in eastern Sicily, ItalyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3129-3144, 2013Author(s): L. Bressan, F. Zaniboni, and S. TintiCoastal tide gauges play a very important role in a tsunami warning system,
since sea-level data are needed for a correct evaluation of the tsunami
threat, and the tsunami arrival has to be recognized as early as possible.
Real-time tsunami detection algorithms serve this purpose. For an efficient
detection, they have to be calibrated and adapted to the specific local
characteristics of the site where they are installed, which is easily done
when the station has recorded a sufficiently large number of tsunamis. In
this case the recorded database can be used to select the best set of
parameters enhancing the discrimination power of the algorithm and minimizing
the detection time. This chance is however rare, since most of the coastal
tide-gauge stations, either historical or of new installation, have recorded
only a few tsunamis in their lifetimes, if any. In this case calibration must
be carried out by using synthetic tsunami signals, which poses the problem of
how to generate them and how to use them. This paper investigates this issue
and proposes a calibration approach by using as an example a specific case,
which is the calibration of a real-time detection algorithm called TEDA
(Tsunami Early Detection Algorithm) for two stations (namely Tremestieri and
Catania) in eastern Sicily, Italy, which were recently installed in the frame
of the Italian project TSUNET, aiming at improving the tsunami monitoring
capacity in a region that is one of the most hazardous tsunami areas of Italy
and of the Mediterranean. 2013/12/06 - 18:14

Sediment transport on the inner shelf off Khao Lak (Andaman Sea, Thailand) during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and former storm events: evidence from foraminiferal transfer functionsNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3113-3128, 2013Author(s): Y. Milker, M. Wilken, J. Schumann, D. Sakuna, P. Feldens, K. Schwarzer, and G. SchmiedlWe have investigated the benthic foraminiferal fauna from sediment event
layers associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and former storms that
have been retrieved in short sediment cores from offshore environments of
the Andaman Sea, off Khao Lak, western Thailand. Species composition and
test preservation of the benthic foraminiferal faunas exhibit pronounced
changes across the studied sections and provide information on the
depositional history of the tsunami layer, particularly on the source water
depth of the displaced foraminiferal tests. In order to obtain accurate
bathymetric information on sediment provenance, we have mapped the
distribution of modern faunas in non-tsunamigenic surface sediments and
created a calibration data set for the development of a transfer function.
Our quantitative reconstructions revealed that the resuspension of sediment
particles by the tsunami wave was restricted to a maximum water depth of
approximately 20 m. Similar values were obtained for former storm events,
thus impeding an easy distinction of different high-energy events. 2013/12/06 - 18:14

Mapping tsunami impacts on land cover and related ecosystem service supply in Phang Nga, ThailandNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3095-3111, 2013Author(s): G. Kaiser, B. Burkhard, H. Römer, S. Sangkaew, R. Graterol, T. Haitook, H. Sterr, and D. Sakuna-SchwartzThe 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused damages to coastal ecosystems and thus
affected the livelihoods of the coastal communities who depend on services
provided by these ecosystems. The paper presents a case study on evaluating
and mapping the spatial and temporal impacts of the tsunami on land use and
land cover (LULC) and related ecosystem service supply in the
Phang Nga province, Thailand. The method includes local stakeholder
interviews, field investigations, remote-sensing techniques, and GIS.
Results provide an ecosystem services matrix with capacity scores
for 18 LULC classes and 17 ecosystem functions and services as well as
pre-/post-tsunami and recovery maps indicating changes in the ecosystem
service supply capacities in the study area. Local stakeholder interviews
revealed that mangroves, casuarina forest, mixed beach forest, coral reefs, tidal inlets, as
well as wetlands (peat swamp forest) have the highest capacity to supply
ecosystem services, while e.g. plantations have a lower capacity. The
remote-sensing based damage and recovery analysis showed a loss of the
ecosystem service supply capacities in almost all LULC classes for most of
the services due to the tsunami. A fast recovery of LULC and related
ecosystem service supply capacities within one year could be observed for
e.g. beaches, while mangroves or casuarina forest needed several years to
recover. Applying multi-temporal mapping the spatial variations of
could be visualised. While some patches of coastal forest were fully
recovered after 3 yr, other patches were still affected and thus had
a reduced capacity to supply ecosystem services. The ecosystem services maps can
be used to quantify ecological values and their spatial distribution in the
framework of a tsunami risk assessment. Beyond that they are considered to
be a useful tool for spatial analysis in coastal risk management in Phang
Nga. 2013/12/06 - 18:14

Scale model for the confluent area of debris flow and main river: a case study of the Wenjia GullyNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3083-3093, 2013Author(s): J. Zhang, Z. X. Guo, S. Y. Cao, and V. P. SinghWhen debris flow discharges into the main river, the deposition of debris
raises the river bed, occupies the path of water conveyance and damages or
even destroys buildings, resulting in considerable economic loss and
possibly fatalities. Mathematical models are normally employed to compute debris flow.
However, most of these models employ empirical formulae and coefficients and
their results are seldom reliable. On the other hand, scale model tests
associated with debris flow have seldom been conducted due to the lack of
corresponding similarity laws and the difficulty of achieving the grain
diameter scale. Focusing on pseudo-one-phase flow, this paper discusses the
laws of similarity for the confluence of debris flow and main river and
conducts a case study of the debris flow that occurred on 13 August 2010, in
the Wenjia Gully, China. After satisfying the roughness scale, the kinematic
viscosity coefficient scale, and the momentum ratio scale, it was found that
the deposition terrain in the model test is consistent with the one in the
prototype. 2013/12/02 - 14:04

Adaptability and transferability of flood loss functions in residential areasNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3063-3081, 2013Author(s): H. Cammerer, A. H. Thieken, and J. LammelFlood loss modeling is an important component within flood risk assessments.
Traditionally, stage-damage functions are used for the estimation of direct
monetary damage to buildings. Although it is known that such functions are
governed by large uncertainties, they are commonly applied – even in
different geographical regions – without further validation, mainly due to
the lack of real damage data. Until now, little research has been done to
investigate the applicability and transferability of such damage models to
other regions. In this study, the last severe flood event in the Austrian
Lech Valley in 2005 was simulated to test the performance of various damage
functions from different geographical regions in Central Europe for the
residential sector. In addition to common stage-damage curves, new functions
were derived from empirical flood loss data collected in the aftermath of
recent flood events in neighboring Germany. Furthermore, a
multi-parameter flood loss model for the residential sector was adapted to
the study area and also evaluated with official damage data. The analysis
reveals that flood loss functions derived from related and more similar
regions perform considerably better than those from more heterogeneous
data sets of different regions and flood events. While former loss functions estimate the
observed damage well, the latter overestimate the reported loss clearly. To
illustrate the effect of model choice on the resulting uncertainty of damage
estimates, the current flood risk for residential areas was calculated. In
case of extreme events like the 300 yr flood, for example, the range of
losses to residential buildings between the highest and the lowest estimates
amounts to a factor of 18, in contrast to properly validated models with a
factor of 2.3. Even if the risk analysis is only performed for residential
areas, our results reveal evidently that a carefree model transfer in other
geographical regions might be critical. Therefore, we conclude that loss
models should at least be selected or derived from related regions with
similar flood and building characteristics, as far as no model validation is
possible. To further increase the general reliability of flood loss
assessment in the future, more loss data and more comprehensive loss data for model
development and validation are needed. 2013/11/30 - 19:36

Mapping wave set-up near a complex geometric urban coastlineNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3049-3061, 2013Author(s): T. Soomere, K. Pindsoo, S. R. Bishop, A. Käärd, and A. ValdmannWave induced set-up is a process that leads to increased water levels in
coastal regions. When coupled with storm conditions, wave set-up – or, for
brevity, set-up – can significantly increase the risk of flooding or
structural damage and therefore is of particular importance when considering
coastal management or issues related to the planning of nearshore
infrastructures. Here, we investigate the effects of set-up in the coastal
region of the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea, close to Tallinn, Estonia,
although the results will have wider relevance for many other areas. Due to
a lack of continuous wave data we employ modelling to provide input data
using a calculation scheme based on a high-resolution (470 m) spectral wave
model WAM to replicate spatial patterns of wave properties based on
high-quality, instrument-measured wind data from the neighbourhood of the
study site. The results indicate that for the specific geometry of coastline
under consideration, there is a variation in set-up which is strongly
affected by wind direction. The maximum set-up values are up to 70–80 cm in
selected locations. This is more than 50% of the all-time maximum water
level and thus may serve as a substantial source of marine hazard for
several low-lying regions around the city. Wind directions during storms
have changed in recent years and, with climate variability potentially
increasing, these results will encourage further tests which may be used
in a policy setting regarding defences or other structures in and around
coastlines. In particular, with urban development now taking place in many
coastal regions (including the one within this study) these results have
implications for local planners. They may also be incorporated into new
storm warning systems. 2013/11/30 - 19:36

Preface: Forecast and projection in climate scenario of Mediterranean intense events: uncertainties and propagation on environment (the MEDUP project)Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3043-3047, 2013Author(s): V. Ducrocq, P. Drobinski, D. Lambert, G. Molinié, and C. Llasat 2013/11/30 - 19:36

QVAST: a new Quantum GIS plugin for estimating volcanic susceptibilityNatural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13, 3031-3042, 2013Author(s): S. Bartolini, A. Cappello, J. Martí, and C. Del NegroOne of the most important tasks of modern volcanology is the construction of
hazard maps simulating different eruptive scenarios that can be used in
risk-based decision making in land-use planning and emergency management. The
first step in the quantitative assessment of volcanic hazards is the
development of susceptibility maps (i.e., the spatial probability of a future
vent opening given the past eruptive activity of a volcano). This challenging
issue is generally tackled using probabilistic methods that use the
calculation of a kernel function at each data location to estimate
probability density functions (PDFs). The smoothness and the modeling ability
of the kernel function are controlled by the smoothing parameter, also known
as the bandwidth. Here we present a new tool, QVAST, part of the open-source
geographic information system Quantum GIS, which is designed to create
user-friendly quantitative assessments of volcanic susceptibility. QVAST
allows the selection of an appropriate method for evaluating the bandwidth for the
kernel function on the basis of the input parameters and the shapefile
geometry, and can also evaluate the PDF with the Gaussian kernel. When
different input data sets are available for the area, the total susceptibility
map is obtained by assigning different weights to each of the PDFs, which are
then combined via a weighted summation and modeled in a non-homogeneous
Poisson process. The potential of QVAST, developed in a free and
user-friendly environment, is here shown through its application in the
volcanic fields of Lanzarote (Canary Islands) and La Garrotxa (NE Spain). 2013/11/27 - 22:19