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Application of remote sensing and Earth-observation data in natural hazard and risk studies
Convener: Matthew Blackett  | Co-Conveners: Peter Webley , Robert Wright , Charley Hill-Butler , Roberto Rudari , Fifame Koudogbo 
 / Thu, 16 Apr, 13:30–17:00
 / Attendance Thu, 16 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Remote sensing has many fundamental applications in the study of natural hazards and risk. It has a number of advantages over traditional fieldwork expeditions including safety, the provision a synoptic view of the region of interest, the availability of data extending back several years and, in many cases, cost savings. Its applications range from visualisation and quantification of hazard phenomena to more novel approaches in hazard characterisation, modelling and risk assessment and mitigation. The use of Earth-Observation (EO) data for such applications is all the more important today given the increased risks posed by natural hazards due to the challenges posed by contemporary issues such as climate change, population pressure and increasingly complex social interactions. Fortunately, the advent of new, more powerful sensors and more finely tuned detection algorithms provide the opportunity to image, assess and quantify natural hazards, their consequences, and vulnerable regions, more comprehensively than ever before. This session will provide a forum for the dissemination of research into using new sensors and techniques for application to natural hazards. The research presented might focus on: the determination of vulnerable areas; the observation of possible precursory events and evaluation of potential predictive capabilities; the monitoring of a hazard event as it runs its course; the development of tools and platforms for assessment and validation of hazard models, or on the assessment of post-event damage. An additional application which has shown great utility in recent years has been the use of remotely detected data for hazard and risk assessments, decision support and emergency management. This opportunity for research dissemination is particularly timely as the European Commission recently funded a Research project RASOR (Rapid Analysis and Spatialisation of Risk) which focuses on integrating multi-hazard and risk analysis with the help of satellite data. Of these possible research themes, the use of different types of remote sensing (e.g. thermal, visual, radar, laser, and/or the fusion of these) might be considered, with an evaluation of their respective pros and cons. Evaluation of current sensors, data capabilities and algorithms will be welcomed, as will suggestions for future sensor considerations, algorithm developments and opportunities for emergency management agency buy-in.