Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-87
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-87

  07 May 2021

07 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Equivalent Hazard Magnitude Scale

Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian
  • Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514, United States of America

Abstract. Hazard magnitude scales are widely adopted to facilitate communication regarding hazard events and the corresponding decision making for emergency management. A hazard magnitude scale measures the strength of a hazard event considering the natural forcing phenomena and the severity of the event with respect to average entities at risk. However, existing hazard magnitude scales cannot be easily adapted for comparative analysis across different hazard types. Here, we propose an equivalent hazard magnitude scale, called the Gardoni Scale after Professor Paolo Gardoni, to measure hazard strength across multiple types of hazards. Using global historical records of hazard magnitude indicators and impacts of events of 12 hazard types from 1900 to 2020, we demonstrate that an equivalent hazard magnitude on the Gardoni Scale can be derived as correlated with the expectation of an impact metric of hazard event. In this study, we model the impact metric as a function of fatalities, total affected population, and total economic damage. Our results show that hazard magnitudes of events can be evaluated and compared across hazard types. For example, we find that tsunami and drought events tend to have large hazard magnitudes, while tornadoes are relatively small in terms of hazard magnitude. In addition, we demonstrate that the scale can be used to evaluate hazard equivalency of historical events. For example, we show that the hazard magnitude of the February 2021 North American cold wave event affecting the southern states of the United States of America was equivalent to the hazard magnitude of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 or a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. Future work will expand the current study in hazard equivalency to modelling of local intensities of hazard events and hazard conditions within a multi-hazard context.

Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian

Status: open (until 15 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-87', John K. Hillier, 15 Jul 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yi (Victor) Wang, 21 Aug 2021 reply

Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian

Data sets

Data for Deriving Equivalent Hazard Magnitude Scale Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian https://doi.org/10.15139/S3/DJV7CR

Model code and software

Data for Deriving Equivalent Hazard Magnitude Scale Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian https://doi.org/10.15139/S3/DJV7CR

Yi Victor Wang and Antonia Sebastian

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Short summary
In this article, we propose an equivalent hazard magnitude scale and a method to evaluate and compare the natural strengths of natural hazard events across different hazard types, including earthquake, tsunami, flood, drought, forest fire, tornado, cold wave, heat wave, and tropical cyclone. With our method, as an example, we can compute that both the February 2021 North American cold wave event and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 were equivalent to a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in hazard strength.
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