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GeoHazards, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper evaluated the relationship between sea-level change and the severity of impacts on major habitat-forming seaweeds that sustain life on rocky shores. The vertical displacement of intertidal areas uplifted by the 7.8 Mw Kaikōura earthquake was assessed using LiDAR differencing analyses from the closest terrestrial surfaces coupled with controls on horizontal land movement and tilt. Seaweed cover measurements in equivalent intertidal zones found severe (>80%) losses at 9 of 10 sites and included the lowest uplift values (0.6 m). The results indicate major impacts beyond a functional threshold of one-quarter of the tidal range and considerable lag times in ecosystem recovery due to interactions with other stressors in the reassembly phase. View this paper
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12 pages, 1723 KiB  
Article
Integrated Assessment of Drought Impacts on Rural Areas: The Case of the Chapada Diamantina Region in Brazil
by Rodrigo Rudge Ramos Ribeiro, Samia Nascimento Sulaiman, Stefan Sieber, Miguel Angel Trejo-Rangel and Juliana Fionda Campos
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 442-453; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040025 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
Drought is one of the most significant hazards that farmers face in rural areas. This study aims to examine an integrated assessment of the drought impacts in rural territories, considering the social perceptions related to the effects of natural hazards on health, social [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the most significant hazards that farmers face in rural areas. This study aims to examine an integrated assessment of the drought impacts in rural territories, considering the social perceptions related to the effects of natural hazards on health, social relations, income, and other impacts. The study area is located in the rural area of the Chapada Diamantina region in Northern Brazil. The characterization of the region was carried out based on historical meteorological and agricultural productivity data. The method used in this study was based on a survey of social perceptions regarding drought impacts by small rural producers through a participatory process. The results indicated how extreme events such as drought influence rural areas. In addition to agricultural productivity (~50%), aspects such as social migration and health problems were observed. Full article
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12 pages, 2909 KiB  
Technical Note
Effect of Base Conditions in One-Dimensional Numerical Simulation of Seismic Site Response: A Technical Note for Best Practice
by Gaetano Falcone, Giuseppe Naso, Federico Mori, Amerigo Mendicelli, Gianluca Acunzo, Edoardo Peronace and Massimiliano Moscatelli
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 430-441; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040024 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2189
Abstract
The effects induced by the choice of numerical base conditions for evaluating local seismic response are investigated in this technical note, aiming to provide guidelines for professional applications. A numerical modelling of the seismic site response is presented, assuming a one-dimensional scheme. At [...] Read more.
The effects induced by the choice of numerical base conditions for evaluating local seismic response are investigated in this technical note, aiming to provide guidelines for professional applications. A numerical modelling of the seismic site response is presented, assuming a one-dimensional scheme. At first, with reference to the case of a homogeneous soil layer overlying a half-space, two different types of numerical base conditions, named rigid and elastic, were adopted to analyse the seismic site response. Then, geological setting, physical and mechanical properties were selected from Italian case studies. In detail, the following stratigraphic successions were considered: shallow layer 1 (shear wave velocity, VS, equal to 400 m/s), layer 2 (VS equal to 600 m/s) and layer 3 (VS equal to 800 m/s). In addition, real signals were retrieved from the web site of the Italian accelerometric strong motion network. Rigid and elastic base conditions were adopted to estimate the ground motion modifications of the reference signals. The results are presented in terms of amplification factors (i.e., ratio of integral quantities referred to free-field and reference response spectra) and are compared between the adopted numerical models. Full article
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15 pages, 5726 KiB  
Article
Morphotectonic Structures along the Southwestern Margin of Lesvos Island, and Their Interrelation with the Southern Strand of the North Anatolian Fault, Aegean Sea, Greece
by Paraskevi Nomikou, Dimitris Evangelidis, Dimitrios Papanikolaou, Danai Lampridou, Dimitris Litsas, Yannis Tsaparas, Ilias Koliopanos and Maria Petroulia
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 415-429; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040023 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 3126
Abstract
A hydrographic survey of the southwestern coastal margin of Lesvos Island (Greece) was conducted by the Naftilos vessel of the Hellenic Hydrographic Service. The results have been included in a bathymetric map and morphological slope map of the area. Based on the neotectonic [...] Read more.
A hydrographic survey of the southwestern coastal margin of Lesvos Island (Greece) was conducted by the Naftilos vessel of the Hellenic Hydrographic Service. The results have been included in a bathymetric map and morphological slope map of the area. Based on the neotectonic and seismotectonic data of the broader area, a morphotectonic map of Lesvos Island has been compiled. The main feature is the basin sub-parallel to the coast elongated Lesvos Basin, 45 km long, 10–35 km wide, and 700 m deep. The northern margin of the basin is abrupt, with morphological slopes towards the south between 35° and 45° corresponding to a WNW-ESE normal fault, in contrast with the southern margin that shows a gradual slope increase from 1° to 5° towards the north. Thus, the main Lesvos Basin represents a half-graben structure. The geometry of the main basin is interrupted at its eastern segment by an oblique NW-SE narrow channel of 650 m depth and 8 km length. East of the channel, the main basin continues as a shallow Eastern Basin. At the western part of the Lesvos margin, the shallow Western Basin forms an asymmetric tectonic graben. Thus, the Lesvos southern margin is segmented in three basins with different morphotectonic characteristics. At the northwestern margin of Lesvos, three shallow basins of 300–400 m depth are observed with WNW-ESE trending high slope margins, probably controlled by normal faults. Shallow water marine terraces representing the last low stands of the glacial periods are observed at 140 m and 200 m depth at the two edges of the Lesvos margin. A secondary E-W fault disrupts the two terraces at the eastern part of the southern Lesvos margin. The NE-SW strike-slip fault zone of Kalloni-Aghia Paraskevi, activated in 1867, borders the west of the Lesvos Basin from the shallow Western Basin. The Lesvos bathymetric data were combined with those of the eastern Skyros Basin, representing the southern strand of the North Anatolian Fault in the North Aegean Sea, and the resulted tectonic map indicates that the three Lesvos western basins are pull-aparts of the strike-slip fault zone between the Skyros Fault and the Adramytion (Edremit) Fault. The seismic activity since 2017 has shown the co-existence of normal faulting and strike-slip faulting throughout the 90 km long Lesvos southern margin. Full article
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17 pages, 32974 KiB  
Article
Potential Fault Displacement Hazard Assessment Using Stochastic Source Models: A Retrospective Evaluation for the 1999 Hector Mine Earthquake
by Katsuichiro Goda
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 398-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040022 - 4 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2589
Abstract
Surface fault displacement due to an earthquake affects buildings and infrastructure in the near-fault area significantly. Although approaches for probabilistic fault displacement hazard analysis have been developed and applied in practice, there are several limitations that prevent fault displacement hazard assessments for multiple [...] Read more.
Surface fault displacement due to an earthquake affects buildings and infrastructure in the near-fault area significantly. Although approaches for probabilistic fault displacement hazard analysis have been developed and applied in practice, there are several limitations that prevent fault displacement hazard assessments for multiple locations simultaneously in a physically consistent manner. This study proposes an alternative approach that is based on stochastic source modelling and fault displacement analysis using Okada equations. The proposed method evaluates the fault displacement hazard potential due to a fault rupture. The developed method is applied to the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake from a retrospective perspective. The stochastic-source-based fault displacement hazard analysis method successfully identifies multiple source models that predict fault displacements in close agreement with observed GPS displacement vectors and displacement offsets along the fault trace. The case study for the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake demonstrates that the proposed stochastic-source-based method is a viable option in conducting probabilistic fault displacement hazard analysis. Full article
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15 pages, 9319 KiB  
Article
The Relevance of Geotechnical-Unit Characterization for Landslide-Susceptibility Mapping with SHALSTAB
by Carla Moreira Melo, Masato Kobiyama, Gean Paulo Michel and Mariana Madruga de Brito
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 383-397; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040021 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2983
Abstract
Given the increasing occurrence of landslides worldwide, the improvement of predictive models for landslide mapping is needed. Despite the influence of geotechnical parameters on SHALSTAB model outputs, there is a lack of research on models’ performance when considering different variables. In particular, the [...] Read more.
Given the increasing occurrence of landslides worldwide, the improvement of predictive models for landslide mapping is needed. Despite the influence of geotechnical parameters on SHALSTAB model outputs, there is a lack of research on models’ performance when considering different variables. In particular, the role of geotechnical units (i.e., areas with common soil and lithology) is understudied. Indeed, the original SHALSTAB model considers that the whole basin has homogeneous soil. This can lead to the under-or-overestimation of landslide hazards. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the advantages of incorporating geotechnical units as a variable in contrast to the original model. By using locally sampled geotechnical data, 13 slope-instability scenarios were simulated for the Jaguar creek basin, Brazil. This allowed us to verify the sensitivity of the model to different input variables and assumptions. To evaluate the model performance, we used the Success Index, Error Index, ROC curve, and a new performance index: the Detective Performance Index of Unstable Areas. The best model performance was obtained in the scenario with discretized geotechnical units’ values and the largest sample size. Results indicate the importance of properly characterizing the geotechnical units when using SHALSTAB. Hence, future applications should consider this to improve models’ predictivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Geohazard Characterization, Modeling, and Risk Assessment)
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17 pages, 16209 KiB  
Article
Flash Flood Susceptibility Evaluation in Human-Affected Areas Using Geomorphological Methods—The Case of 9 August 2020, Euboea, Greece. A GIS-Based Approach
by Anna Karkani, Niki Evelpidou, Maria Tzouxanioti, Alexandros Petropoulos, Nicoletta Santangelo, Hampik Maroukian, Evangelos Spyrou and Lida Lakidi
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 366-382; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040020 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3242
Abstract
Flash floods occur almost exclusively in small basins, and they are common in small Mediterranean catchments. They pose one of the most common natural disasters, as well as one of the most devastating. Such was the case of the recent flood in Euboea [...] Read more.
Flash floods occur almost exclusively in small basins, and they are common in small Mediterranean catchments. They pose one of the most common natural disasters, as well as one of the most devastating. Such was the case of the recent flood in Euboea island, in Greece, in August 2020. A field survey was accomplished after the 2020 flash floods in order to record the main impacts of the event and identify the geomorphological and man-made causes. The flash flood susceptibility in the urbanized alluvial fans was further assessed using a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based approach. Our findings suggest that a large portion of the alluvial fans of Politika, Poros and Mantania streams are mainly characterized by high and very high hazard. In fact, ~27% of the alluvial fans of Politika and Poros streams are characterized with very high susceptibility, and ~54% of Psachna area. GIS results have been confirmed by field observations after the 2020 flash flood, with significant damages noted, such as debris flows and infrastructure damages, in buildings, bridges and the road networks. In addition, even though the adopted approach may be more time-consuming in comparison to purely computational methods, it has the potential of being more accurate as it combines field observations and the effect of past flooding events. Full article
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14 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
Public Institutional Structures for Disaster Preparedness in the Cereal Value Chain: A Zambian Case Study
by Brigadier Libanda
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 352-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040019 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
Increasing extreme climate events and cyclonic activities provide clear evidence that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is a hotspot for climate change-driven natural disasters which critically disrupt agricultural production cycles. This is especially true with regard to the production of cereal, [...] Read more.
Increasing extreme climate events and cyclonic activities provide clear evidence that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is a hotspot for climate change-driven natural disasters which critically disrupt agricultural production cycles. This is especially true with regard to the production of cereal, produce widely used to represent food security. Although studies have attempted to disentangle the effect of demand vis à vis projected population growth on cereal production across the region, the contradiction between cereal production and climate disaster preparedness remains poorly resolved. Therefore, literature on the subject matter is scanty. The present study is motivated by the need to overcome this paucity of literature and thus, deepen our understanding of cereal production and climate disaster preparedness in the region. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to assess public institutional support structures that are currently being employed for climate disaster preparedness in the cereal value chain across Zambia as perceived by small scale farmers. After a comprehensive assessment of focus group discussions (FGDs), several points emerge specifically highlighting four salient findings: first, results show that a government-led Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is the only strategy particularly targeted at disaster preparedness. All other initiatives are targeted at improving or safeguarding livelihoods with some components having a ripple effect on the cereal value chain. Second, results show that climate forecasts that are supposed to trigger early action are generally characterized by low prediction skill with more false alarms and misses than hits. Third, forecasts were found to lack geographical specificity with generalities over large areas being common thus, diminishing their usefulness at the local scale. Fourth, end-users found forecasts to usually contain technical jargon that is difficult to decipher especially that most small-scale farmers are illiterate. This study concludes that to fully support the cereal value chain and realize food security in Zambia, policy formulation that champion the establishment of an effective early warning and early action system (EWEAS) involving multiple interest groups and actors should be considered a matter of urgency. Full article
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20 pages, 5036 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Identification Tests of 20th Century Historic Masonry Buildings in Japan
by Yohei Endo, Yuta Waki, Yasushi Niitsu and Toshikazu Hanazato
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 332-351; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040018 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 2725
Abstract
This paper discussed the application of health monitoring systems to 20th-century historic buildings. Natural disasters are major threats to monuments. They are often seismically vulnerable and require interventions. However, taking into account their historic and cultural values, it is appropriate to observe long-term [...] Read more.
This paper discussed the application of health monitoring systems to 20th-century historic buildings. Natural disasters are major threats to monuments. They are often seismically vulnerable and require interventions. However, taking into account their historic and cultural values, it is appropriate to observe long-term behaviour before making a decision on intervention schemes. To this aim, health monitoring is considered an effective approach. In recent years, MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) accelerometers have been attracting attention for their convenience and efficacy. Nonetheless, the reliability of MEMS accelerometers still needs to be examined for the monitoring of monuments as sufficient research contributions have not been made. This paper presented two case studies that were monitored by means of MEMS accelerometers. They were masonry structures positioned in seismic-prone regions in Japan. A number of earthquakes were detected by the accelerometers during one year of monitoring. To examine the accuracy of the adopted MEMS accelerometers, dynamic identification tests were conducted using high-sensitivity strain-gauge accelerometers and servo velocity meters. Based on responses obtained from the tests, numerical simulation was performed. Nonlinear static analysis was performed. The numerical simulation permitted the comparison of reliability among sensors and test types. This paper provided suggestions for the dynamic identification tests of heritage structures. Full article
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11 pages, 2663 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Climatological Relationship between Heatstroke Risk and Heat Stress Indices in 47 Prefectures in Japan
by Yuki Iwamoto and Yukitaka Ohashi
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 321-331; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040017 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4086
Abstract
This study provides a decade-long link between summer heatstroke incidence and certain heat stress indices in 47 prefectures of Japan. The results for each prefecture were determined from the age-adjusted heatstroke incidence rate (TRadj) with heatstroke patients transported by ambulance, [...] Read more.
This study provides a decade-long link between summer heatstroke incidence and certain heat stress indices in 47 prefectures of Japan. The results for each prefecture were determined from the age-adjusted heatstroke incidence rate (TRadj) with heatstroke patients transported by ambulance, as well as from the daily maximum temperature (TEMPmax), maximum wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGTmax), and maximum universal thermal climate index (UTCImax) recorded from July to September of 2010–2019. The UTCImax relatively increased the vulnerability in many prefectures of northern Japan more distinctly than the other indices. In the following analysis, the ratio of the TRadj of the hottest to coolest months using the UTCImax was defined as the heatstroke risk of the hottest to coolest (HRHC). Overall, the HRHC varied approximately from 20 to 40 in many prefectures in the past decade. In contrast, for the same analysis performed in each month, HRHC ratios in July and August fell within 2–4 in many prefectures, whereas in September, the average and maximum HRHC ratios for all prefectures were 7.0 and 32.4, respectively. This difference can be related to the large difference in UTCImax between the maximum and minimum for a decade. Full article
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19 pages, 3598 KiB  
Article
Threshold Effects of Relative Sea-Level Change in Intertidal Ecosystems: Empirical Evidence from Earthquake-Induced Uplift on a Rocky Coast
by Shane Orchard, Hallie S. Fischman, Shawn Gerrity, Tommaso Alestra, Robyn Dunmore and David R. Schiel
GeoHazards 2021, 2(4), 302-320; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards2040016 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2839
Abstract
Widespread mortality of intertidal biota was observed following the 7.8 Mw Kaikōura earthquake in November 2016. To understand drivers of change and recovery in nearshore ecosystems, we quantified the variation in relative sea-level changes caused by tectonic uplift and evaluated their relationships with [...] Read more.
Widespread mortality of intertidal biota was observed following the 7.8 Mw Kaikōura earthquake in November 2016. To understand drivers of change and recovery in nearshore ecosystems, we quantified the variation in relative sea-level changes caused by tectonic uplift and evaluated their relationships with ecological impacts with a view to establishing the minimum threshold and overall extent of the major effects on rocky shores. Vertical displacement of contiguous 50 m shoreline sections was assessed using comparable LiDAR data to address initial and potential ongoing change across a 100 km study area. Co-seismic uplift accounted for the majority of relative sea-level change at most locations. Only small changes were detected beyond the initial earthquake event, but they included the weathering of reef platforms and accumulation of mobile gravels that continue to shape the coast. Intertidal vegetation losses were evident in equivalent intertidal zones at all uplifted sites despite considerable variation in the vertical displacement they experienced. Nine of ten uplifted sites suffered severe (>80%) loss in habitat-forming algae and included the lowest uplift values (0.6 m). These results show a functional threshold of c.1/4 of the tidal range above which major impacts were sustained. Evidently, compensatory recovery has not occurred—but more notably, previously subtidal algae that were uplifted into the low intertidal zone where they ought to persist (but did not) suggests additional post-disturbance adversities that have contributed to the overall effect. Continuing research will investigate differences in recovery trajectories across the affected area to identify factors and processes that will lead to the regeneration of ecosystems and resources. Full article
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