Natural Hazards: An Overview. Dr. Adly Kh. Al-Saafin Eng g./env. Geology Earth Sciences Dept. KFUPM - Dhahran

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1 Natural Hazards: An Overview Dr. Adly Kh. Al-Saafin Eng g./env. Geology Earth Sciences Dept. KFUPM - Dhahran

2 Objectives The study of hazardous processes constitutes one of the main activities of environmental geology. The exercises in this chapter will help reinforce the following learning objectives from the text: Be familiar with the conditions that make some natural earth processes hazardous to people. Understand how a natural process that gives rise to disasters may also be beneficial to people. Understand the various natural processes that constitute hazards to people and property. Understand the requirements for predicting natural disasters. Know the basic components of risk assessment for natural hazards. Become familiar with people's perceptions of and adjustments to hazards. Discuss the impact and recovery from natural disasters and catastrophes. Understand why increase in population and changing land use, particularly in developing countries, increases the threat of loss of life and property from natural disasters.

3 OUTLINE I. HAZARDS & RISK TYPES OF HAZARDS II. III. CAUSES OF HAZARDS IV. IMPACTS (EFFECTS) OF HAZARDS V. TIME SCALES OF GEOLOGIC PROCESSES (Natural Hazards) VI. ROLE OF ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY ON NATURAL HAZARDS STUDY. 1) Identification 2) Evaluation 3) Mitigation

4 Sources Materials covered the lectures, in the last 3 weeks, can be found in the following sources: 1. Lundgren, L. W., 1999, Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-35). 2. Lundgren, L. W., 1986, Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-36). 3. Bennett, R. M. & Doyle, P., 1997 Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-25) 4. Keller, E. a., 1999, Intro to Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-43). 5. Murk, B. W. et. al, 1996, Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-67). 6. Montgomery, C. W., 1997, Environmental Geology, (pp. 1-41) 7. Some other Technical and Professional Articles.

5 I. Hazard Hazard is a term used to refer to the potential of harm that is brought about the interaction between man and nature or interaction between man and technology. Without harm these are only Natural Events.

6 I. Risk (R) Risk is characteristic of the relationship between humans and geologic processes. Risk (R) is expressed as the product of the probability of a hazardous event occurrence (P c ) and the cost incurred by the event (C). R = P c C R = P c C

7 II. Types of Hazards Hazards Natural Hazards Man-made Hazards Technological Hazards Atmospheric Hazards Geohazards Exogenic Hazards Endogenic Hazards

8 III. Causes of Hazards 1. Geological processes 2. Man-made activities 3. Technological development 4. Combination

9 1. Geologic Processes Geologic processes are beneficial to humans because they are responsible for things that make the Earth a habitable planet for life: Throughout Earth history, volcanism has been responsible for producing much of soil fertility present on the Earth, and for producing the atmosphere. Earthquakes are one of the processes responsible for the formation of mountains which help to determine climate zones on the Earth's surface. Erosional processes, including flooding, landslides, and wind-storms replenishes soil and helps sustain life. Such processes are only considered hazardous when they adversely affect humans and their activities.

10 2. Human intervention & Hazards Human intervention in natural processes can also increase vulnerability by: 1. Development and habitation of lands susceptible to hazards Give Examples. 2. Increasing the severity or frequency of a natural hazard Give Examples. 3. Industrial and technological development likely contributes to global warming Give Examples

11 IV. Impacts (Effects) of Hazards Hazardous process of all types can have primary, secondary, and tertiary effects. Direct Indirect Indirect 1. Primary Effects occur as a result of the process itself occur as a result of the process itself. (For example water damage due to a flood, and collapse of buildings due to an earthquake, landslide, hurricane, or tornado). 2. Secondary Effects occur only because a primary effect has caused them. (For example, fires ignited by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, disruption of electrical power and water service as a result of an earthquake or flood, and flooding caused by a landslide moving into a lake or river). 3. Tertiary Effects are long are long-term effects that are set off as a result of a primary event. (These include things like loss of habitat caused by a flood, permanent changes in the position of river channel caused by flood, crop failure caused by a volcanic eruption etc).

12 V. TIME SCALES OF GEOLOGIC PROCESSES Change in the natural environment happens on many time scales The duration of geologic processes ranges from seconds to millions of years: Seconds: an earthquake or a meteorite impact Hundreds or thousands of years: soil formation or groundwater renewal Hundreds of millions of years: the formation of an ore deposit or the uplifting of a mountain range. Things that are important to us socially are measured on a scale ranging from days to years.

13 Time Scale of Geologic Processes Years

14 VI. Responsibilities of Environmental Geologist in Natural Hazards Study Cont 1. Providing the necessary information to identify and describe the hazardous situation. 2. Analyzing the expected Hazard & Risk 3. Helping the decision-makers to understand the future consequences of actions taken in the present. 4. Helping the planners to learn how to use the environmental geologic aspects in avoiding the future losses and hazards. HOW?????

15 Responsibilities of Environmental Geologist in Natural Hazards Study Cont Environmental Geologist is trying to answer the following questions: WhereWhere is each type of hazard likely to occur and why? HowHow often do these hazards occur? WhatWhat is needed to understand such hazards? HowHow can each type of hazard be predicted and/or mitigated?

16 VI. The Role of Environmental Geology in Natural Hazards Study Cont 1. Identification 2. Evaluation 3. Adjustment (Mitigation)

17 1. Identification & Description of Hazards The necessary conditions that are needed to identify & describe the hazards successfully: Developing a through understanding of physical parameters that are influencing the hazardous event (factual and historical knowledge). Understanding the generating processes (geologic processes). Following some sets of rules for determining the type of and magnitude of hazards that are endangering the human life (Prediction knowledge). Selecting an adequate system for monitoring necessary information of a hazardous event. Mapping is the recommended technique to identify the Hazardous Conditions the

18 2. Evaluation of hazards Purpose - to estimate the types and magnitude of hazards, risk and consequently to minimize the loss. Methods: identify susceptible areas probability of occurrence based on Natural setting Location Past events - history of area scale global regional local i. Hazard assessment ii. Risk assessment

19 Environmental geologic Terms Prediction Forecasting Magnitude Frequency

20 i. Hazard Assessment Hazard Assessment: Hazard Assessment: Components of Hazard Assessment Steps to determine hazard assessment How to present hazard assessment

21 ii. Risk Assessment What is a risk? Components of Risk Assessment Risk analysis

22 Elements of Risk Hazards Exposure Risk Vulnerability Location Risk Assessment involves establishing the probability and characterizing the physical effects of natural hazards.

23 3. HAZARDS MITIGATION Response to Hazards Accept Plan Defense Do Nothing Cost of defensive work greater than loss. Preventive Measures Avoid areas, relocate, strengthen building etc.. Remedial Measures Stop losses by engineering, repair damage. Mitigation

24 3. HAZARDS MITIGATION Using the scientific knowledge to decrease the risk associated with various hazards. Types of Mitigation: 1. Prediction 2. Reduction of risk: i. Modifying the causes of hazardous events through the human intervention. [Building dams on a river to reduce downstream flow during storm]. ii. Decreasing the vulnerability to events [building the structures on platforms ii. iii. or pilings to raise them above the expected flood levels]. iii.distributing the losses caused by an event [flood insurance, flood-relief funds provided by the government]. 3. Early warning 3. NOTICE: Mitigation should be made after information is obtained, risk analyses are carried out, and alternatives are evaluated. Such action incurs Costs Categories 1 and 2 depend on the development of Scientific Understanding (effective knowledge)

25 Combating of Environmental Problems is a Combined-role for:

26 1. Responsibilities of Scientists and Engineers Hazard Assessment: Scientists have the greatest ability to determine where natural hazards exist, and the effects of such hazards when an event occurs. Prediction: Scientists have access to monitoring of processes that enable prediction. They should be able to communicate probabilities to appropriate public officials for dissemination to the general public. Reduction of Risk: Scientists and engineers should make information known to public officials about ways to reduce vulnerability and risk, by suggesting zoning regulations and building codes to public officials. Early Warning: Scientists with access to monitoring and hazard information should help develop early warning systems to effectively communicate such warnings to Public Officials responsible for communicating the warning to the general public. Communication: Scientists need to be able to present the information available in form that is understandable to all concerned.

27 2. Responsibilities of Official Organizations Risk Assessment: Official Organizations need to understand hazard assessments and develop risk assessments Decide where and how resources are to be expended to minimize risk. Planning and Code Enforcement: Official Organizations need to work with scientists and engineers to help reduce vulnerability by making planning decisions (zoning laws) and building codes that help reduce risk and vulnerability. Early Warning: Official Organizations have the primary responsibility to inform the public about imminent dangers based on predictions and warnings issued by scientific community. Response: Official Organizations have the primary responsibility of maintaining an infrastructure that can deal with the emergencies created by a natural disaster. Need to develop plans for evacuation, emergency response, rescue, and recovery. Communication: Official Organizations must be able to communicate effectively with scientific community and the general public to disseminate information.

28 3. Responsibilities of Citizens!.. Understanding of Hazards: General public needs to be aware of the effects of natural hazards on their communities, to have some understanding of what might occur in the event of a disaster. Understanding of Early Warning Systems: General Public must be informed about what their response should be when a warning is issued. Communication: General Public should communicate with public officials directly to ensure that public officials make available the necessary information and effectively carry out their responsibilities for hazard and risk reduction.

29 Natural Hazards Log Location: Type: Date: Description: Economic Loss: Casualties: Mitigation: Source:

30 Natural Hazards Log Location: Central Europe Type: Floods Dates: Sept 1 & Description: Rainstorms cause flooding in Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, & Poland and cause landslides in Germany Economic Loss: $19.6 over the last few months Casualties: 3 killed in landslide in Switzerland Mitigation: Flood control structures, flood resistant construction Source:

31 How Should an Environmental Problem be Tackled?? Stop Reduce

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