Special Issue "Inaugural Section Special Issue: Key Topics and Future Perspectives in Natural Hazards Research"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Deodato Tapete

Italian Space Agency (ASI), Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
Website | E-Mail
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 Issue Information

This Special Issue inaugurates the new section of Geosciences devoted to Natural Hazards.

The research in this scientific domain is very dynamic and diverse, encompassing, for example:

  • new findings in understanding triggering and propagation mechanisms
  • the revision of previous hypotheses or hazard scenarios
  • the development of new conceptualisations and methodologies
  • the testing of new data, sensors, and techniques for investigation, monitoring, change detection, and multi-temporal or back-analysis
  • the development of new or refined models for forecasting
  • the integration of hazard assessment in risk analysis
  • the design of new materials and solutions for risk mitigation
  • the exploration of new ways to communicate hazards and increase awareness

Significant advances are also achieved through multidisciplinary and international collaborations, as well as international partnerships, thus producing a multitude of different positive results including, but not limited to, shared standards, improved research capabilities, and new paradigms, not to mention the impact on society whenever research translates into practice, regulation, or policies.

I launch this Special Issue to capture the state-of-the-art of Natural Hazards research through a collection of review papers focused on current key topics, which outline where we are as a research community and future perspectives.

This Special Issue will include invited papers written by scholars of international reputation in this field of research, but also welcomes unsolicited, high-quality manuscripts on the above topics.

Therefore, prospective authors are encouraged to send in an abstract including the description of the key topic they want to address, the justification of its relevance in the current international research on Natural Hazards, and the specific audience and readership they want to reach.

Dr. Deodato Tapete
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 850 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Geo-Hazard-Based Approach for the Estimation of Seismic Vulnerability and Damage Scenarios of the Old City of Senerchia (Avellino, Italy)
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020059
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 20 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
The large-scale seismic risk assessment is a crucial point for safeguarding people and planning adequate mitigation plans in urban areas. The current research work aims at analysing a sector of the historic centre of Senerchia, located in the province of Avellino, in order [...] Read more.
The large-scale seismic risk assessment is a crucial point for safeguarding people and planning adequate mitigation plans in urban areas. The current research work aims at analysing a sector of the historic centre of Senerchia, located in the province of Avellino, in order to assess the seismic vulnerability and damage of old masonry building compounds. First, the typological classification of the inspected building aggregates is developed using the CARTIS form developed by the PLINIVS research centre in collaboration with the Italian Civil Protection Department. The global seismic vulnerability assessment of the building sample is carried out using the macroseismic method according to the EMS-98 scale in order to identify the buildings most susceptible to seismic damage. Furthermore, 12 damage scenarios are developed by means of an appropriate seismic attenuation law. Finally, the expected damage scenarios considering the local hazard effects induced are developed in order to evaluate the damage increment, averagely equal to 50%, due to the seismic amplification of different soil categories. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Earthquakes on Energy Security in the Eurasian Economic Union: Resilience of the Electricity Transmission Networks in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010054
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
In our research, we focus on the reliability of the interconnected electricity supply system of three countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)—Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We apply a mathematical model to evaluate the reliability of the electricity supply system under the threat [...] Read more.
In our research, we focus on the reliability of the interconnected electricity supply system of three countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)—Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We apply a mathematical model to evaluate the reliability of the electricity supply system under the threat of earthquakes. Earthquakes can damage elements of electricity grids and, considering the interconnectivity of electricity supply systems in the EAEU, effects in the aftermath of earthquakes can be far-reaching and even transboundary. This necessitates the development of coordinated policies and risk management strategies to deal with electricity outage risks in the EAEU. In our study, the earthquake probability is derived from seismic zone maps, while damage events are computed using maps of energy power systems. In addition, we determine which elements of the system are susceptible to failure due to an earthquake of a given magnitude. We conduct a scenario analysis of earthquakes and their impacts on the reliability of the power supply system, considering potential energy losses and threats to energy security. An analysis of the resilience of electricity transmission grids allows us to determine the critical interconnection lines in terms of exposure to earthquake risk, as well as exposure to total systemic loss. We also identify the most critical interconnection lines where power outages can lead to the destabilization of the entire power supply system. Some examples of such lines are at the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where power outages can lead to serious economic costs and electricity outages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Socioeconomic Exposure, Vulnerability and Impacts of Recent Droughts in Argentina
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010039
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
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Abstract
During the last 20 years, Argentina experienced several extreme and widespread droughts in many different regions, including the core cropland areas. The most devastating recent events were recorded in the years 2006, 2009 and 2011. Reported impacts of the main events induced losses [...] Read more.
During the last 20 years, Argentina experienced several extreme and widespread droughts in many different regions, including the core cropland areas. The most devastating recent events were recorded in the years 2006, 2009 and 2011. Reported impacts of the main events induced losses of more than 4 billion U.S. dollars and more than 1 million persons were reported to be directly or indirectly affected. In this paper, we analyse the drought risk in Argentina, taking into account recent information on drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Accordingly, we identified the most severe droughts in Argentina during the 2000–2015 period using a combination of drought hazard indicators and exposure layers. Three main events were identified: (1) during spring 2006 droughts peaked in the northeast of Argentina, (2) in 2009 precipitation deficits indicated a drought epicenter in the central Argentinian plains, and (3) in 2011 the northern Patagonia region experienced a combination of natural disasters due to severe drought conditions and a devastating volcanic eruption. Furthermore, we analysed the dynamics of drought exposure for the population and the main economic sectors affected by municipality, i.e., agriculture and livestock production. Assets exposed to droughts have been identified with several records of drought impacts and declarations of farming emergencies. We show that by combining exposure and vulnerability with drought intensity it is feasible to detect the likelihood of regional impacts in different sectors. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Insights into the Oroville Dam 2017 Spillway Incident
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010037
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
In February 2017, a failure occurring in Oroville Dam’s main spillway risked causing severe damages downstream. A unique aspect of this incident was the fact that it happened during a flood scenario well within its design and operational procedures, prompting research into its [...] Read more.
In February 2017, a failure occurring in Oroville Dam’s main spillway risked causing severe damages downstream. A unique aspect of this incident was the fact that it happened during a flood scenario well within its design and operational procedures, prompting research into its causes and determining methods to prevent similar events from reoccurring. In this study, a hydroclimatic analysis of Oroville Dam’s catchment is conducted, along with a review of related design and operational manuals. The data available allows for the comparison of older flood-frequency analyses to new alternative methods proposed in this paper and relevant literature. Based on summary characteristics of the 2017 floods, possible causes of the incident are outlined, in order to understand which factors contributed more significantly. It turns out that the event was most likely the result of a structural problem in the dam’s main spillway and detrimental geological conditions, but analysis of surface level data also reveals operational issues that were not present during previous larger floods, promoting a discussion about flood control design methods, specifications, and dam inspection procedures, and how these can be improved to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Geographies and Scientometrics of Research on Natural Hazards
Geosciences 2018, 8(10), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8100382
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (8721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This contribution aims to reveal patterns of research on natural hazards worldwide, based on the analysis of the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database. A set of 588,424 research items published between 1900 and 2017 is analyzed, covering different types of natural hazards. [...] Read more.
This contribution aims to reveal patterns of research on natural hazards worldwide, based on the analysis of the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database. A set of 588,424 research items published between 1900 and 2017 is analyzed, covering different types of natural hazards. Two categories of natural hazards are distinguished in this study: (i) geological/geomorphic (earthquakes, slope movements, erosion, volcanic activity, and others); and (ii) climatic/hydro-meteorological (floods, storms, drought, hurricane, and others). General trends, the geographical focus, and the involvement and cooperation between individual countries are revealed, pointing out certain patterns (e.g., hotspots of research) and trends (e.g., changing publishing paradigm). Further, a global overview of research on natural hazards is confronted with disastrous events, fatalities, and losses of MunichRE and SwissRE global databases of natural disasters. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Big Data in Natural Disaster Management: A Review
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050165
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2538 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Undoubtedly, the age of big data has opened new options for natural disaster management, primarily because of the varied possibilities it provides in visualizing, analyzing, and predicting natural disasters. From this perspective, big data has radically changed the ways through which human societies [...] Read more.
Undoubtedly, the age of big data has opened new options for natural disaster management, primarily because of the varied possibilities it provides in visualizing, analyzing, and predicting natural disasters. From this perspective, big data has radically changed the ways through which human societies adopt natural disaster management strategies to reduce human suffering and economic losses. In a world that is now heavily dependent on information technology, the prime objective of computer experts and policy makers is to make the best of big data by sourcing information from varied formats and storing it in ways that it can be effectively used during different stages of natural disaster management. This paper aimed at making a systematic review of the literature in analyzing the role of big data in natural disaster management and highlighting the present status of the technology in providing meaningful and effective solutions in natural disaster management. The paper has presented the findings of several researchers on varied scientific and technological perspectives that have a bearing on the efficacy of big data in facilitating natural disaster management. In this context, this paper reviews the major big data sources, the associated achievements in different disaster management phases, and emerging technological topics associated with leveraging this new ecosystem of Big Data to monitor and detect natural hazards, mitigate their effects, assist in relief efforts, and contribute to the recovery and reconstruction processes. Full article
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