Special Issue "Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2022) | Viewed by 6287

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Spyridon Mavroulis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Dynamic Tectonic Applied Geology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, School of Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: earth sciences; natural hazards; prevention and management of disasters induced by natural hazards
Prof. Dr. Efthymios Lekkas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Dynamic Tectonic Applied Geology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, School of Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: applied geology; natural hazards; earthquake planning and protection; disaster management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Detecting, mapping, and monitoring technologies and related studies and applications play a significant role in disaster management and disaster risk reduction. In the past, the mapping of a disaster and its impact was generally a time-consuming procedure, the results of which would only be available long after the completion of the response actions and recovery process. In recent decades, geospatial technological advances have boosted the efficiency of disaster mapping and made it possible for involved scientists and researchers to acquire and analyze related information and disseminate critical data to the scientific community, the authorities involved in disaster management, the affected population, and the general public.

Synergies of modern methodologies, comprising applications of GIS-based software, space technology, and remote sensing and post-event field surveys supported by innovative techniques, are incredibly useful tools for the detailed mapping of disasters and their impacts on the population, as well as on the natural environment and the building stock. Such synergies can be considered a breakthrough for disaster management, as it is now possible to assess the intensity and severity of events and their impact shortly after their generation, as well as to provide critical information to responders during emergencies and to the staff involved in the recovery process.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to collect research advances in detecting, mapping, monitoring, and assessing disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, landslides, liquefaction, floods and forest fires using innovative techniques as well as for monitoring disaster recovery. With this aim, original research articles, review articles, and innovative study approaches are welcomed.

Dr. Spyridon Mavroulis
Prof. Dr. Efthymios Lekkas
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Operational Mapping and Post-Disaster Hazard Assessment by the Development of a Multiparametric Web App Using Geospatial Technologies and Data: Attica Region 2021 Wildfires (Greece)
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(14), 7256; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12147256 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The environmental effects of wildfires are a hot issue in current research. This study examines the effects of the 2021 wildfires in the Attica region in Greece based on Earth observation and GIS-based techniques for the development of a web app that includes [...] Read more.
The environmental effects of wildfires are a hot issue in current research. This study examines the effects of the 2021 wildfires in the Attica region in Greece based on Earth observation and GIS-based techniques for the development of a web app that includes the derived knowledge. The effects of wildfires were estimated with the use of Sentinel-2 satellite imagery concerning burned area extent and burn severity using a NBR-based method. In addition, the erosion risk was modeled on a pre-fire and post-fire basis with the RUSLE. This study highlights the importance of assessing the effects of wildfires with a holistic approach to produce useful knowledge tools in post-fire impact assessment and restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
Developing a Guideline of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s Acquisition Geometry for Landslide Mapping and Monitoring
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 4598; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094598 - 02 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 466
Abstract
Remote sensing data and techniques are widely used for monitoring and managing natural or man-made disasters, due to their timeliness and their satisfactory accuracy. A key stage in disaster research is the detailed and precise mapping of an affected area. The current work [...] Read more.
Remote sensing data and techniques are widely used for monitoring and managing natural or man-made disasters, due to their timeliness and their satisfactory accuracy. A key stage in disaster research is the detailed and precise mapping of an affected area. The current work examines the relationship that may exist between the acquisition geometry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) campaigns and the topographic characteristics of an investigated area, toward landslide mapping and monitoring that is as accurate as possible. In fact, this work, concerning the systematic research of the acquisition geometry of UAV flights over multiple active landslides, is conducted for the first time and is focused on creating a guideline for any researcher trying to follow the UAV photogrammetric survey during landslide mapping and monitoring. In particular, UAV flights were executed over landslide areas with different characteristics (land cover, slope, etc.) and the collected data from each area were classified into three groups depending on UAV acquisition geometry, i.e., nadir imagery, oblique imagery, and an integration of nadir and oblique imagery. High-resolution orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSMs) emerged from the processing of the UAV imagery of each group through structure-from-motion photogrammetry (SfM). Accuracy assessment was carried out using quantitative and qualitative comparative approaches, such as root mean square error calculation, length comparison, and mean center estimation. The evaluation of the results revealed that there is a strong relationship between UAV acquisition geometry and landslide characteristics, which is evident in the accuracy of the generated photogrammetric products (orthophotos, DSMs). In addition, it was proved that the synergistic processing of nadir and oblique imagery increased overall centimeter accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
Reconstructing the 26 June 1917 Samoa Tsunami Disaster
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3389; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073389 - 26 Mar 2022
Viewed by 759
Abstract
The 1917 Samoa tsunamigenic earthquake is the largest historical event to impact this region. Over a century later, little is known about the tsunami magnitude and its implications for modern society. This study reconstructs the 1917 tsunami to understand its hazard characteristics in [...] Read more.
The 1917 Samoa tsunamigenic earthquake is the largest historical event to impact this region. Over a century later, little is known about the tsunami magnitude and its implications for modern society. This study reconstructs the 1917 tsunami to understand its hazard characteristics in the Samoan region and assesses the risk implications of tsunamis sourced from different locations along the subduction zone bend of the Northern Tonga Trench (NTT). We model the event from its origin to produce outputs of tsunami inundation extent and depth at spatially flexible grid resolution, which are validated using available runup observations and Apia harbour tide gauge records. We then combine the inundation model with digital distributions of buildings to produce exposure metrics for evaluating the likely impacts on present-day coastal assets and populations if a similar tsunami were to occur. Results exhibit recorded and modelled wave arrival time discrepancies in Apia harbour of between 30–40 min, with runup underestimated in southeast Upolu Island compared with the rest of the country. These differences could reflect complexities in the tsunami source mechanism that are not represented in our modelling and require further investigation. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that if a characteristic 1917-type event were to occur again, approximately 71% of exposed people would reside in Savai’i. Overall, this study provides the first detailed inundation model of the 1917 tsunami that supports an appreciation of the regional risk to local tsunamis sourced at the subduction zone bend of the NTT in Samoa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
Inventory of Historical and Recent Earthquake-Triggered Landslides and Assessment of Related Susceptibility by GIS-Based Analytic Hierarchy Process: The Case of Cephalonia (Ionian Islands, Western Greece)
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 2895; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12062895 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Cephalonia, located in the middle of the central Ionian Islands, has been affected by destructive earthquakes during both the instrumental and the historical period. Despite the fact that it is widely studied from several scientific viewpoints, limited research has been conducted so far [...] Read more.
Cephalonia, located in the middle of the central Ionian Islands, has been affected by destructive earthquakes during both the instrumental and the historical period. Despite the fact that it is widely studied from several scientific viewpoints, limited research has been conducted so far regarding the earthquake-triggered landslides (ETL) and the related susceptibility. In the context of the present study, an inventory with 67 ETL from 11 earthquakes that occurred from 1636 to 2014 is presented. Given this record, the study further examines the ETL susceptibility exploiting 10 landslide causal factors in the frame of a GIS-based Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Four factors (i.e., slope, PGA, tectonic structures and lithology) were associated in a higher degree to the locations where ETL occurred on the island. Based on the comparison of the ETL inventory and the landslide susceptibility index (LSI) map, the distribution of ETL in Cephalonia is not random, as their majority (82%) were generated within high to critically high susceptible zones. This fact, along with the AUC values of 80.3%, reveals a fair-to-good accuracy of the landslide susceptibility assessment and indicate that the contribution of the studied variables to the generation of ETL was effectively determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
The 27 September 2021 Earthquake in Central Crete (Greece)—Detailed Analysis of the Earthquake Sequence and Indications for Contemporary Arc-Parallel Extension to the Hellenic Arc
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 2815; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12062815 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 819
Abstract
The Arkalochori village in central Crete was hit by a large earthquake (Mw = 6.0) on 27 September 2021, causing casualties, injuries, and severe damage to the infrastructure. Due to the absence of apparent surface rupture and the initial focal mechanism [...] Read more.
The Arkalochori village in central Crete was hit by a large earthquake (Mw = 6.0) on 27 September 2021, causing casualties, injuries, and severe damage to the infrastructure. Due to the absence of apparent surface rupture and the initial focal mechanism solution of the seismic event, we initiated complementary, multi-disciplinary research by combining seismological and remote sensing data processing, followed by extensive field validation. Detailed geological mapping, fault surface measuring accompanied with tectonic analysis, fault photorealistic model creation by unmanned aerial system data processing, post-seismic surface deformation analysis by DInSAR image interpretation coupled with accurately relocated epicenters recorded by locally established seismographs have been carried out. The combination of the results obtained from these techniques led to the determination of the contemporary tectonic stress regime that caused the earthquake in central Crete, which was found compatible with extensional processes parallel to the Hellenic arc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
Investigation of the Thiva 2020–2021 Earthquake Sequence Using Seismological Data and Space Techniques
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2630; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052630 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 892
Abstract
We investigate an earthquake sequence involving an Mw = 4.6 mainshock on 2 December 2020, followed by a seismic swarm in July–October 2021 near Thiva, Central Greece, to identify the activated structures and understand its triggering mechanisms. For this purpose, we employ [...] Read more.
We investigate an earthquake sequence involving an Mw = 4.6 mainshock on 2 December 2020, followed by a seismic swarm in July–October 2021 near Thiva, Central Greece, to identify the activated structures and understand its triggering mechanisms. For this purpose, we employ double-difference relocation to construct a high-resolution earthquake catalogue and examine in detail the distribution of hypocenters and the spatiotemporal evolution of the sequence. Furthermore, we apply instrumental and imaging geodesy to map the local deformation and identify long-term trends or anomalies that could have contributed to stress loading. The 2021 seismic swarm was hosted on a system of conjugate normal faults, including the eastward extension of the Yliki fault, with the main activated structures trending WNW–ESE and dipping south. No pre- or coseismic deformation could be associated with the 2021 swarm, while Coulomb stress transfer due to the Mw = 4.6 mainshock of December 2020 was found to be insufficient to trigger its nucleation. However, the evolution of the swarm is related to stress triggering by its major events and facilitated by pore-fluid pressure diffusion. The re-evaluated seismic history of the area reveals its potential to generate destructive Mw = 6.0 earthquakes; therefore, the continued monitoring of its microseismicity is considered important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
Seismological and Ground Deformation Study of the Ionian Islands (W. Greece) during 2014–2018, a Period of Intense Seismic Activity
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052331 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
Seismicity in the Ionian Sea (W. Greece) is mainly generated along the Cephalonia–Lefkada Transform Fault Zone (CLTFZ) in the central Ionian, and on the northwestern termination of the Hellenic subduction margin in the south. Joint pre-, co- and post-seismic ground deformation and seismological [...] Read more.
Seismicity in the Ionian Sea (W. Greece) is mainly generated along the Cephalonia–Lefkada Transform Fault Zone (CLTFZ) in the central Ionian, and on the northwestern termination of the Hellenic subduction margin in the south. Joint pre-, co- and post-seismic ground deformation and seismological analysis is performed at the broad Ionian area, aiming to homogeneously study the spatiotemporal evolution of the activity prior to and after the occurrence of strong (M > 6) earthquakes during the period of 2014–2018. The 2014 Cephalonia earthquakes (Mw6.1 and Mw5.9) were generated on a faulting system adjacent to CLTFZ, causing local ground deformation. The post-seismic sequence is coupled in space and time with the 2015 Lefkada earthquake (Mw6.4), which occurred on the Lefkada segment of the CLTFZ. Co-seismic displacement was recorded in the broader area. Seismicity was concentrated along the CLTFZ, while its temporal evolution lasted for several months. The 2018 Zakynthos earthquake (Mw6.7) caused regional deformation and alterations on the near-velocity field, with the seismicity rate remaining above background levels until the end of 2021. In the northern Ionian, convergence between the Apulian platform and the Hellenic foreland occurs, exhibiting low seismicity. Seismic hazard assessment revealed high PGA and PGV expected values in the central Ionian. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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Article
The Use of Innovative Techniques for Management of High-Risk Coastal Areas, Mitigation of Earthquake-Triggered Landslide Risk and Responsible Coastal Development
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 2193; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12042193 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
Coastal areas constitute a very dynamic environment, balancing between numerous natural and anthropogenic processes liable to sometimes hazardous geomorphic phenomena. Especially in tectonically active coastal regions and areas of high economic value, slope failures can have significant impacts and therefore need careful and [...] Read more.
Coastal areas constitute a very dynamic environment, balancing between numerous natural and anthropogenic processes liable to sometimes hazardous geomorphic phenomena. Especially in tectonically active coastal regions and areas of high economic value, slope failures can have significant impacts and therefore need careful and detailed examination. This work uses Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)-aided photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) in tectonically active segments of the coastal zone of the Ionian Islands in Greece, to explore how their capabilities can help to improve our understanding of the structural integrity of the slopes. Results show that the two approaches are able to extract large numbers of discontinuity facets, in a more practical, rapid and safe way than conventional methods of rock slope stability analysis extending to unreachable yet important parts of the slope. Through this holistic record of the structural condition of the slope the two applications allow the identification of segments that are more prone to instability and failure. In this way, they improve our understanding of the prioritization of interventions aiming to enhance the prevention of slope failures, mitigating the associated risk and improving local development in these high-value locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping, Monitoring and Assessing Disasters)
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