Articles | Volume 18, issue 4
Research article 18 Apr 2018
Research article | 18 Apr 2018
Assessing the interaction between mountain forests and snow avalanches at Nevados de Chillán, Chile and its implications for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction
Alejandro Casteller et al.
No articles found.
Natalie Brožová, Tommaso Baggio, Vincenzo D'Agostino, Yves Bühler, and Peter Bebi
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3539–3562,Short summary
Surface roughness plays a great role in natural hazard processes but is not always well implemented in natural hazard modelling. The results of our study show how surface roughness can be useful in representing vegetation and ground structures, which are currently underrated. By including surface roughness in natural hazard modelling, we could better illustrate the processes and thus improve hazard mapping, which is crucial for infrastructure and settlement planning in mountainous areas.
Adrian Ringenbach, Elia Stihl, Yves Bühler, Peter Bebi, Perry Bartelt, Andreas Rigling, Marc Christen, Guang Lu, Andreas Stoffel, Martin Kistler, Sandro Degonda, Kevin Simmler, Daniel Mader, and Andrin Caviezel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for NHESSShort summary
The runout area of rockfalls is often forested. Due to repeated tree-rock hits, the forest has a braking effect. This effect is regularly included in the numerically simulated hazard assessment. The effect of lying deadwood, however, is often neglected. To fill this gap, 1:1 scale experiments were conducted in the original forest, in the forest including lying deadwood, and in the cleared forest. The evaluation of the deposition points shows that deadwood has a large protective effect.
Perry Bartelt, Peter Bebi, Thomas Feistl, Othmar Buser, and Andrin Caviezel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 759–764,Short summary
We study how short duration powder avalanche blasts break and overturn tall trees. Tree blow-down is often used to back-calculate avalanche pressure and therefore constrain avalanche flow velocity and motion. We find that tall trees are susceptible to avalanche air blasts because the duration of the air blast is near to the period of vibration of tall trees. Dynamic magnification factors should therefore be considered when back-calculating powder avalanche impact pressures.
Related subject area
Other Hazards (e.g., Glacial and Snow Hazards, Karst, Wildfires Hazards, and Medical Geo-Hazards)The mud volcanoes at Santa Barbara and Aragona (Sicily, Italy): a contribution to risk assessmentImpact of information presentation on interpretability of spatial hazard information: lessons from a study in avalanche safetyABWiSE v1.0: toward an agent-based approach to simulating wildfire spreadMulti-decadal geomorphic changes of a low-angle valley glacier in the East Kunlun Mountains: remote sensing observations and detachment hazard assessmentSpatial and temporal subsidence characteristics in Wuhan (China), during 2015–2019, inferred from Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometryFormation, evolution, and drainage of short-lived glacial lakes in permafrost environments of the northern Teskey Range, Central AsiaTowards a compound-event-oriented climate model evaluation: a decomposition of the underlying biases in multivariate fire and heat stress hazardsHow is avalanche danger described in public avalanche forecasts? Analyzing textual descriptions of avalanche forecasts in SwitzerlandData-based wildfire risk model for Mediterranean ecosystems. Study case of Concepcion Metropolitan Area in Central ChileAssessing the effect of lithological setting, block characteristics and slope topography on the runout length of rockfalls in the Alps and on the island of La RéunionEvolution of surface deformation related to salt-extraction-caused sinkholes in Solotvyno (Ukraine) revealed by Sentinel-1 radar interferometryAttribution of the Australian bushfire risk to anthropogenic climate changeSynoptic atmospheric circulation patterns associated with deep persistent slab avalanches in the western United StatesA regional spatiotemporal analysis of large magnitude snow avalanches using tree ringsExamining the operational use of avalanche problems with decision trees and model-generated weather and snowpack variablesA classification scheme to determine wildfires from the satellite record in the cool grasslands of southern Canada: considerations for fire occurrence modelling and warning criteriaAssessments of land subsidence along the Rizhao–Lankao high-speed railway at Heze, China, between 2015 and 2019 with Sentinel-1 dataTailings-flow runout analysis: examining the applicability of a semi-physical area–volume relationship using a novel databaseExperimental assessment of the relationship between rainfall intensity and sinkholes caused by damaged sewer pipesNon-stationary extreme value analysis of ground snow loads in the French Alps: a comparison with building standardsSensitivity of modeled snow stability data to meteorological input uncertaintyFire Weather Index: the skill provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ensemble prediction systemThe 1958 Lituya Bay tsunami – pre-event bathymetry reconstruction and 3D numerical modelling utilising the computational fluid dynamics software Flow-3DOn snow stability interpretation of extended column test resultsSnow avalanche detection and mapping in multitemporal and multiorbital radar images from TerraSAR-X and Sentinel-1Evolution of a pyrocumulonimbus event associated with an extreme wildfire in Tasmania, AustraliaEvaluation of Global Fire Weather Database reanalysis and short-term forecast productsSatellite hydrology observations as operational indicators of forecasted fire danger across the contiguous United StatesQuantifying seasonal cornice dynamics using a terrestrial laser scanner in Svalbard, NorwayWildfire ignition probability in BelgiumSnow gliding and glide-snow avalanches: recent outcomes from two experimental test sites in Aosta Valley (northwestern Italian Alps)The first version of the Pan-European Indoor Radon MapStability charts based on the finite element method for underground cavities in soft carbonate rocks: validation through case-study applicationsExploring the relationship between avalanche hazard and run list terrain choices at a helicopter skiing operationThree-dimensional inverse modeling of EM-LIN data for the exploration of coastal sinkholes in Quintana Roo, MexicoWildland fire potential outlooks for Portugal using meteorological indices of fire dangerContrasting large fire activity in the French MediterraneanSimulating the effects of weather and climate on large wildfires in FranceA method of deriving operation-specific ski run classes for avalanche risk management decisions in mechanized skiingUsing cellular automata to simulate wildfire propagation and to assist in fire managementAutomated snow avalanche release area delineation – validation of existing algorithms and proposition of a new object-based approach for large-scale hazard indication mappingBrief Communication: Measuring rock decelerations and rotation changes during short-duration ground impactsImpact of wildfires on Canada's oil sands facilitiesSpatial consistency and bias in avalanche forecasts – a case study in the European AlpsHas fire policy decreased the return period of the largest wildfire events in France? A Bayesian assessment based on extreme value theoryCommunicating public avalanche warnings – what works?Growth of a sinkhole in a seismic zone of the northern Apennines (Italy)Stability assessment of roadbed affected by ground subsidence adjacent to urban railwaysNew experimental diagnostics in combustion of forest fuels: microscale appreciation for a macroscale approachDetermining the drivers for snow gliding
Alessandro Gattuso, Francesco Italiano, Giorgio Capasso, Antonino D'Alessandro, Fausto Grassa, Antonino Fabio Pisciotta, and Davide Romano
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3407–3419,Short summary
Santa Barbara and Aragona are affected by mud volcanism with episodic hazardous paroxysm events. Two potentially hazardous paroxysm exposed surfaces of 0.12 and 0.20 km2 were elaborated with DSMs and with historical information on the paroxysms that occurred in the past. This paper, in the end, could be a useful tool for civil protection authorities in order to take appropriate risk mitigation measurements for exposed people and for monitoring activities.
Kathryn C. Fisher, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3219–3242,Short summary
Avalanche warning services publish condition reports to help backcountry recreationists make informed decisions about when and where to travel in avalanche terrain. We tested how different graphic representations of terrain information can affect users’ ability to interpret and apply the provided information. Our study shows that a combined presentation of aspect and elevation information is the most effective. These results can be used to improve avalanche risk communication products.
Jeffrey Katan and Liliana Perez
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3141–3160,Short summary
Wildfires are an integral part of ecosystems worldwide, but they also pose a serious risk to human life and property. To further our understanding of wildfires and allow experimentation without recourse to live fires, this study presents an agent-based modelling approach to combine the complexity possible with physical models with the ease of computation of empirical models. Model calibration and validation show bottom-up simulation tracks the core elements of complexity of fire across scales.
Xiaowen Wang, Lin Liu, Yan Hu, Tonghua Wu, Lin Zhao, Qiao Liu, Rui Zhang, Bo Zhang, and Guoxiang Liu
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2791–2810,Short summary
We characterized the multi-decadal geomorphic changes of a low-angle valley glacier in the East Kunlun Mountains and assessed the detachment hazard influence. The observations reveal a slow surge-like dynamic pattern of the glacier tongue. The maximum runout distances of two endmember avalanche scenarios were presented. This study provides a reference to evaluate the runout hazards of low-angle mountain glaciers prone to detachment.
Xuguo Shi, Shaocheng Zhang, Mi Jiang, Yuanyuan Pei, Tengteng Qu, Jinhu Xu, and Chen Yang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2285–2297,Short summary
We mapped the subsidence of Wuhan using Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired during 2015–2019. Overall subsidence coincides with the distribution of engineered geological regions with soft soils, while the subsidence centers shifted with urban construction activities. Correlation between karst subsidence and concentrated rainfall was identified in Qingling–Jiangdi. Results indicate that interferometric SAR can be employed to routinely monitor and identify geohazards.
Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2245–2256,Short summary
In the Teskey Range of the Tien Shan (Kyrgyz Republic), four outburst flood disasters from short-lived glacial lakes in 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2014 caused severe damages in the downstream part. Short-lived glacial lakes grow rapidly and drain within a few months, due to closure and opening of an outlet ice tunnel in an ice-cored moraine complex at the glacier front. We investigated how short-lived glacial lakes store and drain water over short periods based on field survey and satellite data.
Roberto Villalobos-Herrera, Emanuele Bevacqua, Andreia F. S. Ribeiro, Graeme Auld, Laura Crocetti, Bilyana Mircheva, Minh Ha, Jakob Zscheischler, and Carlo De Michele
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1867–1885,Short summary
Climate hazards may be caused by events which have multiple drivers. Here we present a method to break down climate model biases in hazard indicators down to the bias caused by each driving variable. Using simplified fire and heat stress indicators driven by temperature and relative humidity as examples, we show how multivariate indicators may have complex biases and that the relationship between driving variables is a source of bias that must be considered in climate model bias corrections.
Veronika Hutter, Frank Techel, and Ross S. Purves
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
How is avalanche danger described in public avalanche forecasts? We analyzed 6000 textual descriptions of avalanche danger in Switzerland, taking the perspective of the forecaster. Avalanche danger was described rather consistently, although the results highlight the difficulty of communicating conditions that are neither rare nor frequent, neither small nor large. The study may help to refine the ways in which avalanche danger could and should be communicated to the public.
Edilia Jaque Castillo, Alfonso Fernández, Rodrigo Fuentes Robles, and Carolina G. Ojeda
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
Wildfires pose risks to lives and livelihoods in many regions of the world. Particularly in Chile's Central South region, climate change, widespread land use change, and urban growth tend to increase the likelihood of fire occurrence. Our work focused on the Concepción Metropolitan Area where we developed a model using Machine Learning in order to map wildfire risks. We found that the interface between urban areas and forestry plantations presents highest risks.
Kerstin Wegner, Florian Haas, Tobias Heckmann, Anne Mangeney, Virginie Durand, Nicolas Villeneuve, Philippe Kowalski, Aline Peltier, and Michael Becht
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1159–1177,Short summary
In mountainous regions rockfall is a common geomorphic process. We selected four study sites that feature different rock types. High-resolution terrestrial laser scanning data were acquired to measure the block size and block shape (axial ratio) of rockfall particles on the scree deposits. Laser scanning data were also used to characterize the morphology of these landforms. Our results show that hill slope and rock particle properties govern rock particle runout in a complex manner.
Eszter Szűcs, Sándor Gönczy, István Bozsó, László Bányai, Alexandru Szakacs, Csilla Szárnya, and Viktor Wesztergom
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 977–993,Short summary
Sinkhole formation and post-collapse deformation in the Solotvyno salt mining area was studied where the salt dissolution due to water intrusion poses a significant risk. Based on a Sentinel-1 data set, remarkable surface deformation with a maximum rate of 5 cm/yr was revealed, and it was demonstrated that the deformation process has a linear characteristic although the mining activity was ended more than 10 years ago.
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Folmer Krikken, Sophie Lewis, Nicholas J. Leach, Flavio Lehner, Kate R. Saunders, Michiel van Weele, Karsten Haustein, Sihan Li, David Wallom, Sarah Sparrow, Julie Arrighi, Roop K. Singh, Maarten K. van Aalst, Sjoukje Y. Philip, Robert Vautard, and Friederike E. L. Otto
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 941–960,Short summary
Southeastern Australia suffered from disastrous bushfires during the 2019/20 fire season, raising the question whether these have become more likely due to climate change. We found no attributable trend in extreme annual or monthly low precipitation but a clear shift towards more extreme heat. However, this shift is underestimated by the models. Analysing fire weather directly, we found that the chance has increased by at least 30 %, but due to the underestimation it could well be higher.
Andrew R. Schauer, Jordy Hendrikx, Karl W. Birkeland, and Cary J. Mock
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 757–774,Short summary
Our research links upper atmospheric circulation patterns to a destructive and difficult-to-predict type of snow avalanche in the western United States. At each of our study sites, we find unique circulation patterns that tend to occur at the beginning of the winter season during years with major avalanche activity. We also find specific patterns that occur frequently in the days leading to major avalanche events. This work will enable practitioners to better anticipate these challenging events.
Erich Peitzsch, Jordy Hendrikx, Daniel Stahle, Gregory Pederson, Karl Birkeland, and Daniel Fagre
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 533–557,Short summary
We sampled 647 trees from 12 avalanche paths to investigate large snow avalanches over the past 400 years in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Sizable avalanches occur approximately every 3 years across the region. Our results emphasize the importance of sample size, scale, and spatial extent when reconstructing avalanche occurrence across a region. This work can be used for infrastructure planning and avalanche forecasting operations.
Simon Horton, Moses Towell, and Pascal Haegeli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3551–3576,Short summary
We investigate patterns in how avalanche forecasters characterize snow avalanche hazard with avalanche problem types. Decision tree analysis was used to investigate both physical influences based on weather and on snowpack variables and operational practices. The results highlight challenges with developing decision aids based on previous hazard assessments.
Dan K. Thompson and Kimberly Morrison
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3439–3454,Short summary
We describe critically low relative humidity and high wind speeds above which only documented wildfires were seen to occur and where no agricultural fires were documented in southern Canada. We then applied these thresholds to the much larger satellite record from 2002–2018 to quantify regional differences in both the rate of observed burning and the number of days with critical weather conditions to sustain a wildfire in this grassland and agricultural region.
Chuanguang Zhu, Wenhao Wu, Mahdi Motagh, Liya Zhang, Zongli Jiang, and Sichun Long
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3399–3411,Short summary
We investigate the contemporary ground deformation along the RLHR-HZ using Sentinel-1 data and find that the RLHR-HZ runs through two main subsidence areas. A total length of 35 km of the RLSR-HZ is affected by the two subsidence basins. Considering the previous investigation coupled with information on human activities, we conclude that the subsidence is mainly caused by extraction of groundwater and underground mining.
Negar Ghahramani, Andrew Mitchell, Nahyan M. Rana, Scott McDougall, Stephen G. Evans, and W. Andy Take
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3425–3438,Short summary
Tailings flows result from the breach of tailings dams. These flows contain waste products of the mineral processing operations and can travel substantial distances, causing significant loss of life, environmental damage, and economic costs. This paper establishes a new tailings-flow runout classification system, describes a new database of events that have been mapped in detail using the new system, and examines the applicability of a semi-physical area–volume relationship using the new data.
Tae-Young Kwak, Sang-Inn Woo, Choong-Ki Chung, and Joonyoung Kim
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3343–3359,Short summary
In this study, model tests were used to analyze the effects of rainfall intensity on the formation of the eroded zone and the occurrence of sinkholes due to groundwater infiltration through pipe defects. The model tests were conducted to simulate the actual site conditions considering the soil used around sewer pipe networks and the sewer pipe landfill standards. The groundwater level was applied to the model tests by setting three hydraulic heads based on heavy-rainfall characteristics.
Erwan Le Roux, Guillaume Evin, Nicolas Eckert, Juliette Blanchet, and Samuel Morin
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2961–2977,Short summary
To minimize the risk of structure collapse due to extreme snow loads, structure standards rely on 50-year return levels of ground snow load (GSL), i.e. levels exceeded once every 50 years on average, that do not account for climate change. We study GSL data in the French Alps massifs from 1959 and 2019 and find that these 50-year return levels are decreasing with time between 900 and 4800 m of altitude, but they still exceed return levels of structure standards for half of the massifs at 1800 m.
Bettina Richter, Alec van Herwijnen, Mathias W. Rotach, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2873–2888,Short summary
We investigated the sensitivity of modeled snow instability to uncertainties in meteorological input, typically found in complex terrain. The formation of the weak layer was very robust due to the long dry period, indicated by a widespread avalanche problem. Once a weak layer has formed, precipitation mostly determined slab and weak layer properties and hence snow instability. When spatially assessing snow instability for avalanche forecasting, accurate precipitation patterns have to be known.
Francesca Di Giuseppe, Claudia Vitolo, Blazej Krzeminski, Christopher Barnard, Pedro Maciel, and Jesús San-Miguel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2365–2378,Short summary
Forecasting of daily fire weather indices driven by the ECMWF ensemble prediction system is shown to have a good skill up to 10 d ahead in predicting flammable conditions in most regions of the world. The availability of these forecasts through the Copernicus Emergency Management Service can extend early warnings by up to 1–2 weeks, allowing for greater proactive coordination of resource-sharing and mobilization within and across countries.
Andrea Franco, Jasper Moernaut, Barbara Schneider-Muntau, Michael Strasser, and Bernhard Gems
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2255–2279,Short summary
This study highlights the use of the software Flow-3D in reproducing landslide-generated impulse waves. Due to the available data and the possibility of comparing the results with other previous works, a numerical modelling investigation on the 1958 Lituya Bay tsunami event is proposed. It is noted that the rockslide impact into the waterbody has a key role in the wave initiation and thus its propagation. The concept used in this work can be applied to prevent such phenomena in future.
Frank Techel, Kurt Winkler, Matthias Walcher, Alec van Herwijnen, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1941–1953,Short summary
Snow instability tests, like the extended column test (ECT), provide valuable information regarding point snow instability. A large data set of ECT – together with information on slope instability – was explored. The findings clearly show that combining information regarding propagation propensity and fracture initiation provided the best correlation with slope instability. A new four-class stability interpretation scheme is proposed for ECT results.
Silvan Leinss, Raphael Wicki, Sämi Holenstein, Simone Baffelli, and Yves Bühler
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1783–1803,Short summary
To assess snow avalanche mapping with radar satellites in Switzerland, we compare 2 m resolution TerraSAR-X images, 10 m resolution Sentinel-1 images, and optical 1.5 m resolution SPOT-6 images. We found that radar satellites provide a valuable option to map at least larger avalanches, though avalanches are mapped only partially. By combining multiple orbits and polarizations from S1, we achieved mapping results of quality almost comparable to single high-resolution TerraSAR-X images.
Mercy N. Ndalila, Grant J. Williamson, Paul Fox-Hughes, Jason Sharples, and David M. J. S. Bowman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1497–1511,Short summary
We analyse the evolution of a pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb), or fire-induced thunderstorm, during the Forcett–Dunalley fire on 4 January 2013 and relate it to the prevailing fire weather and fire severity patterns. We show that the pyroCb reached an altitude of 15 km, was associated with elevated fire weather, and formed over a severely burned area. Additionally, we show that eastern Tasmania is prone to elevated fire weather which has implications for fire weather forecasting and fire management.
Robert D. Field
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1123–1147,Short summary
This paper compares fire weather indices calculated from the NASA MERRA-2 reanlaysis to those calculated from a global network of weather stations, finding that, globally, biases in reanalysis fire weather are influenced firstly by temperature and relative humidity and, in certain regions, by precipitation biases. Fire weather forecasts using short-term NASA GEOS-5 weather forecasts are skillful 2 d ahead of time. This skill decreases more quickly with longer lead times at high latitudes.
Alireza Farahmand, E. Natasha Stavros, John T. Reager, Ali Behrangi, James T. Randerson, and Brad Quayle
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1097–1106,Short summary
Wildfires result in billions of dollars of losses each year. Most wildfire predictions have a 10 d lead-time. This study introduces a framework for a 1-month lead-time prediction of wildfires based on vapor pressure deficit and surface soil moisture in the US. The results show that the model can successfully predict burned area with relatively small margins of error. This is especially important for operational wildfire management such as national resource allocation.
Holt Hancock, Markus Eckerstorfer, Alexander Prokop, and Jordy Hendrikx
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 603–623,Short summary
This work uses terrestrial laser scanning techniques to monitor and quantify changes to snow cornices near Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, with sub-decimeter accuracy. Our findings illustrate how complex interactions between topography and meteorological conditions govern the growth, failure, and associated avalanche activity of the cornices in this location. These findings can help improve forecasting of snow-cornice-related hazards in this and other locations exposed to snow cornice hazards.
Arthur Depicker, Bernard De Baets, and Jan Marcel Baetens
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 363–376,Short summary
In recent years, several valuable nature reserves in Belgium have been severely damaged by wildfires. In order to optimize risk management and prepare for a possibly increasing number of such events, the first wildfire ignition probability map is developed for Belgium, based on data that were obtained from the government and newspaper articles. We find that most ignitions occur in the provinces of Limburg and Antwerp and that most causes are of anthropogenic nature (such as military exercises).
Margherita Maggioni, Danilo Godone, Barbara Frigo, and Michele Freppaz
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2667–2676,
Javier Elío, Giorgia Cinelli, Peter Bossew, José Luis Gutiérrez-Villanueva, Tore Tollefsen, Marc De Cort, Alessio Nogarotto, and Roberto Braga
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2451–2464,Short summary
The first version of the Pan-European Indoor Radon Map is presented in this article. The map has been developed using summary statistics estimated from 1.2 million samples. It represents an average radon concentration per 10 km x 10 km grid cell under the assumption that there are dwellings in the grid cell. It is a major contribution to the understanding of the exposure to ionizing radiation of Europeans and a first step towards a European radon exposure and, in the future, radon dose map.
Michele Perrotti, Piernicola Lollino, Nunzio Luciano Fazio, and Mario Parise
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2079–2095,Short summary
Based on stability charts proposed by Perrotti et al. (2018), preliminary assessment of stability/instability of underground quarries in soft carbonate rocks is discussed with reference to six case studies of underground artificial cavities, including three affected by sinkhole failures in the past and three in stable conditions at present. When underground quarries are suitably surveyed and mapped, a quantitative assessment of the stability conditions is possible.
Reto Sterchi, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2011–2026,Short summary
Mechanized skiing operations use an established process to select skiing terrain with a low risk level. However, the relationship between appropriate skiing terrain and avalanche conditions has only received limited research attention. Our study examines this relationship numerically for the first time and shows the effects of avalanche hazard, previous skiing, and previous acceptability on different types of skiing terrain and offers the foundation to develop evidence-based decision tools.
Marco A. Perez-Flores, Luis E. Ochoa-Tinajero, and Almendra Villela y Mendoza
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1779–1787,Short summary
In this paper we present an EM geophysics method designed for shallow purposes for determining the 3-D geometry of a sinkhole. In this case we are applying the technique for the Chac-Mool sinkhole in the Yucatán Peninsula. Thanks to scuba divers we have a broad path they followed along the subterranean rivers. Our 3-D model can be correlated with those scuba diver paths. We also found hidden rivers that pass very close to the surface (less than 10 m) making these areas susceptible to collapse.
Sílvia A. Nunes, Carlos C. DaCamara, Kamil F. Turkman, Teresa J. Calado, Ricardo M. Trigo, and Maria A. A. Turkman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1459–1470,Short summary
Portugal is recurrently affected by large wildfire events. We present a statistical model to estimate the probability that the summer burned area exceeds a given threshold. The model allows making outlooks of wildfire potential with up to 1 month in advance of the fire season. When applied to the 39-year period 1980-2018, only 1 severe (one weak) year is not anticipated as potentially severe (weak). The model will assist the fire community when planning prevention and combating fire events.
Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1055–1066,Short summary
Long-term georeferenced time series showed spatiotemporal variations in large fires (LF ≥ 100 ha) throughout the French Mediterranean with 21 % of the total LF burned area occurring on surface previously burned. The region was impacted up to five to six times by recurrent LFs, the east experiencing fewer but larger LFs despite fire weather conditions decreasing eastwards. The efficiency of fire management has improved but LF outbreaks during extreme weather conditions remain a major concern.
Renaud Barbero, Thomas Curt, Anne Ganteaume, Eric Maillé, Marielle Jappiot, and Adeline Bellet
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 441–454,Short summary
We developed statistical models simulating the probability of large wildfires in France from the climate forcing. The models were able to reproduce both spatial and temporal variability in large wildfires across different environmental regions. The models have wide applications, including improving our understanding of the drivers of large wildfires over the historical period and providing a basis on which to estimate future changes to large wildfires from climate projections.
Reto Sterchi and Pascal Haegeli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 269–285,Short summary
We used a revealed preference approach and identified patterns in risk management decisions of mechanized skiing operations. Our results show that terrain choices of experienced guides depend on a much broader set of factors beyond just the avalanche hazard, including skiing experience or accessibility due to weather. The identified high-resolution ski run hierarchies provide new opportunities for examining professional avalanche risk management practices and developing meaningful decision aids.
Joana Gouveia Freire and Carlos Castro DaCamara
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 169–179,Short summary
Cellular automata are useful tools to simulate wildfire propagation. We design a cellular automaton to simulate a severe wildfire that took place in Portugal in 2012 and resulted in almost 25 000 ha burned. The explosive stage is adequately modeled when refining the role played by the wind in fire spreading. Results show a probability of ignition out of the limits of the observed scar, information that may help choose where to allocate resources for firefighting.
Yves Bühler, Daniel von Rickenbach, Andreas Stoffel, Stefan Margreth, Lukas Stoffel, and Marc Christen
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3235–3251,Short summary
Coping with avalanche hazard has a long tradition in alpine countries. Hazard mapping has proven to be one of the most effective methods. In this paper we develop a new approach to automatically delineate avalanche release areas and connect them to state-of-the-art numerical avalanche simulations. This enables computer-based hazard indication mapping over large areas such as entire countries. This is of particular interest where hazard maps do not yet exist, such as in developing countries.
Andrin Caviezel and Werner Gerber
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3145–3151,Short summary
Anticipating the flight path of a bouncing object holds fascination for playing children and scientists alike. While the path of a ball can be judged easily, the erratic rebound behavior of complexly shaped forms are intriguing. Here, we focus on the timescales and rotation changes during real rock–ground impacts while traveling down a slope. Specialized sensors inside the rock track those changes and reveal contact times in the millisecond range defining the overall flight path behavior.
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3153–3166,Short summary
The growing oil sands operations in Canada's wildlands on the one hand and an anticipated increase in the frequency of wildfires, due to global warming, on the other hand can jeopardize the safety and integrity of oil sands facilities. The present study aims to develop a methodology, based on the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System and quantitative risk assessment techniques, for assessing the impact of wildfires on wildland–industrial interfaces with an emphasis on oil sands facilities.
Frank Techel, Christoph Mitterer, Elisabetta Ceaglio, Cécile Coléou, Samuel Morin, Francesca Rastelli, and Ross S. Purves
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2697–2716,Short summary
In 1993, the European Avalanche Warning Services agreed upon a common danger scale to describe the regional avalanche hazard: the European Avalanche Danger Scale. Using published avalanche forecasts, we explored whether forecasters use the scale consistently. We noted differences in the use of the danger levels, some of which could be linked to the size of the regions a regional danger level is issued for. We recommend further harmonizing the avalanche forecast products in the Alps.
Guillaume Evin, Thomas Curt, and Nicolas Eckert
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2641–2651,Short summary
Very large wildfires have high human, economic, and ecological impacts. Preventing such events is a major objective of the new fire policy set up in France in 1994, which is oriented towards fast and massive fire suppression. This study investigates the effect of this policy on the largest fires. We estimate the burned area corresponding to fires that occur every 5, 20, and 50 years on average (so-called return periods) in southern France.
Rune V. Engeset, Gerit Pfuhl, Markus Landrø, Andrea Mannberg, and Audun Hetland
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2537–2559,Short summary
The Norwegian Avalanche Warning Service was launched in 2013 to stop the increase in avalanche fatalities. We studied how efficiently warnings communicate the hazard on Varsom.no: which risk factors are difficult to assess and manage? Which elements in the warning are (not) important? Which elements are easily misunderstood? Which information/features are missing/ignored by users? We developed a communication effectiveness score for testing this using an online survey.
Alessandro La Rosa, Carolina Pagli, Giancarlo Molli, Francesco Casu, Claudio De Luca, Amerino Pieroni, and Giacomo D'Amato Avanzi
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2355–2366,Short summary
We use a multi-disciplinary dataset to show that the Prà di Lama sinkhole was created through several episodic events of unrest. We suggest that fluid circulation along an active fault zone, accompanied by localized seismic creep, control the growth of the Prà di Lama deep-sited sinkhole. Conversely, a connection between events of unrest and the largest earthquakes in northern Tuscany is not identified. This paper provides new insights into the evolution of sinkholes in active fault zones.
Sang-Soo Jeon, Young-Kon Park, and Ki-Young Eum
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2261–2271,Short summary
The number of occurrences of ground subsidence induced by a leakage of aged pipelines for water and sewage in urban areas resulting in various sizes of cavity near the urban railway in South Korea has increased and it may cause roadbed settlement to exceed the allowable value. In this study, a three-dimensional numerical analysis is carried out to estimate roadbed stability and its risk level associated with various groundwater levels and sizes of cavities in simulated ground conditions.
Dominique Cancellieri, Valérie Leroy-Cancellieri, Xavier Silvani, and Frédéric Morandini
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1957–1968,Short summary
The technology presented in this paper is based on a completely new approach wherein the development of a new field mass loss device combined with recent progress in the understanding of its behaviour achieves never before recorded data. It is the first time that the kinetics of decomposition of biomass have been validated under real wildland fire conditions, thus ensuring reliable characterisation of source terms.
Reinhard Fromm, Sonja Baumgärtner, Georg Leitinger, Erich Tasser, and Peter Höller
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1891–1903,Short summary
Snow gliding is a key factor for snow glide avalanche formation and soil erosion. This study considers atmospheric and snow variables, vegetation characteristics, and soil properties, and determines their relevance for snow gliding. The soil moisture, the soil temperature, the liquid water content of snow, the phytomass of mosses, and the friction coefficient have major influence. However, further investigations may be focused on the freezing and melting processes in the uppermost soil layers.
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Natural hazards such as snow avalanches, debris flows and volcanic activity represent a risk to mountain communities. This is particularly the case where documentary records about these processes are rare. As a result, decisions on risk management and land-use planning are based on other sources such tree-ring data and process models. Our study was conducted at Valle Las Trancas in Chile, where we evaluated the dynamics of avalanches and other natural hazards which threaten its population.
Natural hazards such as snow avalanches, debris flows and volcanic activity represent a risk to...