Special Issue "Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Hazards".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2022 | Viewed by 13181

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Deodato Tapete
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Italian Space Agency (ASI), Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: earth observation; radar and optical remote sensing; InSAR; time series analysis; Earth Sciences; environmental geology; natural hazards; urban environments; geoheritage; geoconservation; cultural heritage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to open a new type of publication in Geosciences to collect both original research manuscripts and short communications focusing on geoscientific investigation of recent natural hazard events.

In the current scenario, where anthropogenic settlements and infrastructure are affected by the surrounding physical environment and climatic and meteorological factors exacerbate the vulnerability to social, economic, and cultural impacts due to natural hazards, both scientists and society pay more attention to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, triggering of landslides, floods, and hurricanes.

Given the potential risk affecting local communities, such events are featured in broadcast and social media, with prompt coverage through videos, aerial pictures, and ground-based reports. However, only a scientific assessment carried out with robust research methodologies and reliable analytical techniques can provide the necessary information to understand the causative factors of the event, characterize the process with which it has developed, and provide an objective and evidence-based quantification of damage.

We therefore invite submissions of original research, reports, and technical notes that may focus on one or more natural hazards, with preference for events that have occurred in the course of the last 12 months, including but not limited to the categories below. Should the authors want to check whether their prospective submission fits with the scope of the Special Issue, they are welcome to get in touch with the Guest Editors by sending an abstract outlining the key features of their manuscript.

Dr. Deodato Tapete
Dr. Francesca Cigna
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Natural hazards
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Lahars
  • Landslides
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tsunamis
  • Sinkholes
  • Collapses
  • Subsidence

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Article
Methodological Approach for the Study of Historical Centres of High Architectural Value Affected by Geo-Hydrological Hazards: The Case of Lanciano (Abruzzo Region—Central Italy)
Geosciences 2022, 12(5), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12050193 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 685
Abstract
The study of geo-hydrological problems in urban contexts of considerable historical importance plays an extremely interesting role in the safeguarding of architectural and artistic assets of great value. The need to guarantee the conservation of monumental heritage is an ethical and moral requirement [...] Read more.
The study of geo-hydrological problems in urban contexts of considerable historical importance plays an extremely interesting role in the safeguarding of architectural and artistic assets of great value. The need to guarantee the conservation of monumental heritage is an ethical and moral requirement that new generations have a duty to support. Operating in urbanised contexts is extremely difficult, due to the presence of infrastructures and underground services that prevent the execution of classical surveys and prospecting. The technologies currently available, however, allow us to also investigate the subsoil in a non-destructive way and to control the evolution of active natural phenomena in a continuous and automated way with remote-sensing techniques. The methodological approach consists of the development of a series of cognitive investigations, aimed at identifying the elements of weakness of the soil system, so as to be able to subsequently undertake the most appropriate decisions for the reduction of geo-hydrological risks. The case here analysed concerns Lanciano city (Central Italy), famous for its pre-Roman origins, that was affected by a violent storm in the summer of 2018. This event devastated the inhabited Centre with flooding of all the neighbourhoods and the collapse of parts of buildings. For this reason, direct and indirect geognostic investigations were carried out within the Historical Centre, which is of considerable architectural value, and an important monitoring system was installed. The actual geo-hydrological hazard was planned using 3D numerical modelling to define the hydraulic and deformational behaviour of the subsoil. Comparison between the modelling performed and the monitoring data acquired has allowed us to understand the complex behaviour of the subsoil and the subsidence mechanisms of the Historic Centre. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
Geophysical and Societal Dimensions of Floods in Manitoba, Canada: A Social Vulnerability Assessment of the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews
Geosciences 2022, 12(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020056 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Being strongly influenced by the landscape of the Red River Valley, geophysical and a variety of sociodemographic and economic factors, the characteristics of floods are complex in the Province of Manitoba, Canada, which causes substantial loss and damage to lives and properties. The [...] Read more.
Being strongly influenced by the landscape of the Red River Valley, geophysical and a variety of sociodemographic and economic factors, the characteristics of floods are complex in the Province of Manitoba, Canada, which causes substantial loss and damage to lives and properties. The primary objectives of this study are two-fold: (i) to identify the geophysical and human-induced conditions of floods, and examine the trend in flood loss and damage in the Province of Manitoba, Canada; and (ii) to analyze the social vulnerability perspectives of floods in the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews, as a local community case study. Using the Delphi technique, primary data were procured from the field for community-level vulnerability analysis. Secondary data for a provincial-level analysis were collected from various public domains, including governmental departments and other non-government sources. The results reveal that a nested set of geophysical and societal factors determine the degree of vulnerability of individual community members. In Manitoba, it was found that socioeconomic damages caused by floods have increased considerably over time despite undertaking costly structural flood mitigation measures. We conclude that minimization of flood damages requires complementing structural measures with knowledge-sharing, collaboration among pertinent institutions, and the adoption of an interactive flood management system approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
ICESat-2 Applications for Investigating Emerging Volcanoes
Geosciences 2022, 12(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12010040 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Submarine volcanism in shallow waters (<100 m), particularly in remote settings, is difficult to monitor quantitatively and, in the rare formation of islands, it is challenging to understand the rapid-paced erosion. However, these newly erupted volcanic islands become observable to airborne and/or satellite [...] Read more.
Submarine volcanism in shallow waters (<100 m), particularly in remote settings, is difficult to monitor quantitatively and, in the rare formation of islands, it is challenging to understand the rapid-paced erosion. However, these newly erupted volcanic islands become observable to airborne and/or satellite remote sensing instruments. NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite laser altimeter, combined with visible imagery (optical and microwave), provide a novel method of evaluating the elevation characteristics of newly emerged volcanoes and their subaerial eruption products. Niijima Fukutoku-Okanoba (NFO) is a submarine volcano 1300 km south of Tokyo (Ogasawara Archipelago of Japan) that periodically breaches the ocean surface to create new islands that are subsequently eroded. The recent eruption in August 2021 is a rare opportunity to investigate this island evolution using high-resolution satellite datasets with geodetic-quality ICESat-2 altimetry. Lansdat-8 and Planet imagery provide a qualitative analysis of the exposed volcanic deposits, while ICESat-2 products provide elevation profiles necessary to quantify the physical surface structures. This investigation determines an innovative application for ICESat-2 data in evaluating newly emerged islands and how the combination of satellite remote sensing (visible and lidar) to investigate these short-lived volcanic features can improve our understanding of the volcanic island system in ways not previously possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
LLUNPIY Simulations of the 1877 Northward Catastrophic Lahars of Cotopaxi Volcano (Ecuador) for a Contribution to Forecasting the Hazards
Geosciences 2021, 11(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11020081 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
LLUNPIY (lahar modeling by local rules based on an underlying pick of yoked processes, from the Quechua word “llunp’iy“, meaning flood) is a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates primary and secondary lahars, here applied to replicate those that occurred during the huge [...] Read more.
LLUNPIY (lahar modeling by local rules based on an underlying pick of yoked processes, from the Quechua word “llunp’iy“, meaning flood) is a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates primary and secondary lahars, here applied to replicate those that occurred during the huge 1877 Cotopaxi Volcano eruption. The lahars flowing down the southwestern flanks of the volcano were already satisfactorily simulated in previous investigations of ours, assuming two possible different triggering mechanisms, i.e., the sudden and homogeneous melting of the summit ice and snow cap due to pyroclastic flows and the melting of the glacier parts hit by free-falling pyroclastic bombs after being upwardly ejected during the volcanic eruption. In a similar fashion, we apply here the CA LLUNPIY model to simulate the 1877 lahars sprawling out the Cotopaxi northern slopes and eventually impacting densely populated areas. Our preliminary results indicate that several important public infrastructures (among them the regional potable water supply system) and the Valle de Los Chillos and other Quito suburban areas might be devastated by northward-bound lahars, should a catastrophic Cotopaxi eruption comparable to the 1877 one occur in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
Formation and Outburst of the Toguz-Bulak Glacial Lake in the Northern Teskey Range, Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110468 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
In Kyrgyzstan, outburst flood disasters from glacial lakes are increasing. An example is the sudden drainage on 8 August 2019 of the Toguz-Bulak glacial lake in the Tosor river basin of the northern Tien Shan region. In this study, we used remote sensing [...] Read more.
In Kyrgyzstan, outburst flood disasters from glacial lakes are increasing. An example is the sudden drainage on 8 August 2019 of the Toguz-Bulak glacial lake in the Tosor river basin of the northern Tien Shan region. In this study, we used remote sensing and field surveys to examine the reasons for the outburst. We found that the lake area changed from 0.021 km² to 0.002 km2 due to the outburst, in which most of the initial 130,000 m3 of water discharged within four hours. In examining the longer-term behavior of this lake, we found that from 2010 through 2019, it appears in June and disappears in September every year. Its maximum area occurs in late July and early August. With the expansion of the lake basin between 2010 and 2019, the lake also increased greatly in size, particularly so in the three years before the outburst, linked to high summer temperatures and the resulting higher inflow of glacier meltwater, finally leading to the sudden drainage in 2019. Before this outburst, a 2-m high moraine dam retained the lake. Continuously inflowing meltwater and the related increasing pressure by the lake water mass eventually broke the moraine dam. Satellite radar interferometry revealed active displacement fringes in the lake basin and moraine dam due to the melting and subsidence of buried ice. An analysis using digital elevation models from 1964 and 2010 also confirms the surface lowering in the lake basin by up to 8.5 m and on the moraine dam by 2 m. Such lowering of the proglacial moraine complex destabilized the moraine dam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
Ground Surface Deformation Detection in Complex Landslide Area—Bobonaro, Timor-Leste—Using SBAS DInSAR, UAV Photogrammetry, and Field Observations
Geosciences 2020, 10(6), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10060245 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3443
Abstract
During the past 10 years, Timor-Leste has concentrated all its efforts on infrastructure development. However, it has not achieved enough due to unexpected ground deformation in mountainous areas that is seriously affecting road constructions, etc. In order to design roads and other infrastructure [...] Read more.
During the past 10 years, Timor-Leste has concentrated all its efforts on infrastructure development. However, it has not achieved enough due to unexpected ground deformation in mountainous areas that is seriously affecting road constructions, etc. In order to design roads and other infrastructure under such difficult conditions, it is important to know the present and future ground conditions. Continuous monitoring is a significant methods of detecting ground deformation and providing essential information to realize an effective design. The problem arises of “How can ground deformation be monitored in extensive areas, which are generally located in mountain areas that are difficult to access?” Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) has recently been applied to monitor displacement in extensive areas. In addition, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry is useful for detecting the deformation in detail. Both methods are advantageous in that they do not require any sensors. Therefore, the combination of DInSAR and UAV photogrammetry is one of the solutions for monitoring the ground deformation in Timor-Leste. In this paper, DInSAR and UAV photogrammetry are applied to unstable ground in the Bobonaro region of Timor-Leste to find the recent ground deformation, since 2007, due to earthquakes and hard rainfall events. It is found that DInSAR is useful for screening usual and unusual ground behavior and that UAV photogrammetry is flexible to use and can detect displacements with cm accuracy after the DInSAR screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Article
Effects of Earthquakes on Flood Hazards: A Case Study From Christchurch, New Zealand
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030114 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
Earthquakes can influence flood hazards by altering the flux, volumes, and distributions of surface and/or subsurface waters and causing physical changes to natural and engineered environments (e.g., elevation, topographic relief, permeability) that affect surface and subsurface hydrologic regimes. This paper analyzes how earthquakes [...] Read more.
Earthquakes can influence flood hazards by altering the flux, volumes, and distributions of surface and/or subsurface waters and causing physical changes to natural and engineered environments (e.g., elevation, topographic relief, permeability) that affect surface and subsurface hydrologic regimes. This paper analyzes how earthquakes increased flood hazards in Christchurch, New Zealand, using empirical observations and seismological data. Between 4 September 2010 and 4 December 2017, this region hosted one moment magnitude (Mw) 7.1 earthquake, 3 earthquakes with Mw ≥ 6, and 31 earthquakes with local magnitude (ML) ≥ 5. Flooding related to liquefaction-induced groundwater pore-water fluid pressure perturbations and groundwater expulsion occurred in at least six earthquakes. Flooding related to shaking-induced ground deformations (e.g., subsidence) occurred in at least four earthquakes. Flooding related to tectonic deformations of the land surface (fault surface rupture and/or folding) occurred in at least two earthquakes. At least eight earthquakes caused damage to surface (e.g., buildings, bridges, roads) and subsurface (e.g., pipelines) infrastructure in areas of liquefaction and/or flooding. Severe liquefaction and associated groundwater-expulsion flooding in vulnerable sediments occurred at peak ground accelerations as low as 0.15 to 0.18 g (proportion of gravity). Expected return times of liquefaction-induced flooding in vulnerable sediments were estimated to be 100 to 500 years using the Christchurch seismic hazard curve, which is consistent with emerging evidence from paleo-liquefaction studies. Liquefaction-induced subsidence of 100 to 250 mm was estimated for 100-year peak ground acceleration return periods in parts of Christchurch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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Case Report
Urban Engineered Slope Collapsed in Rome on February 14th, 2018: Results from Remote Sensing Monitoring
Geosciences 2020, 10(9), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090331 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
On February 14th, 2018, in the North-Western sector of the Municipality of Rome (Central Italy), in the framework of an excavation for building construction, a portion of a piling wall piling wall collapsed in an already densely urbanized area. Soil behind the collapsed [...] Read more.
On February 14th, 2018, in the North-Western sector of the Municipality of Rome (Central Italy), in the framework of an excavation for building construction, a portion of a piling wall piling wall collapsed in an already densely urbanized area. Soil behind the collapsed piling wall slipped inside the excavation site dragging seven cars parked on one side of the road running parallel to the piling wall and affecting some residential buildings located on the opposite side of the road. Fortunately, no injuries were counted but the 22 families living in the buildings next to the damaged wall were evacuated. Following the piling wall collapse, the Civil Protection of Rome, thanks to the technical support of the Research Centre on Geological Risks (CERI) of the Sapienza University of Rome, started a continuous monitoring of the affected area through remote sensing techniques. In the first hours following the collapse, a Terrestrial Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometer (TInSAR) and a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) were installed with the aim to control the evolution of the process, to support the local authority to manage the associated residual risk, and to ensure the safety of workers during emergency operations. In this paper we discuss some of the results obtained by the monitoring of the involved area. Thanks to the comparisons between different surveys and the reconstruction of the pre-event geometries, the total volume involved in the failure was estimated around 850 m3. In addition, through the analysis of data acquired by the 18 multi-temporal TLS scans and the three and a half months of continuous TInSAR monitoring, the movement involving a portion of the filling material used for stabilization works was observed and described. Such movement, reaching a total displacement of about 270–300 mm, was monitored and reported in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Assessment of Recent Natural Hazard Events)
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