EOC is investigating whether earth observation can usefully play a role in identifying and characterizing the complexity of factors associated with different types of risks. In a special edition of the Springer Publishers journal "Natural Hazards" EOC scientists now present some of their results from earlier international research projects.
The special edition documents the current state of research. It features selected examples to demonstrate how numerous risk factors in inhabited as well as natural environments can be mapped today with earth observation satellites and considered in multi-risk assessments. Contributions from both the public and private sectors and additional actors round off the presentation.
For example, there is a description of how satellite data make it possible to more precisely identify than is possible with traditional statistically-based methodologies endangered areas and their threatened populations and infrastructure, both spatially and temporally. One example shows how, especially for regions with a large proportion of unmapped land development, the data necessary for a risk analysis can be quickly generated. For this purpose artificial intelligence methodologies are used to create from satellite recordings and freely available additional information a map of the developed area as well as a categorisation of any constructions, enabling conclusions to be drawn about the number of those potentially endangered.
Since extreme situations can lead to several catastrophes arising at the same time or mutually influencing each other, modelling such multi-risk scenarios is extremely demanding. In addition to statical and spatial elements, these models must also include the dynamic development of the catastrophes as well as the behaviour of the population and the condition of any infrastructure, such as streets. The article uses a transnational, 10,000 square kilometre testing ground to show how a compromise between complexity and precision can be found here. The authors also describe how indices can help reduce the complexity.
Until November 30, 2023 these and other articles in this special edition can be downloaded free of charge from the publisher’s website (see link at right).