Natural hazard impacts on technological systems and infrastructures


Critical infrastructures and other technological systems such as transportation systems, telecommunication networks, power lines, pipelines, and reservoirs are at risk of natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, floods, landslides, wildfires) in many urban and rural areas worldwide. A key to safe and affordable operations of these types of infrastructure is an in-depth knowledge of their exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards and the impact of damage experienced either locally or across the network. Fundamental understanding of hazard and risk involves (a) systematic identification, monitoring, and mapping of potential infrastructure exposure; (b) integrated assessment of impact as result of damage, repair and/or mitigation; (c) indirect losses from infrastructure disruption and synergistic effects; (d) consideration of interactions between hazards and/or cascades of hazards. This session welcomes contributions with a focus on natural hazards risk assessment for critical infrastructures and technological systems, and compilation of databases to record impact and elements at risk. We also encourage abstracts addressing the development and application of tools for cost modeling. The session is dedicated to contributions with national, regional, and local perspective and intends to bring together experts from science and practice as well as young scientists. We encourage submissions for interactive presentations, which can be presented online in virtual discussion.

Convener: Elena Petrova | Co-convener: Maria Bostenaru Dan
vPICO presentations
| Fri, 30 Apr, 13:30–15:00 (CEST)

Session assets

Session materials

vPICO presentations: Fri, 30 Apr

Chairpersons: Elena Petrova, Maria Bostenaru Dan
Water related hazards
Panagiotis Asaridis, Daniela Molinari, and Francesco Ballio

Flood damage assessment is a crucial component of any decision-making process on flood risk management and mitigation; for this reason, reliable tools for flood damage estimation are required, for all the categories of exposed elements. Despite networks can suffer high losses in case of flood, and in comparison with other exposed items, flood damage modelling to infrastructures is still a challenging task. This is due, on the one hand, to the complexity of networks as well as of their interconnections; on the other hand, to the lack of knowledge and data to investigate damage mechanisms and to calibrate and validate damage models. Grounding on the investigation of the state of art, this contribution presents a conceptualization of flood damage to power grids. The ultimate objective of the conceptual model is to be an operative tool in support of more comprehensive and reliable flood damage assessments to power grids, highlighting: (i) the different components of the damage (i.e. direct, indirect, and systemic, meaning damage due to the interdependencies among power grids and residential, commercial, industrial and other infrastructure sectors), (ii) their interconnections, (iii) the hazard, exposure and vulnerability variables on which they depend, (iv) the temporal and spatial scales for their assessment. The development of the model highlighted, on the one hand, the importance of dividing damage assessment in two steps: the estimation of damage in quantitative/physical units and the estimation of the consequent economic losses. On the other hand, the variety of damage mechanisms and cascading effects shaping the final damage figure arises, asking for an interdisciplinary and multi-scale evaluation approach. The development of the conceptual model is the first step of a PhD research on the development of flood damage models for infrastructures. Next steps will validate the model in real case studies and evaluate how the different damage components could be investigated in the Italian context.

How to cite: Asaridis, P., Molinari, D., and Ballio, F.: A conceptual model for the estimation of flood damage to power grids, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2721, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2721, 2021.

Roman Schotten and Daniel Bachmann

In flood risk analysis it is a key principle to predetermine consequences of flooding to assets, people and infrastructures. Damages to critical infrastructures are not restricted to the flooded area. The effects of directly affected objects cascades to other infrastructures, which are not directly affected by a flood. Modelling critical infrastructure networks is one possible answer to the question ‘how to include indirect and direct impacts to critical infrastructures?’.

Critical infrastructures are connected in very complex networks. The modelling of those networks has been a basis for different purposes (Ouyang, 2014). Thus, it is a challenge to determine the right method to model a critical infrastructure network. For this example, a network-based and topology-based method will be applied (Pant et al., 2018). The basic model elements are points, connectors and polygons which are utilized to resemble the critical infrastructure network characteristics.

The objective of this model is to complement the state-of-the-art flood risk analysis with a quantitative analysis of critical infrastructure damages and disruptions for people and infrastructures. These results deliver an extended basis to differentiate the flood risk assessment and to derive measures for flood risk mitigation strategies. From a technical point of view, a critical infrastructure damage analysis will be integrated into the tool ProMaIDes (Bachmann, 2020), a free software for a risk-based evaluation of flood risk mitigation measures.

The data on critical infrastructure cascades and their potential linkages is scars but necessary for an actionable modelling. The CIrcle method from Deltares delivers a method for a workshop that has proven to deliver applicable datasets for identifying and connecting infrastructures on basis of cascading effects (de Bruijn et al., 2019). The data gained from CIrcle workshops will be one compound for the critical infrastructure network model.

Acknowledgment: This work is part of the BMBF-IKARIM funded project PARADes (Participatory assessment of flood related disaster prevention and development of an adapted coping system in Ghana).

Bachmann, D. (2020). ProMaIDeS - Knowledge Base. https://promaides.myjetbrains.com

de Bruijn, K. M., Maran, C., Zygnerski, M., Jurado, J., Burzel, A., Jeuken, C., & Obeysekera, J. (2019). Flood resilience of critical infrastructure: Approach and method applied to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Water (Switzerland), 11(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030517

Ouyang, M. (2014). Review on modeling and simulation of interdependent critical infrastructure systems. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 121, 43–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ress.2013.06.040

Pant, R., Thacker, S., Hall, J. W., Alderson, D., & Barr, S. (2018). Critical infrastructure impact assessment due to flood exposure. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 11(1), 22–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfr3.12288

How to cite: Schotten, R. and Bachmann, D.: Conceptualization of a Critical Infrastructure Network – Model for Flood Risk Assessments, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-922, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-922, 2021.

Jasper Verschuur, Elco Koks, and Jim Hall

Reliable port infrastructure is essential for the facilitation of international trade flows. Disruptions to port infrastructure can result in trade bottlenecks, in particular if multiple key ports are affected simultaneously due to natural disasters with large spatial footprints such as earthquakes and tropical cyclones (Verschuur et al. 2019). For instance, Hurricane Katrina (2005) disrupted port operations in multiple ports in New Orleans, which transport around 45% of the country’s food and farm products, resulting in more than USD800 million export losses and price spikes of food products (Trepte and Rice, 2014). In order to improve the resilience of the transport and supply-chain network, the risk of large-scale trade bottlenecks need to be quantified on global scale. However, to date, the risk of single and multiple port failures due to large-scale natural disasters, and the resulting consequences, has not yet been explored.


Here, we present a global analysis of the risk of simultaneous port disruptions due to tropical cyclones and the associated risk of bottlenecks in the national and global maritime trade network. To do this, we have combined a new global dataset on the port-to-port trade network with 10,000 years of synthetic tropical cyclone tracks (Bloemendaal et al., 2020) and an impact-module that estimates the duration of the port disruption as a function of cyclone wind speed. We show how certain countries and specific economic sectors within countries are at risk of large-scale trade bottlenecks, mainly due to the concentration of trade in a few key ports that are geographically clustered.


These results can be used to stress test the global maritime transport network and inform strategies to improve supply-chain resilience (e.g. diversification of transport and import). Moreover, it can support port planning on a national level to make strategic investments to reduce the risk of trade bottlenecks or to design post-disaster emergency response strategies (e.g. rerouting strategies to alternative ports).

How to cite: Verschuur, J., Koks, E., and Hall, J.: The risk of large-scale trade bottlenecks due to simultaneous port disruptions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-193, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-193, 2021.

Steluta topalov

On 4 august 2020, one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions the world has seen in recent times took place in the Port of Beirut. Caused by the detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, inadequate stored in a warehouse in the port, the blast destroyed much of the city’s port and the surrounding infrastructure and severly  damaged the dense residential and commercial areas within 5 km of the explosion site. The impact of the explosion, which registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was felt as far away as the island of Cyprus.

Athough the event was an technological hazard, the impact of the explosion is similar to a standardised natural disaster.

According to UNDP, a total of 200 000 residential units were affected with an estimated of 40 000 buildings damaged; 200 people lost their lives, around 6 000 individuals were injuried and around 300 000 people were displaced.

Such figure are comparable to other large-scale disasters such as Cyclone Vayu in India, which occured in June 2019 or the displacement caused by the Typhoon Vongfong, in the Philippines.

The frequent increase of the natural disasters  puts pressure on the critical infrastructure of the cities. The disruption of the transportation system,  which is vital for the sustainable daily operations, are having a big impact on the economical, enviromental and social dimension of a city system. Among the various types of transportation system, ports are a focal point because of its strategic role for the economic growth of cities,regions and  global network. In addition, they are nodal points for the social and economical activity of the inhabitants.

Although the ports have played a key role in the development of their host cities, they are also vulnerable to a broad range of risks and threats because of a particular spatial character: the location at the intersection of land and sea.  

The study of the Beirut’s Port explosion examines the impact of port failures on the host urban enviroment and the relationship between hazards, vulnerability and the impact. The vulnerability of the port to disasters results  to the vulnerability of its host city. A context –based understanding  of the impact of the disaster and the elements at risk is essential to identify appropriate risk management strategies. The location of the port within the urban environment, in densely populated area, as in case of Beirut are some of the characteristics of the port cities that can magnify the impact of disasters to which they are prone.  The study will focus on a collection of data that records the impact and allows visualisation of the complex patterns of the disaster risk reduction.

The impact caused by the Beirut’s port explosion reminds us about the important role of the ports in their host cities and how fundamental is to identify the port’s infrastructure  exposure to hazards and risks.  Lessons learned from such event may be useful to reduce disaster risks in the port cities.

How to cite: topalov, S.: Disaster impacts in a port-city; learning from Beirut's  Port explosion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14560, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14560, 2021.

Richard Boothroyd, Richard Williams, Trevor Hoey, Pamela Tolentino, and Xiao Yang

River migration represents a geomorphic hazard at sites of critical bridge infrastructure, particularly in rivers where migration rates are high, as in the tropics. In the Philippines, where exposure to flooding and geomorphic risk are considerable, the recent expansion of infrastructural developments warrants quantification of river migration in the vicinity of bridge assets. We analysed publicly available bridge inventory data from the Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and leveraged freely available satellite imagery in Google Earth Engine (GEE) to assess river migration. Specifically, we extracted active river channel masks of the bankfull extent (including the wetted channel and unvegetated, alluvial deposits) from Landsat products (Landsat 5, 7 and 8) using multi-spectral indices, before identifying river planform adjustments over decadal and engineering (30-year) timescales. For 74 bridges, we calculated similarity coefficients (Jaccard index) to indicate planform (dis)similarity and quantified changes in river channel width using RivWidthCloud.

Monitoring revealed the diversity of river planform adjustment at bridges in the Philippines (including channel migration, contraction, expansion and avulsion). The mean Jaccard index over decadal (0.65) and engineering (0.50) timescales indicated considerable planform adjustment throughout the national-scale inventory. However, planform adjustment and morphological behaviour varied between bridges. Some inventoried bridges were characterised by substantial planform adjustment and river migration, with maximum active channel contraction and expansion over decadal timescales equal to approximately 25% of the active channel width. This represents considerable lateral adjustment and when left unmanaged could pose a substantial geomorphic hazard. However, for other inventoried bridges the planform remained approximately stable and changes in channel width were limited. We suggest that multi-temporal analysis from satellite remote sensing offers a low-cost approach for monitoring the relative risk of river migration at critical bridge infrastructure; the approach can be extended to include other critical infrastructure adjacent to rivers (e.g., road, rail pipelines) and extended elsewhere to other dynamic riverine settings.

How to cite: Boothroyd, R., Williams, R., Hoey, T., Tolentino, P., and Yang, X.: National-scale assessment of river migration at critical bridge infrastructure in the Philippines using Google Earth Engine, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3049, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3049, 2021.

Earth related hazards
Giuliana Rossi, Riccardo Caputo, David Zuliani, Paolo Fabris, Massimiliano Maggini, and Panagiotis Karvelis

Coseismic surface displacements, soil liquefaction effects, and induced landslides are among the most critical issues to be accounted for evaluating the exposure and vulnerability of pipelines. However, tectonic plates and crustal blocks are in an almost continuous relative movement, most pronounced in the narrow zones between tectonic plates, where we observe differential velocities from a few mm to some cm per year. Hence, even without the occurrence of strong earthquakes, a pipeline crossing active tectonic plate boundaries must cope during its lifetime, with remarkable differential motions along its length, due to the interseismic elastic strain-accumulation within the upper crust. Such movements, leading to permanent ground deformation, can distress the pipe and cause operation interruptions, while the anchor points can result in local stress concentrations.

Here, we analyze the Southern Gas Corridor’s final part, a route highlighted in the European Energy Security and Energy Union Strategies. This route, which will be occupied by the TransAdriatic pipeline, crosses one of the world’s most seismically active zones. Our study aims to identify areas where critical differential motions could be expected along the route over the nominal 50-years pipeline-lifespan. We analyzed the available GNSS data and interpolated the sparsely available velocity vectors to have regular information along the pipeline path in two ways. In the first, we considered the region as a continuum; in the second, we applied an original blocky approach. We subdivided the path into segments, characterized by a relatively homogenous deformational behavior, or a specific tectonic setting, independently upon the neighboring ones. We compared the results of the two methods with the input observation. We calculated the maximum displacement that would cumulate in the next 50 years and the differential displacements that could cause possible critical bending to the pipeline structure. The approach followed in this research could be applied to other infrastructures to identify the segments prone to localized deformation because of interseismic tectonic loading.

The work was done within the Trans Adriatic Pipeline Seismological Investigation RfP Seismic Hazard Assessment Evaluation for E.ON New Build & Technology GmbH. We thank Dario Slejko and the other project partners for valuable information, data, advice, and fruitful discussions. For our GIS-based strain velocity system, we used Quantum GIS (QGIS), a user-friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License (https://hub.qgis.org/). For the interpolation, we used the function TriScatteredInterp from MATLAB® library (MATLAB R2011a).

How to cite: Rossi, G., Caputo, R., Zuliani, D., Fabris, P., Maggini, M., and Karvelis, P.: Analysis of GNSS data along the Southern Gas Corridor and estimate of the expected slowly-cumulating tectonic displacements, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10111, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10111, 2021.

Alexandru Tiganescu, Bogdan Grecu, Iolanda-Gabriela Craifaleanu, Dragos Toma-Danila, and Stefan-Florin Balan

The impact of natural hazards on structures and infrastructures is a critical issue that needs to be properly addressed by both public and private entities. To better cope with seismic hazard and to mitigate the risk, long-term multi-sensor infrastructure monitoring represents a useful tool for acquiring information on their condition and vulnerability. However, the current increasing data volume collected using sensors is not suitable to be processed with classical standalone methods. Thus, automatic algorithms and decision-making frameworks should be developed to use this data, with minimum intervention from human operators. A case-study for the application of advanced methods is focused on the headquarters of the Institute for Atomic Physics, a 11-story reinforced concrete building, located near Bucharest, Romania. The instrumentation scheme consists of accelerometers installed at the basement, at an intermediate floor and at the top of the structure. The data were continuously recorded, starting with December 2013. More than 80 seismic events with moment magnitude, MW, larger than 3.8 were recorded during the monitoring period. The current study covers the long-term evolution and variation of dynamic parameters (one value per hour), based on both ambient noise sources and small and medium magnitude seismic events. The seasonal variation of these parameters will be determined, as well as their daily variation and the differences between values obtained from ambient noise and from earthquake-induced vibrations. Other atmospheric parameters (e.g. temperature, precipitation, wind speed) will be considered in future studies. The goal of the PREVENT project, in the framework of which the research is performed, is to collect multi-disciplinary data and to integrate them into a complex monitoring system. The current study achieved the first step, focusing on data from the seismic sensors and setting up the premises for a multi-sensor, multi-parameter, more reliable infrastructure monitoring system.  

How to cite: Tiganescu, A., Grecu, B., Craifaleanu, I.-G., Toma-Danila, D., and Balan, S.-F.: Long-term structural monitoring of multi-story RC structures, based on data extracted from ambient noise and earthquake vibrations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13050, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13050, 2021.

Mass movement
Elena Petrova

The presentation considers natural-technological accidents that were triggered by the impacts of debris flows on infrastructure facilities. As input data, the information collected in the author's database of natural-technological accidents and emergencies that occurred in the Russian Federation from 1991 to 2020 was used. Based on the statistical and geographical analysis of the data, the main types of natural-technological accidents caused by the impact of debris flows have been identified. Various linear structures are mostly exposed to the debris flows. The most vulnerable to the debris flow impacts are facilities of the transportation infrastructure, as well as power lines, pipelines, and other lines of communication. During the above period under consideration, road and railway accidents, traffic disruptions, accidents in power, warm, water, and gas supply systems caused by debris flows were registered in the database. Natural-technological accidents and emergencies due to debris flow impacts on the infrastructure were recorded in the Far East of the Russian Federation including Sakhalin and Magadan Regions, and Primorsky Territory, as well as in the Republics and Territories of the North Caucasus. The long-term average frequency of their occurrences was estimated; their seasonal distribution was investigated. The proportion of natural-technological accidents caused by the impact of debris flows, in the total number of events caused by other adverse and hazardous natural processes and phenomena, is relatively small. However, the potential danger of such impacts must be taken into account when constructing transportation and other lines of communications, especially in areas of increased risk of debris flows.

How to cite: Petrova, E.: Debris flow impacts on infrastructure: analyzing the database of accidents, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3290, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3290, 2021.

Florian Albrecht, Daniel Hölbling, Lorena Abad, Zahra Dabiri, Gabriela Scheierl, Tobias Hipp, Hannes Resch, Gernot Resch, and Gerald Reischenböck

The hiking infrastructure of trails and huts is a strong asset for summer tourism in the Austrian Alps. However, this infrastructure is prone to different types of mass movements, such as rainfall-induced shallow landslides, debris flows and rockfalls, that potentially block the access to mountain huts and hiking routes for weeks or even months. Thus, alpine infrastructure management has an increased need for information about mass movements that affect trails.

The project MontEO ("The impact of mass movements on alpine trails and huts assessed by Earth observation (EO) data") aims for a better understanding of the diverse impacts of mass movements on the alpine infrastructure and the related efforts for infrastructure management and maintenance, by mass movement mapping and susceptibility modelling. We performed a user requirements analysis that identified relevant stakeholders and pinpointed both user needs and requirements for information about mass movement impact on alpine infrastructure. Semi-structured interviews with trail keepers and other stakeholders revealed information about the relevance of the topic for the respective organisation, the role of the interviewed person within the organisation and the experiences and tasks that relate to mass movements.

Our preliminary results identified sections of alpine associations, tourism associations, and alpine farmers as the main stakeholders that assume responsibility for operating the trails. The interviews with trail keepers, alpine association officials and professional trail builders indicated that they consider information on mass movement particularly valuable for mid- to long-term planning of maintenance efforts and revisions, as well as for the construction of new and the re-location of existing trails. Damage due to mass movements is mainly relevant in high alpine regions and in locations where terrain and environmental conditions favour them. An example of how mass movements can affect infrastructure is a rockfall damaging safety ropes and feeding a scree that becomes a source for debris flows covering the existing path. Resulting maintenance efforts include the restoration of a debris-covered trail and the re-installation of safety ropes along the trail by a skilled builder with heavy equipment. If situated in a heavily affected region, the frequency of damage from mass movements may render the trail too costly to maintain. Either it needs to be relocated to a new route in less landslide-prone terrain or it has to be given up entirely.

Currently, we are in the process of mapping mass movements with optical and radar satellite data in four Austrian study areas. Combining the mass movement mapping and susceptibility modelling results with estimated efforts for trail maintenance will enable the detailed assessment of the mass movement impact for an entire area of responsibility of the section of an alpine association. If the validation with stakeholders proves that the impact assessment can be used in strategic trail management or the planning of maintenance activities, the MontEO project will result in a safer alpine infrastructure and an increased value for the tourism industry.

How to cite: Albrecht, F., Hölbling, D., Abad, L., Dabiri, Z., Scheierl, G., Hipp, T., Resch, H., Resch, G., and Reischenböck, G.: Qualitative analysis of the impact of mass movements on the alpine hiking infrastructure, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7718, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7718, 2021.

Natural-technological hazards
Magdalena Bostenaru and Maria Bostenaru Dan

Landslides threaten transportation ways infrastructure, ex. after deforestation. Geotextiles on mountain sites were observed in France, including at the COST action TU1401 "Renewable energy and landscape quality"  (COST RELY) final conference which at the UNESCO geoheritage of Chaîne des Puys (Pidon et al, 2016), presented in the EGU geoheritage sessions as well. This paper presents research on biodegradable geosynthetics which are also able to stabilise ground in a different large scale setting after laboratory setting. The large scale setting is stabilisation of flying ash at the thermo power of Mintia and Doicesti in Romania (Siminea and Bostenaru, 2008, Bostenaru et al, 2010), right before closure. Nature based solutions gained attention in the last decade and the blue-green infrastructure approach is reevaluated in this presentation. Preda (2011) dealt with the degradation of soil in these two locations. Pleasea (2011) dealt with how to reactivate the industrial rural area of the Doicesti thermal power as alternative to demolition, which however happened late 2020. The location of both Mintia and Doicesti is examined also from the point of view of the vicinities (the former court archeological remains in Doicesti and the neighbouring Targoviste and the castle ruins and Modernist architecture in Deva near which Mintia is). Another reevaluation is the turn towards renewable energy (see COST RELY). With this turn thermopower, one of the most important in Romania along with hydropower which has been examined in the action, needs to be rethought. The IBA Emscher Park (Shaw, 2002, Bostenaru, 2007) in the Ruhr area in Germany was a participative large scale retrofit in the 1990s of a former coal mining region and therefore the high tech renewable energy among converted industry buildings, some of which UNESCO heritage. Experience in urban renewal of industrial buildings in Germany will be compared with success stories in water industry connected to slope greening at the water works in Suceava.


Bostenaru Dan, M. (2007): Von den Partizipationsmodellen der 70er Jahre zu Kommunikationsformen Ende des XXten Jahrhunderts in Architektur und Städtebau, Cuvillier, Göttingen.

Bostenaru M., Siminea I., Bostenaru Dan M. (2010): Use of geotextiles for mitigation of the effects of man-made hazards such as greening of waste deposits in frame of the conversion of industrial areas, Geophysical Research Abstracts 12, EGU2010-13293.

Pidon A., Niemiec D., Sabourault P.  (2016): Mise en sécurité d’un dépôt de résidus detraitement de minerai de plomb-argentifère, Pontgibaud, Auvergne. Journées Nationalesde Géotechnique et de Géologie de l’Ingénieur, Nancy, France

Plesea, S. M. (2019): Potentialul zonelor industriale abandonate in context rural, master dissertation, "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism.

Preda C.-E. (2011): Impactul poluantilor produsi de termocentralele pe carbune asupra solurilor. Studii de caz: termocentralele Doicesti, Rovinari si Mintia, doctoral dissertation, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography.

Siminea I., Bostenaru M. (2008): Biodegradable geocomposite a material for the future,to be applied in slope protection and recovery of waste dumps, Scientific Bulletin of“Politehnica” University of Timişoara, Romania Transactions on Hydrotehnics 53/67(1), pp. 75-78

Shaw, R. (2002): The International Building Exhibition (IBA) Emscher Park, Germany:A Model for Sustainable Restructuring?, European Planning Studies, 10(1), pp. 77-97

How to cite: Bostenaru, M. and Bostenaru Dan, M.: Nature based solutions against environmental risks: biodegradable geosynthetics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1075, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1075, 2021.

Margherita D'Ayala, Riccardo Giusti, Marcello Arosio, and Mario Martina

In a climate change framework extreme natural events are going to occur more frequently and intensively as a result of global warming. Therefore, the effects and consequences of climate-related natural hazards, such as flooding, heatwaves, drought, landslides and others, have the potential to become more disastrous and extensive. Consequences of such events are of particular concern considering that today’s societies are interconnected in complex and dynamic socio-technological networks and, hence, dependent more than before on Critical Infrastructures (CI) systems (such as transport, energy, water, ICT systems, etc.). Furthermore, there are also events of Natural Hazards Trigger Technological Disasters (also known as NaTech events), whereby an industrial accident caused by a natural event could affect people, the environment, and other facilities and systems. This work reviews studies in the fields of risk assessment of CI systems affected by natural hazards and NaTech events.

This study identifies and classifies: the methodologies applied (qualitative or quantitative), the type of infrastructures exposed (transport, electricity, oil, gas, water and waste water and telecommunications systems, industrial or nuclear plant) and hazard considered (flood, earthquake, lighting, landslide, avalanche, storm surge, heat and cold waves, wind), the scale of application and the level of spatial resolution.

The work provides a comparison of the scientific studies, the objectives and analysis methods to assess risk employed in the fields of CI systems and NaTech events in order to highlight similarities and differences and to guide the most suitable approach for each application case.

How to cite: D'Ayala, M., Giusti, R., Arosio, M., and Martina, M.: A comparative literature review of the methodologies to evaluate risk of NaTech disasters and Critical Infrastructure affected by natural hazard, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14793, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14793, 2021.

Rute Santos, João Cardoso, M. Alexandra Pais, Miguel Silva, Joana Alves Ribeiro, and Fernando J. G. Pinheiro

Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs) are the result of rapid variations in the Earth's geomagnetic field and of the finite conductivity of the Earth. Along grounded conducting structures such as the power grids, the induced electric field drives electric currents in closed circuits. Extreme values of GICs can be a threat to the normal operation of the power system. So, there is an increasing interest in the study of the GICs’ risk and the first step to take is the numerical modelling. In order to model GICs, different factors/parameters must be considered, as the distribution of conductivity, laterally and in depth and characteristics of the different components of the network. These include the values of the different resistances in the power network, the types of transformers and also the transmission path for the GICs. Shield wires represent possible paths for GIC currents. In this study the influence of shield wires on GICs in power systems is modelled. Tests were done using realistic values for the circuit parameters provided by the Portuguese high voltage power network company (REN).

The MAG-GIC (Geomagnetically induced currents in Portugal mainland) project has already produced GIC simulations for the South of Portugal. However, there are still no direct records of GICs in the electrical transmission network to validate that model. This study also encompasses the task of producing a measuring instrument to monitor GICs in the neutral of a given transformer. Such an instrument can provide for the measurement and recording of quasi-DC currents with Hall current sensors, with high resolution. It is targeted to operate remotely over a time interval of several months while being minimally invasive to the power transformer (PT). The system relies on LEM high sensitivity closed loop Hall effect current sensors and it is built over a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B platform with a high resolution digitizer (24 bits) expansion board (Waveshare AD/DA). The system also includes temperature monitoring for offset correction. Recorded data are locally stored on a database (InfluxDB) and a wifi interface allows rapid long term trend visualization through a customized dashboard (Grafana).

How to cite: Santos, R., Cardoso, J., Pais, M. A., Silva, M., Alves Ribeiro, J., and J. G. Pinheiro, F.: Shield wires effect on GICs in Portuguese power network and design of an instrument to monitor GICs in the transformer neutrals, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14663, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14663, 2021.

Evelyn Mühlhofer, David N. Bresch, and Elco Koks

Critical infrastructures (CIs) such as powerlines, road & rail transport, and telecommunications are networked systems, through which disruptions, for instance from natural hazards, may propagate far beyond their initial incidence.

There is, however, a gap when it comes to identifying how CIs interdepend on each other (such as water for cooling power generators, and electricity for powering water pumps), and how their joint system-of-systems (SOS) character can amplify possible consequences. Anecdotal evidence on such behaviour is frequently derived from artificially generated or locally constrained cases with few CIs under consideration. A full picture of CISOS risks throughout greater geographies is absent.

This research project aims to contribute to a more consistent view on natural hazard risks from CI interdependencies by

  • systematically identifying and deriving interdependency heuristics between a range of CIs,
  • transferring those interdependency heuristics to a network model based on real-world, spatially explicit open-source CI data,
  • combining this CISOS network layer with an open-source global risk modelling platform, CLIMADA (Aznar-Siguan, G. & Bresch, D. N. 2019), to allow for globally consistent impact calculations from a range of natural hazard scenarios.

I will give first insights on the trade-offs between identified CI interdependencies, real-world data constraints and generalisability of a CISOS modelling approach across national scales. I will also present opportunities from combining the networked layer with the risk modelling platform CLIMADA for studying CISOS disruptions in a multi-hazard space, and possible extensions to social impacts and basic service disruptions.

How to cite: Mühlhofer, E., Bresch, D. N., and Koks, E.: Critical infrastructures in a multi-hazard environment: identifying globally consistent heuristics to model interdependencies, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-945, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-945, 2021.

Maria Bostenaru Dan

Napoleon founded, after drainage and demolition, the Giardini in Venice, which in the 19th century (1985 first edition) started to be the ground for the Venice Biennale. Pavillions were built for different countries, after the model of World Exhibitions. The Venice Biennale was at the begin an art exhibition. Since 1975 the Art Biennale takes place alternatively with the architecture Biennale, each of them every two years. In 2016, the 15th Architecture Biennale was curated by Alejandro Aravena and had the title "Reporting from the front". The Biennale features central pavillions at the Giardini and at the Arsenale (a younger extension), and in the free spaces, and also 61 national pavillions. Google Arts and Culture archived the Biennale 2016 as a museum and it can be consulted also afterwards by anyone. Among others, it called for contributions presenting how architecture is dealing with natural disasters. The overall call and interdependence between natural disasters mitigation and sustainability will be presented. The response to the call was mainly approaching man-made disasters, but also installations on climate change dedicated museums or on disaster resistant infrastructure by Marte architects. The curator himself received 2016 the Pritzker prize, the most prestigious one for architecture, among others for acclaimed work in reconstructing 2010 after an earthquake and tsunami in Chile, using participatory means. Participatory means have an important footprint at the Biennale. 2006 already the USA presented at the Biennale in their Pavillion dealing with the aftermath of Kathrina.

The contribution at the EGU will compare this approach with the latest developments in participatory approaches to disaster management, also approached in other research works of the author (ex. NHESS publication from 2004, present in the encyclopedia entry), and of dedicated associations (ex. i-REC). It is an endeavour of the contribution of the author to show how architecture and urban planning can contribute to disaster mitigation, also in this session. The author visited the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and will report a first hand experience with artistic presentation of the approach to disasters.

How to cite: Bostenaru Dan, M.: Natural disasters and architecture: the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale "Reporting from the front", EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1021, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1021, 2021.

Sadhana Nirandjan, Elco Koks, Philip Ward, and Jeroen Aerts

Critical infrastructure (CI) is fundamental for the functioning of a society and forms the backbone for socio-economic development. Natural hazards, however, pose a major threat to CI. The destruction of CI, and the disruption of essential services they provide may hamper societies and economies. Moreover, the overall risk for CI is expected to rise. This is due climate change (i.e. intensification and more frequent hazards), and socio-economic development (i.e. increase in the amount and value of CI).

Building sustainable and resilient infrastructure is a key to reducing the impacts of natural hazards and climate change on society. However, an in-depth knowledge of the global CI that is directly at risk for natural hazards is still lacking. The development of a harmonized dataset integrating the geospatial locations of the main CI systems at a global scale will aid to our knowledge on the CI that is exposed and at risk for natural hazards.

We present a first-of-its-kind globally consistent spatial dataset for the representation of CI. In this study, an index to express the spatial intensity of CI at the global scale is developed: the Critical Infrastructure System Index (CISI). The CISI is expressed in a dimensionless value ranging between 0 (being no CI intensity) and 1 (being highest CI intensity). The CISI aggregates high resolution spatial information of CI based on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. For the development of this index, a total of 34 CI types (e.g. primary roads, waste-water plants and hospitals) are defined and categorized under seven overarching CI systems: transportation, energy, tele-communication, waste, water, health and education. Spatial data on these CI types are extracted by using a selection of 78 OSM tags. The detailed spatial data is rasterized into a harmonized and consistent dataset with a resolution of 0.1x0.1 degrees.

This novel global dataset will be a valuable starting point for policy makers, planners, and researchers in several fields. The dataset can be deployed as a tool to gain insights in the current landscape of the CI network, to identify hotspots of CI, and to gain exposure information for risk assessments. We use open data hosted by OSM, and provide code for further use and development. In this study, we demonstrate the database and CISI at a global scale, but the publicly accessible code can also be used to further develop the dataset with latest releases of data on CI provided by OSM as well as other (open) sources for any location and any resolution.

How to cite: Nirandjan, S., Koks, E., Ward, P., and Aerts, J.: Gridded Harmonized Dataset for the Spatial Location of the Global Critical Infrastructure Network, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8197, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8197, 2021.