First Dynamics and Impact of Interacting Natural Hazards Workshop 2013

The Dynamics and Impact of Interacting Natural Hazards

-- An interdisciplinary workshop on current research and future directions --

14th February, 2013
Hosted by: University College London, London, UK 

Convenors: Mirianna Budimir (University of Southampton), Melanie Duncan (University College London), Joel Gill (King’s College London) 

Many populated areas are affected by more than one natural hazard, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, floods, storms, and wildfires. Different hazards can overlap in time and location, so that the total impact on a community is increased by interactions between the hazards. Example of interaction types include:
  • One hazard triggering another or a cascade of hazards 
    • (e.g., an earthquake triggering a landslide, which dams a river and causes flooding).
  • One hazard changing the probability of another occurring 
    • (e.g., a wildfire removing vegetation and increasing the probability of landslides during storms).
  • Temporal changes in vulnerability during successive hazards 
    • (e.g., the damage to buildings during an earthquake may increase both the building and human population’s’ vulnerability to subsequent hazards, such as hurricanes or tsunamis). 
Hazard assessments tend to focus on the impact of single hazards and so overlook the cumulative impact of interacting hazards. To advance current methods of assessment it is, therefore, essential to improve the characterisation and modelling of hazard interactions and their impacts. The results should be of immediate value to governmental and non-governmental agencies and to business.

This workshop brought together those with an interest in the field to to evaluate the practical applications of current research and to define key directions for future investigations into the interaction of natural hazards.