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Burton C.G.,Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk | Khazai B.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | Silva V.,Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk
NCEE 2014 - 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Frontiers of Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2014

At the core of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is the development of state-of-the-art modeling capabilities that can be used worldwide for the assessment and communication of seismic risk. While many approaches for understanding seismic risk exist, it is the dynamic interrelationships between hazard potential, physical risk, and the social conditions of populations that are becoming the focal point for policy-makers, emergency managers, stakeholders, and the general public. The purpose of this paper is to introduce GEM's Integrated Risk Modeling Toolkit, an open-source software tool that will allow risk analysts to draw from results on exposure, predicted mortality, and property loss, and combine these results with socio-economic data and/or computed models of social and economic vulnerability in a robust and meaningful way. A proof of concept using Portugal is demonstrated to assess the total (seismic) risk of that country.

Dransch D.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | Rotzoll H.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Poser K.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology
International Journal of Digital Earth | Year: 2010

Risk communication is a significant challenge in risk management. It serves different purposes; an important one is to improve the public risk awareness and mitigation. Because of the strong spatio-temporal component of natural hazards, maps can play a decisive role in communicating risk information. The application and design of maps for risk communication especially to the public has not been investigated comprehensively. Specific constraints and challenges of risk communication have not been considered systematically in the map design process so far. This study aims at developing a frame for the application and design of interactive risk and hazard maps for the public which is based on the specific constraints and challenges of risk communication. In a literature review it introduces concepts and methods from social sciences and psychology, which have been assessed as important for communicating risk information. The concepts and methods are adapted to map-mediated risk communication according to the approaches of Activity Theory. Communication objectives and tasks which are essential to improve risk mitigation are identified and geovisualization methods for information presentation are related according to the degree which they are able to serve them. Based on this, some principles for map-based risk communication are established. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Mohr S.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Mohr S.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | Kunz M.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kunz M.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2013

This study investigates whether any evidence can be found to support the occurrence of alterations in the hailstorm frequency in the last few decades (1978-2009) over Germany and Europe. Due to their local-scale extent and a lack of appropriate monitoring systems, hailstorms are not captured reliably and comprehensively over long periods by current observation systems. To overcome this constraint, we consider various convective indices and parameters (CPs) derived from soundings at 1200 UTC, and we evaluate which of them are appropriate for predicting hail damage days according to loss data from a building insurance company. Most of the CPs that rely on moisture at the near-surface layers exhibit a significant positive trend towards a higher convective potential. This finding applies to the 90% (10%) percentiles of the annual distribution and to the number of days that exceed (or fall below) a specific threshold, which is suitable for hailstorm prediction. Negative and, at most stations, insignificant trends of CPs that rely on moisture at higher levels or if the initial parameters of the lifting curve were mixed over the lowest layers can be attributed to inconsistency in the time series of the dew point. This in homogeneity is caused by changes in the instrumentation around the year 1990. The investigations show considerable spatial differences in the convective potential both in the mean and the trends, with a distinct north-to-south gradient and a less marked west-to-east gradient over Europe and Germany. The spatial distribution of the trends, however, is fairly consistent among the CPs that are based on the same principles. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Mohr S.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Mohr S.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | Kunz M.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kunz M.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | Geyer B.,Helmholtz Center Geesthacht
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2015

Due to the local-scale nature of hail and a lack of appropriate observation systems, comprehensive, reliable, and consistent information about hail frequency and intensity in Europe is not available. To overcome this constraint, we developed a logistic hail model that quantifies the potential of the atmosphere to form hailstorms. The model is based on a combination of appropriate hail-relevant meteorological parameters. This paper presents the application of an adjusted version of the logistic model with the objective being to estimate the hail potential across Europe based on dynamically downscaled National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research1 reanalysis over a long-term period of 60 years (1951-2010). The model output, in terms of the potential hail index (PHI), identified several hot spots that are well known from other observational studies. Time series of the PHI over the 60 year period show a high correlation at different sites across Europe and high annual and multiannual variability, but no overall trend. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Guse B.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Guse B.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | Guse B.,University of Kiel | Hofherr T.H.,Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology | And 3 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2010

A novel approach to consider additional spatial information in flood frequency analyses, especially for the estimation of discharges with recurrence intervals larger than 100 years, is presented. For this purpose, large flood quantiles, i.e. pairs of a discharge and its corresponding recurrence interval, as well as an upper bound discharge, are combined within a mixed bounded distribution function. The large flood quantiles are derived using probabilistic regional envelope curves (PRECs) for all sites of a pooling group. These PREC flood quantiles are introduced into an at-site flood frequency analysis by assuming that they are representative for the range of recurrence intervals which is covered by PREC flood quantiles. For recurrence intervals above a certain inflection point, a Generalised Extreme Value (GEV) distribution function with a positive shape parameter is used. This GEV asymptotically approaches an upper bound derived from an empirical envelope curve. The resulting mixed distribution function is composed of two distribution functions which are connected at the inflection point. This method is applied to 83 streamflow gauges in Saxony/Germany. Our analysis illustrates that the presented mixed bounded distribution function adequately considers PREC flood quantiles as well as an upper bound discharge. The introduction of both into an at-site flood frequency analysis improves the quantile estimation. A sensitivity analysis reveals that, for the target recurrence interval of 1000 years, the flood quantile estimation is less sensitive to the selection of an empirical envelope curve than to the selection of PREC discharges and of the inflection point between the mixed bounded distribution function. © 2010 Author(s).

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