Topic Editors

Department of Geology, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, PMB 02, Nigeria
National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderbad 500030, India
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Będzińska Street 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

Natural Hazards and Environmental Challenges in the Anthropocene Age

Abstract submission deadline
closed (1 March 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (1 May 2024)
Viewed by
10130

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The incidence of hazardous events has been on the increase in recent times. Apart from incidents that are triggered by natural processes, there are also those triggered by human-related activities such as urbanization, industrialization, constructions, negligence, etc. In this Topical Issue (TI), the roles/contributions of humans in the occurrences of hazards and the impacts of hazard occurrences on humanity and the environment are examined. With a scope covering both natural and human-induced hazards, this TI aims to publish a collection of innovative original research papers, case studies, and review papers that addresses a wide range of issues on natural hazards and the challenges they pose to man and the environment. We are targeting multidisciplinary submissions on erosion, landslides, flooding, extreme temperatures, droughts, wildfire, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, coastal hazards, subsidence, sinkholes, windstorms, tornadoes, etc. The incorporation of geospatial, (geo)statistical, numerical or index-based, and soft computational modelling techniques is highly encouraged. The themes that will be considered in this TI include, but are not limited to:

  • Modelling, prediction, characterization, and risk assessment of natural hazards.
  • Anthropogenic and technological hazards in the present age: insights on the roles of man.
  • The impacts of natural hazard occurrences on man and the environment.
  • Emerging technologies and sensors for geohazard data processing and interpretation.
  • Climate change and occurrence of mass movement and hydrometeorological hazards.
  • Engineering failures related to water: their monitoring, assessment, and risk reduction.
  • Extreme temperatures and environmental sustainability.
  • Multi-hazard analysis and multiscale modelling of natural hazards.
  • Seismic-related hazards and human settlement/displacement challenges.
  • Age and gender exposure, response, and resilience to natural hazards.
  • Social impacts of natural hazards in urban, semi-urban, and rural regions.
  • Earth’s resources and hazards: the interactions of the earth systems in hazardous events.
  • Land use/land conservation strategies in the face of natural hazards.
  • Planning, policy-making, and management strategies for hazard mitigation.
  • Deterministic, computational, and stochastic modelling of hazard impacts.

We are delighted to invite you to submit your high-quality manuscript(s) to our Topical Issue (TI), which is being hosted by these participating MDPI journals: Remote Sensing, Water, Geosciences, Geohazards, or Atmosphere.

Dr. Johnbosco C. Egbueri
Dr. Chaitanya B. Pande
Dr. Quoc Bao Pham
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • geohazards
  • multi-hazard scenarios
  • earthquakes
  • flooding
  • multiscale modelling of hazard
  • landslides
  • geospatial mapping
  • erosion
  • environmental impact assessment
  • eruptions

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.9 4.1 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400
GeoHazards
geohazards
- - 2020 20.7 Days CHF 1000
Geosciences
geosciences
2.7 5.2 2011 23.6 Days CHF 1800
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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15 pages, 5316 KiB  
Article
Approach and Permanent Human Occupation of Mainland Portugal Coastal Zone (1096–2021)
by Maria Rosário Bastos, Olegário Nelson Azevedo Pereira, Antero Ferreira, Filipe Salgado, Sérgio Lira and João Alveirinho Dias
Water 2024, 16(8), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16081110 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 812
Abstract
This paper aims to enhance the understanding of the littoralization process in mainland Portugal over a broad chronological framework. Littoralization is defined as the occupation and settlement of human communities along the coast. In this case, the analysis was based on the synchronic [...] Read more.
This paper aims to enhance the understanding of the littoralization process in mainland Portugal over a broad chronological framework. Littoralization is defined as the occupation and settlement of human communities along the coast. In this case, the analysis was based on the synchronic analysis of three chronologies: from the formation of Portugal to the settlement of the fountains (1096–1325); at the dawn of modernity, marked by the Portuguese expansion (1500–1524), with the first scientific census (1860); and in the present, with data from the last census (2021). The choice of chronology was dictated by the historical sources available and allowed us to check the trend of population dispersion both in terms of latitude and longitude, the latter being the analysis of the distance of the main population centers (counties) from the coast. In the first chronological segment, there is a “safety distance” from the exposed coastlines, which is gradually blurred over time until there is an impressive coastal demographic concentration in 2021, with around 80% of people settled within 50 km of the sea. So, the management of Portugal’s territory is an unequivocal indicator of the Anthropocene even with the risks of the disappearance of some beaches. Full article
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15 pages, 3067 KiB  
Article
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Electromagnetic Signals as a Possible Precursory Warning of Incoming Seismic Activity
by Vasilis Tritakis, Janusz Mlynarczyk, Ioannis Contopoulos, Jerzy Kubisz, Vasilis Christofilakis, Giorgos Tatsis, Spyridon K. Chronopoulos and Christos Repapis
Atmosphere 2024, 15(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15040457 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
We analyzed a large number (77) of low-to-medium-magnitude earthquakes (M3.5–M6.5) that occurred within a period of three years (2020–2022) in the Southern half of Greece in relation to the ELF activity in that region and time period. In most cases, characteristic ELF signals [...] Read more.
We analyzed a large number (77) of low-to-medium-magnitude earthquakes (M3.5–M6.5) that occurred within a period of three years (2020–2022) in the Southern half of Greece in relation to the ELF activity in that region and time period. In most cases, characteristic ELF signals appear up to 20 days before the earthquakes. This observation may add an important new element to the Lithospheric–Atmospheric–Ionospheric scenario, thus contributing to a better prediction of incoming earthquakes. We discuss the role of ELF observations in reliable seismic forecasting. We conclude that the magnitude of an earthquake larger than M4.0 and the distance of the epicenter shorter than 300 km from the recording site is needed for typical pre-seismic signals to be observed. Finally, we remark that a reliable prediction of earthquakes could result from an integrated project of multi-instrumental observations, where all the known variety of precursors would be included, and the whole data set would be analyzed by advanced machine learning methods. Full article
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10 pages, 903 KiB  
Communication
The Possibility of Estimating the Permafrost’s Porosity In Situ in the Hydrocarbon Industry and Environment
by Lev V. Eppelbaum
Geosciences 2024, 14(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences14030072 - 9 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Global warming firstly influences the permafrost regions where numerous and rich world hydrocarbon deposits are located. Permafrost thawing has caused severe problems in exploring known hydrocarbon deposits and searching for new targets. This process is also dangerous for any industrial and living regions [...] Read more.
Global warming firstly influences the permafrost regions where numerous and rich world hydrocarbon deposits are located. Permafrost thawing has caused severe problems in exploring known hydrocarbon deposits and searching for new targets. This process is also dangerous for any industrial and living regions in cold regions. Knowledge of permafrost’s ice and unfrozen water content is critical for predicting permafrost behavior during the water–ice transition. This is especially relevant when ice and permafrost are melting in many regions under the influence of global warming. It is well known that only part of the formation’s pore water turns into ice at 0 °C. After further lowering the temperature, the water phase transition continues, but at gradually decreasing rates. Thus, the porous space is filled with ice and unfrozen water. Laboratory data show that frozen formations’ mechanical, thermal, and rheological properties strongly depend on the moisture content. Hence, porosity and temperature are essential parameters of permafrost. In this paper, it is shown that by combining research in three fields, (1) geophysical exploration, (2) numerical modeling, and (3) temperature logging, it is possible to estimate the porosity of permafrost in situ. Five examples of numerical modeling (where all input parameters are specified) are given to demonstrate the procedure. This investigation is the first attempt to quantitatively analyze permafrost’s porosity in situ. Full article
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17 pages, 2371 KiB  
Article
Seismic Fragility Curves of RC Buildings Subjected to Aging
by Spyridon Diamantopoulos, Zeinep Achmet, Sotiria Stefanidou, Olga Markogiannaki and Michalis Fragiadakis
GeoHazards 2024, 5(1), 192-208; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards5010010 - 27 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
A large number of existing reinforced concrete (RC) buildings have surpassed their anticipated service life and show signs of degradation due to aging; this degradation is a function of the construction practices adopted in the past as well as environmental conditions. This paper [...] Read more.
A large number of existing reinforced concrete (RC) buildings have surpassed their anticipated service life and show signs of degradation due to aging; this degradation is a function of the construction practices adopted in the past as well as environmental conditions. This paper discusses seismic fragility and the risk assessment of RC structures, emphasizing the impact of corrosion due to concrete aging and the associated deterioration mechanisms. The literature on this topic is critically reviewed, and a methodology for studying the seismic fragility of deteriorated RC buildings is proposed. As a case study, a four-story RC building designed according to contemporary code provisions is examined. The investigation encompasses the derivation of fragility curves, considering critical parameters such as the corrosion rate, the initiation time, and the cover depth. The proposed approach enables the evaluation and quantification of the impact of corrosion mechanisms on the seismic performance of buildings. Full article
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8 pages, 7483 KiB  
Communication
Water Supply and Firefighting: Early Lessons from the 2023 Maui Fires
by Robert B. Sowby and Braxton W. Porter
Water 2024, 16(4), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16040600 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Even though drinking water utilities are not meant to fight wildfires, they quickly become stakeholders, if not first responders, when their resources are needed for firefighting. The August 2023 wildfires on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA, have highlighted weaknesses at this intersection. [...] Read more.
Even though drinking water utilities are not meant to fight wildfires, they quickly become stakeholders, if not first responders, when their resources are needed for firefighting. The August 2023 wildfires on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA, have highlighted weaknesses at this intersection. While attention has focused on the wildfire causes or water quality impacts afterward, few studies have analyzed the response. We review this extreme case to support disaster-response lessons for water utilities and to guide further research and policy. First, emergency water releases were not available in a timely manner. Second, fire and wind toppled power lines, causing power outages that inhibited pumping water. Third, many structures were a total loss despite water doused on them, consuming valuable water. Finally, water was lost through damaged premise plumbing in burned structures, further reducing system pressure. These conditions emphasize that water utilities need to access emergency water supplies quickly, establish reliable backup electricity, coordinate with firefighters on priority water uses, and shut valves in burned areas to preserve water. While further research will certainly follow, we present these early lessons as starting points. Full article
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22 pages, 6373 KiB  
Article
Land Cover Trajectories and Their Impacts on Rainfall-Triggered Landslide Occurrence in a Cultivated Mountainous Region of Western Japan
by Takashi Kimura, Go Sato, Takatsugu Ozaki, Nguyen Van Thang and Akihiko Wakai
Water 2023, 15(24), 4211; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244211 - 6 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Land cover changes in mountainous regions are potential precursors to landslide disasters. However, the effects of past long-term land cover changes on the characteristics of recent landslides remains underexplored. We studied land cover evolution over a 56-year period on Omishima Island in western [...] Read more.
Land cover changes in mountainous regions are potential precursors to landslide disasters. However, the effects of past long-term land cover changes on the characteristics of recent landslides remains underexplored. We studied land cover evolution over a 56-year period on Omishima Island in western Japan to examine the spatial relations of landslides in the July 2018 storm event based on rainfall, land cover trajectories, and topography. We generated land cover maps for 1962, 1981, and 2018 by aerial photo interpretation. We also identified 512 new landslides. Based on 47-year precipitation records, we estimated the return periods of 1- to 264-h rainfalls during the storm using the generalised extreme value (GEV) distributions. Return periods showed wide variation when the derived GEV distributions were applied to 1-km grid rainfall distributions. Despite such pronounced spatial variations in rainfall, we did not observe a clear correlation between rainfall intensity and landslide distribution. In contrast, land cover trajectories had a pronounced effect on landslide occurrence. Landslides were more concentrated on slopes that experienced land cover changes after 1962. A comparison of slopes on farmland developed between 1962 and 1981 (mainly citrus orchards) indicated that landslide density and area ratio were significantly lower on slopes that had reverted to forests than on those remaining as farmland. However, the values of the reforested slopes exceeded those of forests and farmlands that remained since before 1962. Our geospatial analysis revealed that even if the field had shifted to forests, the effects of reduced slope stability due to orchard development had remained for at least 37 years. This suggested that the impacts of converting forests to orchards last longer than harvesting in managed plantation forests. Full article
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22 pages, 6018 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Urban Local High-Temperature Disaster Risk and the Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Blue-Green Space
by Xinyu Zhang, Ruihan Ye and Xingyuan Fu
Atmosphere 2023, 14(11), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14111652 - 3 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Urban high-temperature disasters have gradually emerged as a significant threat to human society. Therefore, it is crucial to assess and identify areas at risk of such disasters and implement urban planning measures aimed at mitigating their impact. Additionally, a multitude of studies have [...] Read more.
Urban high-temperature disasters have gradually emerged as a significant threat to human society. Therefore, it is crucial to assess and identify areas at risk of such disasters and implement urban planning measures aimed at mitigating their impact. Additionally, a multitude of studies have demonstrated the significant cooling effect of urban blue-green spaces (UGBS), which play a pivotal role in urban environments. Incorporating a UBGS layout into planning and evaluation processes has substantial potential for mitigating high-temperature disasters. This paper presents the construction of a set of assessment processes for mitigating urban high-temperature disaster risk using a UBGS structure layout specifically for the main urban area of Harbin, China. We employed GIS and multi-source remote sensing imagery to develop local climate zone (LCZ) maps applicable to the designated study area. The differentiated impact of UBGS factors on high-temperature disaster risk was determined using the multi-scale geographical weighted regression model (MGWR). The results showed the following: (a) There was an overall low risk level, with 19.61% of the high-risk areas concentrated within the second ring road, forming a spatial pattern characterized by “one line, one cluster”. (b) The risk of the building category LCZs was generally higher than that of the natural category LCZs. The risk of the architectural LCZs could be summarized as the risk of low-density LCZs being smaller than that of the high-density LCZs, except LCZ 5. The mean value of the LCZ 2 and LCZ 5 types was the highest. (c) Through indicator screening, AREA_MN, SHAPE_MN, PD, and NP were found to be significant determinants influencing the risk, and the effectiveness and spatial differentiation of these main factors exhibited notable disparities. (d) By comparing different LCZ types, we concluded that the mitigation effect of these factors on risk may be interfered with by building height (BH); NP may be positively interfered with by BH; and PD and SHAPE_MN may be negatively interfered with by BH. The research results provided a new perspective and practical scientific basis for high-temperature disaster risk-mitigation planning based on UBGSs under LCZ classification. Full article
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18 pages, 2483 KiB  
Article
Influence of Terrain Factors on Urban Pluvial Flooding Characteristics: A Case Study of a Small Watershed in Guangzhou, China
by Xuelian Zhang, Aiqing Kang, Mao Ye, Qingxin Song, Xiaohui Lei and Hao Wang
Water 2023, 15(12), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15122261 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Urban roads in China, particularly low-lying areas such as underpasses, tunnels, and culverts, are highly vulnerable to the dangers of urban pluvial flooding. We used spatial interpolation methods and limited measured data to assign elevation values to the road surface. The road network [...] Read more.
Urban roads in China, particularly low-lying areas such as underpasses, tunnels, and culverts, are highly vulnerable to the dangers of urban pluvial flooding. We used spatial interpolation methods and limited measured data to assign elevation values to the road surface. The road network was divided into tiny squares, enabling us to calculate each square’s elevation, slope, and curvature. Statistical analysis was then employed to evaluate the impact of terrain on flood characteristics in urban road systems. Our analysis reveals a strong spatial correspondence between the distribution of flood-prone points and the curvature parameters of the terrain. The spatial coincidence rate can reach 100% when an appropriate sampling scale is chosen. The presence of depressions is necessary but insufficient for forming flood-prone points. In lowland/gentle slope (LL/GS) areas with higher drainage pressure, we observe a significant negative correlation between flood-prone points and terrain curvature (Spearman’s r = 0.205, p < 0.01). However, in highland/steep slope (HL/SS) areas, we find no significant correlation between them. Notably, terrain matters, but effective drainage is more influential in flood-prone areas. The maximum flood depth (MFD), submerged area, and ponding volume during urban pluvial flooding are constrained by depression topography, while the characteristics of the upstream catchment area also play a role in determining the MFD and flood peak lag time(FPLT). Larger upstream catchment areas and longer flow paths normally result in greater MFD and longer emergency response times/FPLT. Additionally, a higher flow path gradient will directly contribute to an increased flood risk (greater MFD and shorter FPLT). These findings have important implications for flood risk identification and the development of effective flood mitigation strategies. Full article
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