This session will discuss how natural hazards influence and/or cause technological disasters (TD). There are many kinds of TD, including industrial accidents; pipeline ruptures; accidents at power, water and heat supply systems and other lines of communication; sudden collapse of buildings and mines; air crashes; shipwrecks; automobile and railway accidents; etc. In addition to technical, social, and economic causes of TD, natural factors can also play an essential role in triggering or/and magnifying TD. Almost every natural disaster is accompanied by some sort of technological one. TD can result from the direct destruction of given technical objects by a hazardous natural process. For example, the destruction of an atomic power plant or chemical plant due to an earthquake, a landslide, or other hazard; or the destruction of communications or infrastructure systems by heavy snowfalls, strong winds, avalanches, etc. TD can also be secondary effects of natural disasters, with actual or potential threats to the environment and society. A number of investigators have also found strong correlations between TD and various global processes, which are not usually considered as natural disasters. For instance, solar disturbances and geophysical field anomalies can influence the technosphere directly, causing electronics error and automatic machinery failure, as well as indirectly, through the decreased reliability of operators, drivers or pilots. In their turn these failures and the "human error" can increase the probability of TD (such as air crashes, automobile and railway accidents, etc.). The main goal of this session is to summarize case studies of relationships between natural hazards and technological disasters and encourage a discussion about possible mechanisms of these relationships.
Splinter Meeting SPM1.23 NATECH session (public) will take place on Thursday, 6 May, at 13:30-17:00 in Room SM2 (40) Blue level (Basement). All persons interested are invited!