Logo GRF IDRC 2012
Session Overview
TUE4.5: Mapping tools for risk management
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Session Chair: Peter BURGHERR, Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)
Session Chair: Armin HAAS, Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research
Location: Wisshorn



Relationship of the environmental risk and surface energy budget over the Tibetan Plateau - a remote sensing evidence approach

Qinqing SHI1, Shunlin LIANG1, Peijun SHI2,3,4

1Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, United States of America; 2State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology of Beijing Normal University, China; 3Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster of Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, China; 4Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of Ministry of Civil Affairs and Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, China

The Tibetan plateau with the average elevation above 4000km is considered to be “the third pole” of the earth, where lies Asia’s ‘the water tower” supporting billions of people and controls the formation of East Asian monsoon. Although there are limited stations over the Tibetan plateau, the development of remote sensing techniques since 1980s offered another way to characterize the spatial-temporal variation of environmental risk induced by surface radiance budget over the Tibetan plateau. The objective of this study is to identify what kind of risk will be generated due to the change in surface radiation budget in the Tibetan plateau based on more than two decades of remote sensing products. The mechanism of the relationship between surface energy budget changes and corresponding impacts of environmental risks in the Tibetan plateau can be summarized in five categories: 1) risk of snow-permafrost grassland ecosystem; 2) risk of regional variation of precipitation; 3) risk of desertification; 4) risk of regional agriculture; 5) risk of drought and heat waves. Based on fifty-year historical records of natural disaster over the Tibetan plateau, this study first validated the accuracy of NASA/GEWEX Surface Radiation Budget (SRB 3.0) remote sensing data using eleven-year ground measurements from AsiaFLUX, ChinaFLUX, GAME-ANN and CEOP over the Tibetan plateau, then explored the relationship between the occurrences of disaster and the variations in surface energy budget over the Tibetan plateau from GEWEX SRB products. The result proves that both the tendency and the variation of the surface radiation budget act as important roles with the frequency and intensity of natural disasters including drought, floods and hot waves. Therefore, this paper offers a way to apply remote sensing surface radiation budget products in the environmental risk area, providing an important energy aspect of information for risk mitigation, governance and risk projections in the Tibetan plateau.

Developing realistic rapid earthquake damage evaluation method for decision making, using GIS. Case study: Iran Kerman city


1Department of urban planning, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran; 2Department of urban planning, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran; 3Department of arctecture, Sardrood branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.; 4Ma urban planing

Iran is one of the most seismically active country in the world, as more than 90% of the country falls within an active seismic zone, the Alpine-Himalayan belt. Kerman is one of the largest city in Iran and a historical site. Kerman is surrounded by many active faults and because of that is one of earthquake-prone areas in the country. Most of its buildings serving its population were built during years, when there were no standards, codes of practice or regulations, related to a seismic design and construction. Therefore, the actual seismic resistance of many of the existing buildings is unknown and mostly inadequate. This paper aims at development and implementation of suitable tools for the evaluation of realistic earthquake scenarios and data for decision making processes including engineering tools, GIS, etc. for rapid and automatic assessment of the seismic vulnerability of large groups of existing buildings in Kerman. The methodology of this study is intended for implementation in a suitable computer program (GIS based damage assessor) for evaluation of expected earthquake damages Kerman. The proposed methodology, focused on all existing buildings (e.g. educational buildings, health care institutions, public, commercial and industrial buildings, etc.), especially residential one, in which form the majority of existing buildings in Kerman. Existing methods for earthquake assessment of existing buildings are not suitable for implementation on a large scale, when large inventories of existing buildings have to be evaluated. In the first stage of the study the GIS database of Kerman municipality was used as the basic platform for evaluation of the geometric and structural attributes of buildings existing in Kerman. The algorithms developed during this stage of the research enable rapid and exact evaluation of the approximate geometric and structural attributes of approximately 90% of the existing buildings in Kerman, without any need for field checks.

Extreme forest fires and predictive power of fire danger Indexes: a deepening in the Alpine region

Stefano OLIVERI4, Giampaolo COCCA1, Daniele CANE2, Simona BARBARINO2, Bruna COMINI1, Giacomo GEROSA3

1ERSAF; 2Arpa Piemonte; 3Cattolica University of Brescia; 4Ecometrics srl

At alpine scale, the efficiency of fire danger forecast services, prevention activities and fire fighting actions has significantly improved in the last decades. Ongoing trends show a strong decrease both in the overall frequency of forest fires and in the mean extension of burnt area per single fire occurrence. In spite of that, forest fires still represent one of the main threats impacting alpine forests. In the next future, ongoing climate changes could play a relevant role in influencing both the frequency, the geographical patterns and the regimes of fires in the Alpine area. Moreover, they could play a relevant role in inducing the occurrence of big or extreme fires. As a consequence, great efforts should be made to monitor the evolution of fire patterns in the Alps and to identify fire danger indexes highly performing in the Alpine region. Two Alpine Space projects (MANFRED and ALP FFIRS) recently co-operated on these topics. This paper synthesizes the results of the collaboration, mainly aimed at (1) understanding if extreme fire occurrences are significantly influenced by meteo-climatic conditions and (2) at identifying the Fire Danger Indexes better performing in the prediction of extreme occurrences. In the framework of this joint action, a pan-alpine dataset of fires has been generated (more than 82.000 fires, about 26.000 occurrences in the time span 2000 - 2009). The dataset maps the points of ignition and describes each event with a standard set of attributes. Extreme fires (99th percentile of the attribute total burnt area) occurred in the period 2003-2009 were identified and used to test a selection of about 20 fire weather indices, with non-parametric statistics to investigate their ability in distinguishing between fire/non fire days and between common fire conditions and extreme fire conditions.

Mapping landslide risk in the Göta river valley, Sweden – methods and experiences


Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Sweden

Landslide risk is expected to increase with climate change in large parts of Sweden due to increased annual precipitation, more intense precipitation and increased water flow. The Swedish Government has commissioned the Swedish Geotechnical Institute to make an inventory of slope stability, considering climate change, in the most prominent landslide risk area in Sweden - the Göta river valley. One of the main outcomes of the inventory is a risk map displaying geographically distributed landslide probability combined with expected losses expressed as predicted socio-economic cost.

The three-year project is now finished, and this paper aims to provide an overview of the methodology for risk analysis that has been developed and used within the project. GIS calculation and visualization challenges are debated and we discuss responsibilities for further investigations. Finally, we report some lessons learnt.

Mapping the flood disaster risk of metropolitan region in the Yangtze River Delta of China

Yin ZHOU1,2, Jing'ai WANG1,2,3, Wei XU3,4, Yao ZHOU1,2

1School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 2Key Laboratory of Regional Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 3State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 4Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Civil Affairs & Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875, China

The Yangtze River Delta is the most developed region in China, contributing to 17.6% of China’s overall GDP in 2010. In the past thirty years, there were 119 floods in record which seriously threaten the regional economic development. Maps are efficient tools for regional disasters risk management, because they can deliver the information of spatial pattern of natural disasters to the public visually. Thus, the fast and intelligent disaster mapping has become the research hotspot. One of the key elements in mapping natural disasters is the classification method of risk evaluation results. The consequences of intelligent data classification are potentially significant to meeting the requirements. Based on the flood risk evaluation results using the model (Risk=Hazard×Exposure×Vulnerability), the constraint layer method is used to realize intelligent data classification. The terrain, land use, and the distance from the sea are taken as constraint layers, because these are the main factors which affect the regional regularities of the flood disaster risk. Proper classification method of the risk evaluation results could be chosen through the regional regularity of these constraint layers. The study shows that: the constraint layer method could realize the intelligent data classifications; and the regional regularities of the flood disaster risk map are decided by the coupling degree of the risk evaluation result and constraint layers. The case study result shows that (i) overall risk of northern plain region in the Yangtze River Delta is higher than the southern hilly region; (ii) the risk of coastal cities is much higher than the risk of inland cities, and (iii) the high risk regions almost distribute in the cities which are near the sea and in lowland area. Risk maps can clearly reflect the spatial regularity of flood disaster and play an important role in the regional risk prevention.