Disaster Management Theme
New University of Lisbon, e‐GEO, Geography & Regional Planning Research Center, PORTUGAL
Associate Editor for Disasters
University Putra Malaysia, Institute of Advanced Technology, MALAYSIA
Articles published for Earthzine’s Disaster Management theme (Dec. 21, 2010-March 20, 2011) address efforts to improve the understanding and management of natural and human‐induced disasters, from the factors at inception to the process of recovery and rehabilitation.
The number and impact of disasters has been rising in recent decades; it is anticipated that such events will continue to increase in the future. At the same time, there has been greater attention and investment to expand human, institutional, and Earth Observation capabilities to better manage and minimize effects of disasters on life and living conditions.
These articles incorporate in situ, airborne, and space-based observations that contribute to our understanding of disasters across all scales, from their causes to their consequences. The information is of value for use in the planning, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery stages of disaster management.
An examination of Earth tremors in Nigeria shows activity mostly along northwest-southeast lines. This is contrary to earlier theories that the tremors occurred in the inland extension of the northeast-southwest oceanic faults.
The Azores archipelago (Portugal) is subject to several geological hazards, including earthquakes and volcanic activity. In response, the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Risks Assessment (CVARG), developed a monitoring network which uses geophysical, geodetic, geochemical and meteorological techniques to provide continuous monitoring and early warning.
Imaging instruments ASTER, MODIS and MISR, all a part of NASA's Terra space platform, each offer a unique view of Japan's disaster zone. Together, these views produce complementary multispectral and multiangular sets of data valuable for evaluating damage and planning for reconstruction.
Limit Equilibrium Analysis and Real-Time Monitoring as Support for Landslide Risk Mitigation: The San Rocco Case Study at San Benedetto Ullano (Calabria)
The Italian government declared a state of emergency following landslides in 2008-2010. Case studies of these landslides, and a related landslide stability model, can be used by the Authority of Civil Protection and other experts for managing future risks.
In Portugal, the fire season of 2003 was the worst on record. Satellite imagery was used to study the post-fire vegetation response. The results contribute to our understanding of the impact of management strategies and can ultimately improve allocation of firefighting resources.
Experts and laypersons worked together to map structural damage from the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Official and open-access mapping technologies can assist in managing the aftermath of natural disasters, but standards are needed.
International Earth observation agencies are cooperating in the creation of online resources to aid rescue efforts and advance scientific understanding in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Available visualization products relate to a range of issues, including historic and present seismic activity, landslides, deformation areas, floating objects and more.
India is a country that faces food scarcity issues and is vulnerable to disasters brought about by tropical cyclones and tidal surges. Global warming threatens to exacerbate both of these issues, and proper planning is needed to help decrease these threats to India and its people.
The volcanic hazard can involve a sequence of disastrous events, leading to cascading effects in multiple systems. An effective Disaster Operations Management tool should be focused on a dynamic evolution of risk, in order to minimize physical and economic losses.
Following the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, a testbed was developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium to distribute data and provide tools for analysis and decision-making. The context and results of this testbed are relevant for the management of future post-crisis disaster events.
Research done as part of the European SCHEMA project suggests that creation of hazard and damage scenarios may save lives during disasters caused by tsunami waves. These scenarios can help identify suitable vertical shelters and escape routes and even estimate expected accumulation of debris.
UN-SPIDER brings together experts to improve access to space-based information. Recent disasters such as those in Haiti and Pakistan demonstrate the value of up-to-date satellite data, and how it can be used beforehand to reduce impacts to people on the ground.
What's the difference between drought duration and magnitude, and what methods can be used to plan for dry periods in drought-stricken areas? This paper analyzes research done in the Tel watershed of Odisha, India.
Earth Observation Based Assessment of Area Changes Related to Hurricane Events – The Dauphin Island DEVELOP Case Study
Using sophisticated Earth observation tools, a group of students from the NASA DEVELOP internship program find that hurricanes and other severe coastal storms can greatly accelerate the erosion and shoreline change of a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Satellite-Based Crisis Information and Risk Assessment: Contributions Following the Earthquake in W. Sumatra and the Mentawai Tsunami
When a disaster occurs, rapid mapping activities using satellite data can provide valuable information to support emergency response actions. Such was the case recently when severe earthquake and tsunami events hit Sumatra, prompting the contribution from the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information, a service of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
When natural disasters hit developing countries, lack of clean water can lead to a health crisis. Instead of responding after the fact, it may be more effective to prepare local communities by providing them with water sanitation kits (WatSan-Kits), along with training in their use.
North Carolina Coastal Management: Satellite Monitoring of Coastal Wetland and Shoreline Changes in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina
This article focuses on a NASA Applied Sciences National DEVELOP assistance to the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (NCDCM) with the assessment of coastline changes and habitat loss in coastal wetlands utilizing satellite remote sensing. The Hyde, Tyrrell, and Dare counties in eastern North Carolina occupy the coastlines of the Albemarle and Pamlico Sound estuaries. The Pamlico Sound is the largest estuarine lagoon along the East coast of the United States.
Gulf of Mexico Air Quality: CALIPSO Decision Support for Gulf of Mexico Air Quality Relating to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
This article explains the methodology developed by one NASA Applied Sciences DEVELOP team to investigate the use of the CALIPSO lidar (CALIOP) level 2 version 3.01 night-time aerosol products and the HYSPLIT model to monitor aerosols and dispersants over the ocean resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010.
From Preparation to Response: Coastal Decision Support during the Caribbean Hurricane Season 2010 with RADARSAT-2
This article outlines on-going activities involving Canadian RADARSAT as well as other EO satellite data acquisitions to-date over selected Caribbean sites in British Virgin Islands (BVI), Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia that are engaged in coastal disaster management and emergency response. It highlights some image maps and information products that were produced as part of several trials during the 2010 hurricane season. From this trial phase, the participants expect constructive feedback and further improvements, particularly with regard to operational usefulness of detailed EO satellite data.
Earthzine Issues Call for Papers on Disaster Management 21 December 2010 - 20 March 2011.Theme issue focuses on improving our understanding and management of natural and human-induced disasters, from the factors at their inception to the process of recovery and rehabilitation.
Sérgio Freire, Biswajeet Pradhan, and Christoph Aubrecht, posted on
December 10th, 2010
Announcements, Disaster Management