Damaging Hydrogeological Events

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019) | Viewed by 32802

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
National Research Council of Italy, Research institute for geo-hydrological protection (CNR-IRPI), Rende (CS), Italy
Interests: natural hazards; floods; landslides; climate change
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Guest Editor
National Research Council (CNR), Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFOM), Via Cavour 4/6, 87936 Rende, CS, Italy
Interests: hydrology; climatology; climate change; natural hazards; land use chance; forest ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Damaging hydrogeological events (DHE) are periods of severe weather conditions affecting wide areas for several days, during which landslides, floods, storm surges, hail, wind, and lightning can cause huge damage and victims. The exponential growth of DHE that occurred worldwide in the last few decades may be related to the increasing frequency and magnitude of natural dangerous phenomena as a direct consequence of climate change, thus demanding a deep understanding of events development, interaction with urbanisation, and management procedures allowing to mitigate damage.

This Special Issue of Water aims to analyse all the types of phenomena causing damage during these events (landslides, floods, storm surges, wind, etc.), either singularly or in the complex framework of cascading effects that characterizes some DHE (i.e., landslide blooking river couse). The focus can be either on the metereological framework preceding the events or on the difficult recognition of the effects and damage of the events. Within this aim, interdisciplinary original research articles highlighting new ideas, study approaches, and innovations allowing efficient forecasting and management of DHE are welcomed.

Potential topics of this Special Issue of Water include, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies and comparative studies in different parts of the world;
  • New approaches to quantify risk and uncertainty;
  • Effects of land-use or land-cover change on DHE;
  • Strategies for reducing the vulnerability to DHE;
  • The effect of climate change on DHE;
  • Hydrogeologicl risk.

Dr. Olga Petrucci
Dr. Tommaso Caloiero
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Damaging hydrogeological events
  • Natural hazard
  • Hazard assessment
  • Risk analysis and management
  • Modeling
  • Validation
  • Uncertainty

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 5793 KiB  
Article
Hydrometeorological Ensemble Forecast of a Highly Localized Convective Event in the Mediterranean
by Luca Furnari, Giuseppe Mendicino and Alfonso Senatore
Water 2020, 12(6), 1545; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061545 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2817
Abstract
The uncertainties that affect hydrometeorological modelling chains can be addressed through ensemble approaches. In this paper, a convection-permitting ensemble system was assessed based on the downscaling of all members of the ECMWF ensemble prediction system through the coupled atmospheric-hydrological WRF-Hydro modelling system. An [...] Read more.
The uncertainties that affect hydrometeorological modelling chains can be addressed through ensemble approaches. In this paper, a convection-permitting ensemble system was assessed based on the downscaling of all members of the ECMWF ensemble prediction system through the coupled atmospheric-hydrological WRF-Hydro modelling system. An exemplary highly localized convective event that occurred in a morphologically complex area of the southern Italian coast was selected as a case study, evaluating the performance of the system for two consecutive lead times up to the hydrological forecast on a very small (11.4 km2) catchment. The proposed approach accurately downscales the signal provided by the global model, improving up to almost 200% the quantitative forecast of the accumulated rainfall peak in the area affected by the event and supplying clear information about the forecast uncertainty. Some members of the ensemble simulations provide accurate results up to the hydrological scale over the catchment, with unit peak discharge forecasts up to 3 m3∙s−1∙km−2. Overall, the study highlights that for highly localized convective events in coastal Mediterranean catchments, ensemble approaches should be preferred to a classic single-based simulation approach, because they improve the forecast skills and provide spatially distributed information about the forecast uncertainty, which can be particularly useful for operational purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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23 pages, 11879 KiB  
Article
Characterizing Consecutive Flooding Events after the 2017 Mt. Salto Wildfires (Southern Italy): Hazard and Emergency Management Implications
by Giuseppe Esposito, Antonio Parodi, Martina Lagasio, Rocco Masi, Giovanni Nanni, Filiberto Russo, Stefano Alfano and Gaetano Giannatiempo
Water 2019, 11(12), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122663 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3776
Abstract
Every summer, wildfires affect thousands of steep watersheds in Italy, causing the partial or complete destruction of vegetation, and changes in soil hydraulic properties. Such effects alter the hydrologic response of watersheds, increasing post-fire debris and sediment-laden flow hazard. This study characterizes the [...] Read more.
Every summer, wildfires affect thousands of steep watersheds in Italy, causing the partial or complete destruction of vegetation, and changes in soil hydraulic properties. Such effects alter the hydrologic response of watersheds, increasing post-fire debris and sediment-laden flow hazard. This study characterizes the most relevant predisposing and triggering factors for a sequence of four post-fire flooding events, which, in the late summer-autumn of 2017, affected Montoro village in southern Italy. This research work consists of a fire severity assessment based on multispectral satellite images, characterization of meteorological systems and related flood-triggering rainfall, and provides an overview of the damage that occurred in the repeatedly affected urban area using crowdsourced data. The research findings demonstrate that the analyzed area burned with moderate-high (64.4%) and low severity (35.6%) levels. All the flooding events were triggered by rainfall evaluated as non-extreme, but with relevant peak intensities (I10 and I30), associated with the first convective storms impacting the burned watersheds. The crowdsourced data highlight the fact that roads and buildings on footslopes were inundated by mud and debris transported by rapid flows. The study identifies a clear relationship between wildfires and flooding processes and provides useful information for hazard assessment and emergency management operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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27 pages, 9613 KiB  
Article
Mapping Flood-Related Mortality in the Mediterranean Basin. Results from the MEFF v2.0 DB
by Freddy Vinet, Victoria Bigot, Olga Petrucci, Katerina Papagiannaki, Maria Carmen Llasat, Vassiliki Kotroni, Laurent Boissier, Luigi Aceto, Miquel Grimalt, Montserrat Llasat-Botija, Angela A. Pasqua, Joan Rossello, Özgenur Kılıç, Abdullah Kahraman and Yves Tramblay
Water 2019, 11(10), 2196; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102196 - 22 Oct 2019
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 5711
Abstract
Recent events in Western Attica in Greece (24 deaths in November 2017), in the Balearic Islands (13 deaths in October 2018), and in southern France (15 deaths in October 2018) show that flood-related mortality remains a major concern in Mediterranean countries facing flash [...] Read more.
Recent events in Western Attica in Greece (24 deaths in November 2017), in the Balearic Islands (13 deaths in October 2018), and in southern France (15 deaths in October 2018) show that flood-related mortality remains a major concern in Mediterranean countries facing flash floods. Over the past several years, many initiatives have arisen to create databases on flood-related mortality. An international initiative started in 2011 pooling regional and national databases on flood mortality from region and/or countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The MEditerranean Flood Fatality Database (MEFF DB) brings together, in 2018, six Mediterranean regions/countries: Catalonia (Spain), Balearic Islands (Spain), Southern France, Calabria (Italy), Greece, and Turkey, and covers the period 1980–2018. MEFF DB is on progress and, every year, new data are included, but for this study, we kept only the preliminary data that were geolocated and validated on 31st of December 2018. This research introduces a new step in the analysis of flood-related mortality and follows the statistical description of the MEFF DB already published. The goals of this paper are to draw the spatial distribution of flood mortality through a geographical information system (GIS) at different spatial scales: country, NUTS 3 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Level 3) regions, catchment areas, and grid. A fatality rate (F: number of deaths/year/million of inhabitants) is created to help this analysis. Then, we try to relate mortality to basic (human or physical) drivers such as population density, rainfall seasonality, or rainfall frequency across the Mediterranean Basin. The mapping of F shows a negative mortality gradient between the western and the eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea. The south of France appears to be the most affected region. The maps also highlight the seasonality of flood-related deaths with the same west–east gradient. It confirms that flood mortality follows the climatological seasonal patterns across the Mediterranean Basin. Flood-related fatalities mainly occur during the early fall season in the western part of the Mediterranean area, while the Easter Basin is affected later, in November or during the winter season. Eastern Turkey introduces another pattern, as mortality is more severe in summer. Mortality maps are then compared with factors that potentially contribute to the occurrence of flood fatalities, such as precipitation intensity (rainfall hazard), to explain geographical differences in the fatality rate. The density of a fatal event is correlated to the population density and the rainfall frequency. Conversely, the average number of deaths per event depends on other factors such as prevention or crisis management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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25 pages, 8226 KiB  
Article
Potential of Documentary Evidence to Study Fatalities of Hydrological and Meteorological Events in the Czech Republic
by Rudolf Brázdil, Kateřina Chromá, Jan Řehoř, Pavel Zahradníček, Lukáš Dolák, Ladislava Řezníčková and Petr Dobrovolný
Water 2019, 11(10), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102014 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3947
Abstract
This paper presents the potential of documentary evidence for enhancing the study of fatalities taking place in the course of hydrological and meteorological events (HMEs). Chronicles, “books of memory”, weather diaries, newspapers (media), parliamentary proposals, epigraphic evidence, systematic meteorological/hydrological observations, and professional papers [...] Read more.
This paper presents the potential of documentary evidence for enhancing the study of fatalities taking place in the course of hydrological and meteorological events (HMEs). Chronicles, “books of memory”, weather diaries, newspapers (media), parliamentary proposals, epigraphic evidence, systematic meteorological/hydrological observations, and professional papers provide a broad base for gathering such information in the Czech Republic, especially since 1901. The spatiotemporal variability of 269 fatalities in the Czech Republic arising out of 103 HMEs (flood, flash flood, windstorm, convective storm, lightning, frost, snow/glaze-ice calamity, heat, and other events) in the 1981–2018 period is presented, with particular attention to closer characterisation of fatalities (gender, age, cause of death, place, type of death, and behaviour). Examples of three outstanding events with the highest numbers of fatalities (severe frosts in the extremely cold winter of 1928/1929, a flash flood on 9 June 1970, and a rain flood in July 1997) are described in detail. Discussion of results includes the problem of data uncertainty, factors influencing the numbers of fatalities, and the broader context. Since floods are responsible for the highest proportion of HME-related deaths, places with fatalities are located mainly around rivers and drowning appears as the main cause of death. In the further classification of fatalities, males and adults clearly prevail, while indirect victims and hazardous behaviour are strongly represented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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28 pages, 4406 KiB  
Article
Hydrogeological and Climatological Risks Perception in a Multi-Hazard Environment: The Case of Greece
by Katerina Papagiannaki, Michalis Diakakis, Vassiliki Kotroni, Kostas Lagouvardos and Emmanuel Andreadakis
Water 2019, 11(9), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091770 - 25 Aug 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4538
Abstract
Climate-related hazards, such as wildfires and hydrogeological phenomena, cause extensive damages and casualties around the world. Despite the recent advances and technologies for risk mitigation, it is acknowledged that public risk perception is a critical factor for these tools to succeed. Greece and [...] Read more.
Climate-related hazards, such as wildfires and hydrogeological phenomena, cause extensive damages and casualties around the world. Despite the recent advances and technologies for risk mitigation, it is acknowledged that public risk perception is a critical factor for these tools to succeed. Greece and the broader Eastern Mediterranean is an area where, despite the diversity of natural disasters, there is a lack of understanding of the hazard types that people are most concerned with and how they measure against other groups of hazards (i.e., geophysical). This work uses an online survey targeting Greek people, aiming to provide a better understanding of their perception of different natural hazards. Statistical results show that people consider climate-related hazards less dangerous and likely to occur than earthquakes, which occur often as zero-impact events. Laymen may thus underestimate certain risks, which may inhibit appropriate preparation. Disaster experience was found to increase threat perceptions and to motivate preparedness. However, in what concerns climate-related hazards, the effect of experience may fade out over time. Awareness activities were found to associate with higher emergency response efficacy. Males exhibit lower risk perception and higher coping appraisals. However, prioritization of risks is almost identical between genders. Implications for risk management are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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28 pages, 5240 KiB  
Article
Flood Fatalities in Europe, 1980–2018: Variability, Features, and Lessons to Learn
by Olga Petrucci, Luigi Aceto, Cinzia Bianchi, Victoria Bigot, Rudolf Brázdil, Susana Pereira, Abdullah Kahraman, Özgenur Kılıç, Vassiliki Kotroni, Maria Carmen Llasat, Montserrat Llasat-Botija, Katerina Papagiannaki, Angela Aurora Pasqua, Jan Řehoř, Joan Rossello Geli, Paola Salvati, Freddy Vinet and José Luis Zêzere
Water 2019, 11(8), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081682 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 7814
Abstract
Floods are still a significant threat to people, despite of the considerable developments in forecasting, management, defensive, and rescue works. In the near future, climate and societal changes as both urbanization of flood prone areas and individual dangerous behaviors could increase flood fatalities. [...] Read more.
Floods are still a significant threat to people, despite of the considerable developments in forecasting, management, defensive, and rescue works. In the near future, climate and societal changes as both urbanization of flood prone areas and individual dangerous behaviors could increase flood fatalities. This paper analyzes flood mortality in eight countries using a 39-year database (1980–2018) named EUFF (EUropean Flood Fatalities), which was built using documentary sources. The narratives of fatalities were investigated and standardized in the database reporting the details of the events. The entire dataset shows a stable trend on flood fatalities, despite the existence of individual increasing (Greece, Italy, and South France) and decreasing (Turkey and Catalonia) trends. The 2466 fatalities were mainly males, aged between 30–49 years and the majority of them happened outdoor. Most often people were dragged by water/mud when travelling by motor vehicles. Some cases of hazardous behaviors, such as fording rivers, were also detected. The primary cause of death was drowning, followed by heart attack. This work contributes to understand the human–flood interaction that caused fatalities. The changes in society’s vulnerability highlighted throughout this study contribute to manage future risks, to improve people protection actions, and to reduce risk behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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21 pages, 9973 KiB  
Article
Multiple Effects of Intense Meteorological Events in the Benevento Province, Southern Italy
by Paola Revellino, Luigi Guerriero, Neri Mascellaro, Francesco Fiorillo, Gerardo Grelle, Giuseppe Ruzza and Francesco M. Guadagno
Water 2019, 11(8), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081560 - 28 Jul 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2980
Abstract
In October 2015, two intense rainfall events hit the central and southern regions of Italy and triggered a combination of different and widespread effects, including floods, landslides, and soil erosion. These outcomes devastated about 68 municipalities of the Benevento province (Campania region), killed [...] Read more.
In October 2015, two intense rainfall events hit the central and southern regions of Italy and triggered a combination of different and widespread effects, including floods, landslides, and soil erosion. These outcomes devastated about 68 municipalities of the Benevento province (Campania region), killed two people, and caused millions of euros worth of damage to structures, infrastructures, and agriculture. The town of Benevento was one of the sectors most affected by overflow. Extensive areas characterized by flyschoid outcrops experienced widespread occurrences of soil erosion and landslides, and destructive, high-velocity debris flows (about 50) afflicted areas that had experienced heavy rainfall of higher intensity (total rainfall of 415.6 mm). In this study, the characteristics of these rainfall events and related geomorphological processes were determined by (i) analyzing the available rainfall data to identify the spatial pattern, distribution, and statistical characteristics of the two storms and (ii) mapping the storm effects, such as flooded areas, landslide types, and soil erosion. These effects were then related to the spatial distribution of the storms and the local geological and geomorphologic settings that drove their initiation and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
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