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Journal Cover Natural Hazards
  [SJR: 0.465]   [H-I: 45]   [152 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1573-0840 - ISSN (Online) 0921-030X
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2335 journals]
  • Rogue waves off the south/southeastern Brazilian coast
    • Abstract: Abstract The occurrence of freak waves off the Brazilian coast was investigated through the analysis of data recorded by three buoys deployed in the south/southeast region, at a depth of 200 m. As well documented in the literature, these events are not rare, and more than 700 waves could be classified as abnormal based on the relation between the maximum wave height (H max) and the significant wave height (H s), H max ≥ 2H s. The use of other parameters suggested in the literature, as crest amplification index (crest height/H s ≥ 1.3) or a lower limit to the significant wave (H s ≥ 2 m), drastically reduced this number, resulting in a data set more representative of rogue waves. After applying these more strict criteria, only seven “true” freak waves were found. For the first time in Brazilian waters, it was possible to identify two freak waves in the same record. It was also investigated that an index analog to crest amplification, the trough amplification index (trough depth/H s), and several waves satisfied this new condition. The analyses of the asymmetry and directional spreading of measured spectra reveal no significant correlations between these parameters and freak waves. Probably due to the relative low energy of the area when compared to other regions, the longest wave period closer to a breaking condition is 10 s.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Human instability related to drowning risk in surf zones for novice
           beachgoers or weak swimmers
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper provides qualitative descriptions of the physical mechanisms that can cause human instability in surf zones, where human instability is considered the loss of solid contact between an individual’s feet and the seabed. The forces resulting from the combination of waves and currents typical in surf zones present a hazard to novice beachgoers and weak swimmers that is often not recognized by those individuals. A conservative “rule of thumb” is that the deepest water a novice beachgoer should reach, even during the passage of wave crests, is a depth that only reaches the persons thigh, that is, between the knee and the waste.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Assessing the susceptibility of gap-graded soils to internal erosion:
           proposition of a new experimental methodology
    • Abstract: Abstract Suffusion and global backward erosion are two of the main internal erosion processes in earth structures and their foundations which may increase their failure risk. For other processes of internal erosion, different classifications exist in order to evaluate the soil erodibility, whereas in the case of suffusion and global backward erosion, no susceptibility classification is available. The absence of suffusion susceptibility classification may be due to the complexity of this process, which appears as the result of the coupled processes: detachment–transport–filtration of a part of the finest fraction within the porous network. Twelve soils, covering a large range of erodibility are tested with a specific triaxial erodimeter. Different criteria based on particle size distribution are compared in order to identify the potential susceptibility to suffusion. For the susceptibility characterization, a new energy-based method is proposed. This method can be used for cohesionless soils and clayey sand, and a single classification is obtained for suffusion tests realized under flow rate-controlled conditions or by increasing the applied hydraulic gradient. For several tests performed on a mixture of kaolinite and sand, suffusion of clay is accompanied by a global backward erosion process. Characterization of the development of clayey sand backward erosion is also addressed by this method. Finally, a complete methodology is detailed for the suffusion and global backward erosion susceptibility characterization.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Minimizing economic impacts from post-fire debris flows in the western
           United States
    • Abstract: Abstract For individual burned drainage basins, existing hazard models and readily available data can be combined in a geographic information system to rapidly estimate debris-flow-related damages following a wildfire. The results can then be integrated into an optimization model, whose output guides allocation of emergency management funds and selection of cost-optimized debris-flow management strategies for burned areas consisting of multiple drainage basins. This paper describes methods to identify and value elements-at-risk from a range of possible post-fire debris-flow scenarios, methods to integrate these results with common debris-flow mitigation techniques and best management practices, and methods to apply this information to optimize the mitigation decisions for burned areas. Despite the potential to transform the way hazard managers approach debris-flow mitigation decisions following wildfires, natural hazard and social science management models have not previously been linked in the literature. Results from Santa Barbara (California), Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado), and Colfax/Las Animas Counties (Colorado, New Mexico) study sites indicate that optimization modeling can be used to select natural hazard management methods whose benefit for mitigation of post-fire debris flows can easily outweigh the cost of implementation.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Heavy precipitation characteristics over India during the summer monsoon
           season using rain gauge, satellite and reanalysis products
    • Abstract: Abstract Ground-based India Meteorological Department, Aphrodite (Aphro) and satellite-based observations Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42V6 and V7 and GPCP, high-resolution Climate Prediction Center merged daily precipitation estimates based on satellite and rain gauge data available for the period 2001–2007 and reanalysis products (ERA-INTERIM and MERRA) are analysed to determine the spatio-temporal variability of heavy precipitation during the summer monsoon season over the Indian subcontinent. The purpose of this work is to compare the representation of heavy precipitation by different datasets with different resolutions, and the focus of this study is to compare the heavy rainfall data over the Central Indian land and different subdivisions within India. Day-to-day variation in rainfall activity over the Central Indian region obtained from these datasets is compared among the different datasets from gauge observation, satellite, merged products and reanalysis products. The study showed that, over most of India, the mean and extremes in rainfall are captured well by the all the datasets. However, considerable differences exist among the datasets. The spatial and temporal variation of the summer monsoon rainfall is examined by computing various indices using different datasets for wet years (2003, 2005, 2006) and dry years (2001, 2002, 2004). The spatial pattern of the rainy days and heavy precipitation indices follows the spatial pattern of the seasonal rainfall. Large interannual variability is observed in the spatial distribution of the indices of precipitation extremes. The heavy precipitation (90 percentile) indices over Central India show low/high values during drought/excess years and also follow the mean precipitation indices in all the datasets. The study shows that gauge and remote sensing through satellite and gauge satellite merged products play an important role in monitoring climate and provide continuous datasets at high resolution and also useful in studying the climate of data-sparse regions. Comparison with the reanalysis products shows promising signs of capturing heavy precipitation in ERA-INT and MERRA dataset during the monsoon season. In spite of varied resolutions the datasets have consensus in capturing the light, moderate and heavy precipitation; however, considerable differences exist among the datasets.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • A systematic assessment of maritime disruptions affecting UK ports,
           coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014
    • Abstract: Abstract Maritime disruptions can have severe negative implications including affecting business operations, regional and national economies and causing damage to vessels. This study analysed maritime disruptions in UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014, systematically assessing their scale, duration, extent and consequences. Disruptions are a single or sequence of hazardous events that negatively affect ‘business as usual’ conditions, ranging from minor to major disruption and even loss of life. To express this range, a severity scale was developed and applied. A database of maritime disruptions and their severities was constructed using data archaeology, identifying 88 events, primarily caused by wind storms (36 %), human error (23 %), mechanical faults (14 %) and storm surges (12 %). All events other than human error or mechanical faults occurred between October and March (typically associated with autumn/winter storms and depressions), with 65 % recorded between November and January. Maritime disruptions from weather events tended to have regional/national impacts, whereas human error or mechanical faults were usually locally severe. Since 2000, ports demonstrated more frequent disruption to wind storms due to mechanization, increased delay and closure reporting, and refined health and safety regulations. Most frequently affected were the sea areas Fair Isle and Dover, and the Felixstowe and Dover ports. Through time, primary impacts shifted from extensive flooding and structural damage to financial impacts and disruption, associated with adaptation including implementation/upgrading of coastal defences, storm warning systems and legislation. Port and governmental bodies responded adaptively (e.g. Thames Barrier construction and development of automatic tracking systems). The UK’s maritime disruption vulnerability has altered significantly since 1950 and continues to evolve.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Geohazards and thermal regime analysis of oil pipeline along the
           Qinghai–Tibet Plateau Engineering Corridor
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the influence of geohazards on the existing oil pipeline and the potential interaction between the proposed new oil pipeline and preexisting transportation structures along the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau Engineering Corridor. The current Golmud–Lhasa oil pipeline has been seriously affected by retrogressive thaw slumps caused by surface water being channeled through culverts causing serious erosion problems. Climate data show that the air temperature increased at a rate of 0.0281 °C/a for the past 60 years along the corridor. To design the new pipeline, the effects of revegetation, climate warming and pipe insulation on permafrost have been simulated using numerical modeling. A warm oil pipeline would potentially lead to significant thawing of the permafrost foundation. When climate warming is not considered, insulation of the buried pipe could keep the permafrost stable. Revegetation and the use of utilidors could counteract the influence of heat input from the oil pipe, and even a 1.1 °C/50a climate-warming rate. However, for the 2.6 °C/50a climate-warming-rate scenario, they are inadequate to keep the permafrost stable. Vegetation cover is important to reduce the effect of climate warming on both the natural and the human-impacted permafrost. Revegetation after construction is important to protect the permafrost environment as well as the oil pipeline itself.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • The impact of floodplain land use on flood wave propagation
    • Abstract: Abstract Due to their retention capacity, extensive flat floodplains have a significant impact on the propagation and transformation of flood waves. The conveyance and retention capacity of an area is significantly influenced by land use. The paper presents results of a hydraulic analysis of the impact of land use on the run-off regime in a retention area and consequently on flood wave propagation. The land use of the retention area was simulated by hydraulic roughness. The simulations were performed for flood waves with different values of peak discharge and with two lengths of duration. A spectrum of flood waves in which the retention areas have significant impact on the propagation was considered. To isolate the impact of topographical characteristics of riparian and retention areas on the communication of water between the channel and retention area, as well as on the formation of parallel streams in the area, a theoretical modelling area with simplified geometry was used in the first phase. Conclusions based on the results of the first-phase simulations were tested on a practical case of the plain Krško–Brežiško polje, where data from field measurements as well as data from the physical model were used in the numerical calibration of the model.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Wind-wave prediction equations for probabilistic offshore hurricane hazard
    • Abstract: Abstract The evaluation of natural catastrophe risk to structures often includes consideration of uncertainty in predictions of some measure of the intensity of the hazard caused by the catastrophe. For example, in the well-established method of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, uncertainty in the intensity measure for the ground motion is considered through so-called ground motion prediction equations, which predict ground motion intensity and uncertainty as a function of earthquake characteristics. An analogous method for evaluating hurricane risk to offshore structures, referred to herein as probabilistic offshore hurricane hazard analysis, has not been studied extensively, and analogous equations do not exist to predict offshore hurricane wind and wave intensity and uncertainty as a function of hurricane characteristics. Such equations, termed here as wind and wave prediction equations (WWPEs), are developed in this paper by comparing wind and wave estimates from parametric models with corresponding measurements during historical hurricanes from 22 offshore buoys maintained as part of the National Data Buoy Center and located near the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The considered buoys include observations from 27 historical hurricanes spanning from 1999 to 2012. The 27 hurricanes are characterized by their eye position, translation speed, central pressure, radius to maximum winds, maximum wind speed, Holland B parameter and direction. Most of these parameters are provided for historical hurricanes by the National Hurricane Center’s H*Wind program. The exception is the Holland B parameter, which is calculated using a best-fit procedure based on H*Wind’s surface wind reanalyses. The formulation of the WWPEs is based on two parametric models: the Holland model to estimate hurricane winds and Young’s model to estimate hurricane-induced waves. Model predictions are made for the 27 considered historical hurricanes, and bias and uncertainty of these predictions are characterized by comparing predictions with measurements from buoys. The significance of including uncertainty in the WWPEs is evaluated by applying the WWPEs to a 100,000-year stochastic catalog of synthetic hurricanes at three locations near the US Atlantic coast. The limitations of this approach and remaining work are also discussed.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • GPS geodetic infrastructure for natural hazards study in the Puerto Rico
           and Virgin Islands region
    • Abstract: Abstract The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands (PRVI) are located within the complex plate boundary zone between the North American and Caribbean plates. This region faces multiple natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, hurricanes, and flooding. The islands are part of the Greater Antilles island chain, which is one of the earliest places that employed Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in plate tectonics and natural hazards studies. A dense Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network with 24 permanent GPS stations is currently operated by a joint effort of academic, government, and local land surveying communities. This region has been regarded as one of the densest CORS coverage regions worldwide. This article summarized the current GPS geodetic infrastructure in the PRVI region, which includes three components: a dense CORS network that is open to the public, a stable local reference frame that is updated in time, and sophisticated software packages for GPS data processing that are freely available to the academic and research community. This article focused on establishing a local reference frame, the stable Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands reference frame of 2014 (PRVI14), which is essential for precisely delineating local ground deformation over space and time. Applications of the geodetic infrastructure for precise faulting, landslide, and sea-level monitoring were illustrated in this study. According to this study, the St. Croix Island is moving away from the Puerto Rico and Northern Virgin Islands toward southeast with a steady velocity of 1.7 mm/year; the Lajas Valley in southwestern of Puerto Rico may be experiencing a north–south direction extension (1.5 mm/year) and a minor right-lateral strike slip (0.4 mm/year) with respect to the PRVI14 reference frame; the current absolute sea-level rise rate in the PRVI coastal region is about 1.6–2.0 mm/year.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Analysis of tropical storm damage using buffered probability of exceedance
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper explains the new concept of buffered probability of exceedance (bPOE). Through averaging of data in the tail, bPOE compactly presents probability as well as loss value of the tail and has the capability to revolutionize the concept of risk-averse engineering. bPOE is demonstrated using tropical storm damage along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the USA from 1900 to 2013 (average yearly damage $14.776 billion). It can be shown, under general assumptions, that bPOE is more than double the probability of exceedance (POE). For instance, with a $50 billion threshold of damages per year, POE is 10.6 %, while the bPOE is 26.1 %. We also considered expected excess (EE) over some threshold (deductible), which is a minimum premium that insurer should charge per year. We demonstrate that EE equals the difference between the damage associated with POE and bPOE multiplied by bPOE. For instance, for a 25 % tail probability, the value at risk (quantile) determined using POE is $11.181 billion, while the conditional value at risk (average damage in excess of the quantile) determined by the bPOE is $51.753 billion. This $40.572 difference leads to EE of 0.25 * $40.572 = $10.143 billion over the threshold $11.181 billion. Furthermore, subdividing the data by landfall state, at the 50 % probability level, Florida, the state most often hit by tropical storms also has the highest value for EE at $8.111 billion; thus, quantifying the need for insurers to charge Floridians high insurance premiums.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Comparison between shallow water and Boussinesq models for predicting
           cascading dam-break flows
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the flood wave propagation between two reservoirs, linked by an open channel with a constant gradient. The dam-break flows are caused by the collapse of the upstream dam. The performance of two mathematical models is evaluated: one is based on the standard shallow water equations, and the other is based on the shallow water Boussinesq equations. Both models are solved numerically herein using a total variation diminishing Lax–Wendroff scheme. Computed results are systematically compared, with the laboratory measurements used as references. In particular, this paper extensively examines the run-up of the flood wave on the downstream dam wall, and its dependence on the bed slope and the initial water depths in the upstream and downstream reservoirs. The findings are useful for analyzing the risk of cascading dam failures. Overall, the Boussinesq model is found to give better agreement with the measurements, as it is capable of capturing the short undulations at the front of the flood bore. The superior performance of the Boussinesq model is more significant at larger downstream water depths.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Intermodal humanitarian logistics model based on maritime transportation
           in Istanbul
    • Abstract: Abstract Istanbul, the economic capital and most populated city of Turkey, is highly prone to earthquakes. When an earthquake occurs, required relief items are expected to be supplied from national and international sources. To alleviate human suffering following an earthquake, in this paper, we propose an intermodal relief item distribution model for Istanbul involving sea and land transportation with identified road vulnerabilities. The proposed mathematical model utilizes the seaports of Istanbul for maritime transportation and allows for the transportation of relief item between Istanbul’s European and Anatolian sides. We also use the seabasing concept for providing supplies to demand areas. The use of maritime transportation and seabasing provides flexibility for humanitarian logistical activities and the proposed model provides an effective and reliable disaster relief system for Istanbul as well as other disaster-prone cities with significant maritime transportation components.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Review of two Japan Typhoon catastrophe models for commercial and
           industrial properties
    • Abstract: Abstract Commercially available natural catastrophe (cat) models have significantly improved the decision-making processes utilized by the insurance industry to price and manage cat risk. However, lack of historical loss data, and the need to make a large number of assumptions during the course of development of such models can lead to material biases in their outputs. It is crucial that insurance companies identify these sources of biases and adequately adjust the model outputs. In this study, we present methods that can be utilized for performance evaluation of cat models independent of the underlying peril or region. We illustrate the application of the proposed tests by reviewing two commercially available Japan Typhoon cat models (referred as models A and B) and evaluating their performance in quantifying commercial and industrial property losses. We have identified important limitations in both models including not accounting for storm surge and model specification uncertainty. We observed significant differences between the modeled losses for commercial exposures and uncertainty estimates for the corresponding event losses. Performed sensitivity tests indicate potential inconsistencies in Model B’s assumptions related to the quantification of loss severities across geographic regions, the estimation of contents and business interruption losses, and modeling of inland flooding. Additionally, our comparisons indicate that Model B assumes typhoon landfall frequencies significantly lower than historically observed values. Conducting the proposed tests on Model A also suggests potential underestimation of the losses for both the strongest category of typhoons and typhoons with losses primarily driven by rain-induced flooding. While modeling companies recognize some of these potential limitations and plan to address them in their next updates, it is important that they continue providing increased flexibility in adjusting model parameters and allow insurance companies to develop their own views in management and pricing of cat risks.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Multicriteria analysis applied to landslide susceptibility mapping
    • Abstract: Abstract Current human settlements are characterized by disorganized urbanization and high population densities, which can impact the landscape and the environment. Soil transport leads to erosion and aggradation of water bodies and increases landslide susceptibility in regions with more uneven topographies. Landslides are the most common environmental accidents and have caused the most deaths; one example is the incident that occurred in the mountainous region of the state of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in January 2011. Mapping the predisposition or susceptibility of components of the physical environment to landslides provides an integrated view of the characteristics and physical processes that act within a region. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the urban expansion proposal of Baptista (Avaliação da suscetibilidade aos movimentos de massa, erosão e escoamento superficial em Nova Friburgo, RJ, 2009) and compare it with the areas affected by the mega-disaster of 2011 using hierarchical decision analysis and a GIS toolkit. The results show that landslides did not affect the areas selected for urban expansion, i.e., the method was useful for identifying the areas that were most susceptible to landslides prior to the disaster.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Changes in atmospheric water content associated with an unusual high
           snowfall during June 2004 at Maitri station (Schirmacher Oasis, East
           Antarctica) and the role of South West Indian ridge geodynamics
    • Abstract: Abstract We study changes in the atmospheric water vapour associated with the unusual snowfall during June 2004 polar night at the Indian Antarctica station Maitri (MAIT), located ~70 km inland of the East Antarctic north coast. The GPS-derived Zenith Total Delay data for the 2004 polar night are used to evaluate the atmospheric water content at four GPS locations along the northern margin of East Antarctica. Stations Maitri and Syowa (SYOG) showed significant increase in atmospheric water vapour from GPS day 162 (10 June 2004) to 176 (24 June 2004) and correlate well with the duration of heavy snowfall at MAIT. The precipitable water vapour values computed for IGS station SYOG confirm high water vapour during this high snowfall period. Such an anomalous water vapour over East Antarctica in this peak winter time, characterized by the complete absence of solar radiations, suggests a link between this phenomenon and the high evaporation rate over South West Indian Ridge triggered by the geothermal heat radiated to the sea bottom through active magma spreading.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Erratum to: Obtaining the surface PGA from site response analyses based on
           globally recorded ground motions and matching with the codal values
    • PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • A remote-sensing-based vegetative technique for flood hazard mitigation of
           Jiadhal basin, India
    • Abstract: Abstract The Jiadhal basin in northeast India suffers from serious soil erosion and landslides. During the monsoon, the eroded soil travels with the flood waters and gets dumped on the fertile agricultural lands downstream. This sandy soil has very little productive value, and the farmers have to wait an average of 6–7 years before they can grow paddy on it. The study uses satellite images and a predictive model ‘E30’ to find out the severity of erosion and the loss of agricultural lands from the period of 2000 to 2014. Findings have shown that for 4 years of analysis, ‘severe’ and ‘very severe’ erosions were taking place from 17 and 5 % of the total basin area. Landcover analysis showed that agricultural lands have been lost during the flood years. Part of these lands have been converted to sand-filled areas. The study proposes the idea that these sand-filled areas can be adequately utilized for growing a grass ‘Chrysopogon zizanioides’ native to India, which can be used for checking the erosion at the first place. In this way, the hazard can be mitigated by identifying erosion-prone areas from the model output and planting the grass. By utilizing only 17.5 % of the total basin area, checking of sand deposition by this method can be possible in a period of 1 year. The method has the potential to be replicated in all the basins in the region suffering a similar problem.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Reliability of methods used for pipeline hazard evaluation in view of
           potential risk factors
    • Abstract: Abstract Reliable evaluation of linear objects resistance is an essential problem in highly developed areas which are subjected to seismic tremors and continuous surface deformations. Results of analyses of pipeline failures generated by continuous surface deformations are discussed in this paper. The development of a failure in a water pipeline under the influence of a 10-year subsidence of terrain to a depth of 4 m and horizontal deformations to 9.0 mm/m is presented. The research is focused on evaluating the reliability of approximate method which is presently used for assessing pipeline resistance. The more thorough investigation based on empirical data from a region subjected to intense and continuous surface deformations allowed for the estimation of factors having a decisive influence on the pipeline resistance. This result is crucial for further works on modeling hazard in this type of objects. The obtained risk factors and their rank will create basis for construing a new model for assessing linear objects hazard with continuous deformations.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Shoreline change and impacts of coastal protection structures on
           Puducherry, SE coast of India
    • Abstract: Abstract This study examines the shoreline changes that have occurred in past 23 years along Puducherry region, SE coast of India. Satellite data sets such as Landsat, Cartosat-1, Resourcesat—1 and 2 of different periods—i.e., 1991, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014, were used for shoreline change analysis. Shoreline extracted from these data sets was used for estimation of shoreline change rate at every 20-m interval. The overall result found that 55.9 % shows erosion, 34.9 % falls under stable, and 9.2 % shows accretion in Puducherry coast. High accretion rate of 5.0 (±1.9) m/year was noticed along the Veerampattinam region located immediate south to the Puducherry port. Medium erosion of about −3.2 (±1.9) m/year was observed along the Thengaithittu region. Remaining coast was noticed with stable to low erosion. Severe erosion was observed in northern side of the breakwater during 1991–2000 periods, whereas southern side high accretion was noticed. Groins constructed at Thandrayankuppam and Nadukuppam region protected the coast from erosion. Due to this groin construction, erosion was shifted toward the northern portion (Chinna Mudaliar Chavadi, Periya Mudaliar Chavadi and to certain extend of Bommaiyarpalayam). This study demonstrates that combined use of satellite imagery after considering the uncertainties and statistical methods can be a reliable method for shoreline change analysis for any coastal conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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