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Natural Hazards

Natural Hazards

Combining geomorphology, geomorphometry and natural hazards research: the way forward

Combining geomorphology, geomorphometry and natural hazards research: the way forward

Today I have the honour to introduce a friend and a brilliant scientist that recently won the 2019 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists of the EGU, Dr Giulia Sofia. Dr Sofia is currently Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut (USA) in the Hydrometeorology and Hydrologic Remote Sensing group. She received a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry Science, and PhD (2012) in Water Resources, Soil Conservation & Watershed Management from the University of Padova (Italy). Her area of research is geomorphology and digital terrain analysis, with a special interest in feature extraction from high-resolution topography. Her recent research interest concerns anthropogenic landscapes, incorporating the related human-induced processes. Her interdisciplinary research background is the reason behind today interview, to shed some light on the interrelation that geomorphology has with natural hazard research.

1. Hello Giulia. Can you please tell us what geomorphology and geomorphometry are?

Think about looking at a landscape, and working out how each earth surface process, such as air, water, and ice, can mould it. Think about piecing together the history and life of such a landscape place by studying landforms and sediments, and how they interact(ed). Well, this is geomorphology: the science of landforms, their processes, forms and sediments at the surface of the Earth, and sometimes other planets. Geomorphometry, on the other hand, is the science of quantitative land-surface analysis. It draws upon mathematics, computer vision, machine learning, image-processing techniques and statistics to quantify the shape of earth’s topography at various spatial and temporal scales. [Read More]

Time for submissions: sessions proposed by NhET at the next EGU conference!

The new year is approaching, and at the beginning of 2019, there is also the deadline for the submission of abstracts for the next EGU conference in Wien, from the 7th to the 12th of April 2019. The Natural hazards Early career scientist Team has proposed many sessions and short courses. Below you can find a list of them.

 

We also remind that there is the opportunity for financial support to attend EGU. The deadline to apply and submit the abstract is the 1st of December and more information can be found on the dedicated section of the website of EGU19.

 

SESSIONS

Remember:you can submit an abstract to a session until the 10th of January 2019, 13:00 CET. And don’t forget the One-Abstract Rule, what does it mean? “Authors are allowed as first author to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. A second regular abstract can be submitted to the EOS programme group (the maximum number of abstracts, including solicited abstracts, remains two)”. You can submit following the links of each session below.

 

Session NH6.7/BG2.61/GI3.21/SSS13.17

Hazard and risk assessment of climate related impacts on Agricultural and Forested Ecosystems using Remote Sensing and modelling (co-organized)

Convener: Jonathan Rizzi  | Co-conveners: Luigi Lombardo, Mahesh Rao, Wenwu Zhao

Abstract submission

 

Session NH9.11/ESSI1.8/GI1.11/GMPV6.3/HS11.44/SM3.7/SSS13.19

Methods and Tools for Natural Risk Management and Communications – Innovative ways of delivering information to end users and sharing data among the scientific community (co-organized)

Convener: Raffaele Albano  | Co-conveners: Valeria Cigala, Jonathan Rizzi

Abstract submission

 

Session NH9.5

Hazard and Risk Databases

Convener: Emanuela Toto

Abstract submission

 

Session NH1.8/HS11.61

Implementation of Flood Directive in different countries (co-organized)

Convener: Emanuela Toto | Co-convener: Nilay Dogulu

Abstract submission

 

SHORT COURSES

Short courses are open to everyone, but we invite you to pre-register in order to help to organize the course in the best way (not mandatory). You can find pre-registration forms in the courses’ description.

 

Session SC1.49/NH10.2

The “Social” in Disaster Resilience: Risk Perception and Preparedness (co-organized)  Convener: Canay Doğulu  | Co-conveners: Mariana Madruga de Brito , Jonathan Rizzi

 

Session SC2.11

Research speed dating

Convener: Luigi Lombardo  | Co-conveners: Mariana Madruga de Brito , Jonathan Rizzi , Giulia Roder

 

Session SC2.10

Serious games for Natural Hazards: understand the different roles in natural hazard prevention and management through a simple exercise

Convener: Valeria Cigala  | Co-conveners: Francisco Cáceres , Graziella Devoli , Canay Doğulu , Jonathan Rizzi

The (un)usual suspect: how the environment affects human health.

If you have been regularly following our blog for this (almost) past year, you may have noticed that the field of natural hazards is coloured by many different shades. One more that I would like to present you today is about how the natural environment can affect human health.

It is a recognized fact that geo-materials can pose a threat to our health. One of the most striking examples is asbestos fibres, used industrially in large scale since the mid-19th century until discovered potentially harmful and finally declared carcinogenic. The field of research that addresses this interesting subject is medical geology, and to discover a bit more about it I interviewed Dr Ines Tomašek.

A photo portrait of Dr. Ines Tomašek

Dr. Ines Tomašek

 

Ines, a former PhD student at Durham University in the frame of the MSC ITN VERTIGO, is currently a post-doc at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and part of the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA). Her research focuses on the effect of volcanic eruptions on environmental and human health.

 

[Read More]

Volcanic eruptions: Sometimes natural spectacles, but other times disasters

In April 2018, an eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii started. The activity continued for months, with impressive lava flows that cut roads and even covered houses and entire neighbourhoods (Figure 1), forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Fortunately, it did not take any life. Some weeks later, on June 3rd,  Fuego volcano, in Guatemala, shocked the international community with a shorter, but certainly more violent, eruption. The eruption of Fuego volcano, probably less known than Kilauea, affected near two millions of people and sadly caused 190 verified deaths and 238 missing persons.

 

Figure 1. Comparison of satellite images before (left) and after (right) the Kilauea eruption at Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaii. The area was covered by lava flows. Image credit: USGS.

The main reason why Fuego’s eruption was more deadly than the Kilauea’s one is the type of activity. They are different types of volcanoes with different eruptive dynamics and thus different related hazards. Kilauea is a shield volcano and it is formed by a sequence of eruptions of very low viscous magma. The magma reaches the surface and is generally erupted in an effusive way generating lava flows, really hot mixtures of molten rock, crystals and gas emitted from the volcanic vent, able to reach several meters per second  and kilometers of length, literally looking like rivers (such as in this video). These lava flows can be sometimes accompanied by weak to mild explosive activity in the form of lava fountains. [Read More]