17 Apr 2023
 | 17 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Brief communication: Small-scale geohazards cause significant and highly variable impacts on emotions

Evgenia Ilyinskaya, Vésteinn Snæbjarnarson, Hanne Krage Carlsen, and Björn Oddsson

Abstract. The impact of geohazards on the mental health of the local populations, is well recognized but understudied. We used natural language processing (NLP) of Twitter posts to analyse the sentiments expressed in relation to a pre-eruptive seismic unrest, and a subsequent volcanic eruption in Iceland 2021. We show that despite the small size and negligible material damage, these geohazards were associated with a measurable change in expressed emotions in the local populations. The seismic unrest was associated with predominantly negative sentiments, but the eruption with predominantly positive. We demonstrate a cost-effective tool for gauging public discourse that could be used in risk management.

Evgenia Ilyinskaya et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Evgenia Ilyinskaya et al.

Evgenia Ilyinskaya et al.


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Short summary
Natural hazards can have negative impacts on mental health. We used artificial intelligence to analyse sentiments expressed by people in Twitter posts during a period of heightened earthquake activity and during a small volcanic eruption in Iceland. We show even small natural hazards which cause no material damage can still have a significant impact on people . The earthquakes had a predominantly negative impact but, somewhat unexpectedly, the eruption seemed to have a positive impact.