EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - NH9.03 Early warning systems and multidisciplinary approaches in natural hazards and risk assessments

Event Information
Assessments of natural processes are regularly studied with respect to the impact of a given process to a specific site, location, or region. Within the given area, humans are living and acting, and are thus potentially endangered to the respective processes. However, humans do not only exposed themselves to these processes, they also modify the natural geosystem, and therefore superimpose processes. This interference might result in changed event magnitudes and in changed temporal and spatial occurrence of the processes. Additionally, assessments of natural hazards and risks are commonly analysing potential impacts of specific processes to objects on a local scale and to predefined areas on a regional scale. The main research objective is usually to calculate and to identify areas, which potentially might be affected in the future with a given probability.

In contrast, there is also an interest to investigate a specific site, and/or region with respects to different processes types, thus focussing on the site, not on the process. Of particular importance is to which degree this location might be affected by different natural processes in the future. With this respect it is necessary to determine the most endangering process for a given site, locality or region. Herein, the most frequent process is not necessarily the most dangerous event, because human and society might have been adopted to this process very well. Thus any frequently occurring event is buffered by local coping strategies. Instead, there might be in particular high magnitude, low frequency processes of major importance for a community. This endorses the need to assess the processes occurring in a region in order to identify and analyse the most important types.

This session will highlight the various concepts available to investigate the human interference with the nature and the following response of the geosystem and to approach multi-hazard and risk assessments. Process types range from earthquakes, volcanoes addressing also lahars, snow avalanches and slush flows, landslides including rock falls and debris flows, flooding and flash floods as well as sea storm surges, and tsunamis. Contributions might address - but are not limited to - general concepts of coupling processes, examples of data collection, storage and dissimilation procedures. Various analysis approaches including, qualitative, quantitative, and numerical methods at a range of scales are welcome. Presentations of applied studies and risk investigations, thus including elements at risk with a given damage potential and vulnerability, are in particular encouraged.

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