Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Remotely Sensed Nightlights to Map Societal Exposure to Hydrometeorological Hazards
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL. (CNDS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0908-7176
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8180-4996
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
2015 (English)In: Remote Sensing, ISSN 2072-4292, E-ISSN 2072-4292, Vol. 7, no 9, 12380-12399 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study used remotely sensed maps of nightlights to investigate the etiology of increasing disaster losses from hydrometeorological hazards in a data-scarce area. We explored trends in the probability of occurrence of hazardous events (extreme rainfall) and exposure of the local population as components of risk. The temporal variation of the spatial distribution of exposure to hydrometeorological hazards was studied using nightlight satellite imagery as a proxy. Temporal (yearly) and spatial (1 km) resolution make them more useful than official census data. Additionally, satellite nightlights can track informal (unofficial) human settlements. The study focused on the Samala River catchment in Guatemala. The analyses of disasters, using DesInventar Disaster Information Management System data, showed that fatalities caused by hydrometeorological events have increased. Such an increase in disaster losses can be explained by trends in both: (i) catchment conditions that tend to lead to more frequent hydrometeorological extremes (more frequent occurrence of days with wet conditions); and (ii) increasing human exposure to hazardous events (as observed by amount and intensity of nightlights in areas close to rivers). Our study shows the value of remote sensing data and provides a framework to explore the dynamics of disaster risk when ground data are spatially and temporally limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, no 9, 12380-12399 p.
Keyword [en]
Natural disasters trends, nighttime satellite images, nightlights, exposure mapping, local scale, Guatemala
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260706DOI: 10.3390/rs70912380ISI: 000362511400065OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260706DiVA: diva2:848059
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 54100006
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Geographical Distribution of Disasters Caused by Natural Hazards in Data-scarce Areas: Methodological exploration on the Samala River catchment, Guatemala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geographical Distribution of Disasters Caused by Natural Hazards in Data-scarce Areas: Methodological exploration on the Samala River catchment, Guatemala
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An increasing trend in both the number of disasters and affected people has been observed, especially during the second half of the 20th century. The physical, economic and social impact that natural hazards have had on a global scale has prompted an increasing interest of governments, international institutions and the academia. This has immensely contributed to improve the knowledge on the subject and has helped multiply the number of initiatives to reduce the negative consequences of natural hazards on people. The scale on which studies supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) actions are performed is a critical parameter. Given that disasters are recognized to be place-dependent, studying the geographical distribution of disasters on a local scale is essential to make DRR practical and feasible for local authorities, organizations and civilians. However, studying disasters on the local scale is still a challenge due to the constraints posed by scarce data availability. Social vulnerability in many disaster-prone areas is however a pressing issue that needs to be swiftly addressed despite of the many limitations of data for such studies.

This thesis explored methodological alternatives to study the geographical distribution of natural disasters and their potential causes in disaster-prone and data-scarce areas. The Samala River catchment in Guatemala was selected as a case study, which is representative of areas with high social vulnerability and data scarcity.  Exploratory methods to derive critical disaster information in such areas were constructed using the geographical and social data available for the study area. The hindrances posed by the available data were evaluated and the use of non-traditional datasets such as nightlights imagery to complement the available data were explored as a way of overcoming the observed limitations.

The exploratory methods developed in this thesis aim at (a) deriving information on natural disasters under data-scarce circumstances, (b) exploring the correlation between the spatial distribution of natural disasters and the physical context in order to look for causalities, (c) using open data to study the social context as a potential cause of disasters in data-scarce areas, and (d) mapping vulnerabilities to support actions for disaster risk reduction. Although the available data for the case study was limited in quantity and quality and many sources of uncertainty exist in the proposed methods, this thesis argues that the potential contribution to the development of DRR on a local scale is more important than the identified drawbacks. The use of non-traditional data such as remotely sensed imagery made it possible to derive information on the occurrences of disasters and, in particular, causal relationships between location of disasters and their physical and social context.

Abstract [es]

El número de desastres y personas afectadas por esos desastres en el mundo han mostrado una tendencia creciente, especialmente en la segunda mitad del siglo veinte. El impacto físico, económico y social que las amenazas naturales han causado a nivel global ha causado que gobiernos, instituciones internacionales y la academia se interesen cada vez más en los desastres causados por esas amenazas. Este interés ha contribuido a mejorar el conocimiento existente sobre desastres y ha contribuido a multiplicar las iniciativas orientadas a reducir sus efectos negativos en las personas. La escala en la cual las iniciativas para la reducción del riesgo de desastres (RRD) se llevan a cabo es un parámetro crítico para su materialización. Hoy en día se reconoce la estrecha relación que existe entre los desastres y los lugares donde éstos se registran. Por esta razón, estudiar la distribución de los desastres en una escala local es esencial para que la RRD sea práctica y factible para autoridades y organizaciones locales, y también para la sociedad civil. Sin embargo, estudiar los desastres en una escala local es aún un problema por resolver debido a las restricciones impuestas por la escasa disponibilidad de datos de alta resolución. A pesar de las dificultades y limitaciones identificadas, la vulnerabilidad social en las regiones propensas a desastres es un problema importante que necesita ser atendido con prontitud.

La presente tesis exploró alternativas metodológicas para estudiar la distribución geográfica de los desastres naturales y sus causas potenciales, particularmente en áreas propensas a desastres y en condiciones de información limitada. La cuenca del Río Samalá fue seleccionada como caso de estudio debido a que es un área representativa de áreas propensa a desastres con alta vulnerabilidad social y además escasez de datos. El trabajo de investigación propone métodos exploratorios para extraer información crítica sobre desastres utilizando la información geográfica y social que esté disponible, evaluando los obstáculos impuestos por la reducida disponibilidad de datos. La información existente fue complementada con el uso de fuentes de información no tradicional, e.g. imágenes satelitales de luces nocturnas, como una manera de superar las limitaciones identificadas.

Los métodos desarrollados en este trabajo de tesis tuvieron como objetivos (a) obtener información sobre desastres naturales en condiciones de escasez de datos, (b) explorar la correlación entre la distribución espacial de los desastres naturales y su contexto físico para identificar causalidades, (c) utilizar información de libre acceso para estudiar el contexto social de los desastres como causa potencial de los desastres en áreas con escasez de datos, y (d) mapear vulnerabilidades para sustentar acciones para la RRD. Este trabajo de tesis sostiene que la contribución potencial de los métodos propuestos al desarrollo de la RRD en la escala social es más importante que las incertidumbres que implican y las limitaciones creadas por la reducida calidad y cantidad de información para el caso de estudio. El uso de fuentes de información no tradicionales tales como imágenes satelitales hizo posible incrementar la información sobre las incidencias de desastres y, en particular, buscar relación de dependencia entre los lugares particulares en los que los desastres fueron registrados y su contexto físico y social.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 77 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1275
Keyword
natural disasters, Guatemala, data-scarce areas, natural disaster science methods, natural disaster maps
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260708 (URN)978-91-554-9310-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-09, Hambergsalen, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 54100006
Available from: 2015-09-17 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2015-10-01

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1727 kB)209 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1727 kBChecksum SHA-512
39f71caf5d5c7f6df922af6267895b6feef123e35d9d67fd8b68762e62af3d041772a82aff622d92f12bf86541c36e1596c85c37890db9551542093e7112456e
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textFulltext

Authority records BETA

Soto Gómez, Agnes Janedi Baldassarre, GiulianoRodhe, AllanPohjola, Veijo A.

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Soto Gómez, Agnes Janedi Baldassarre, GiulianoRodhe, AllanPohjola, Veijo A.
By organisation
LUVAL
In the same journal
Remote Sensing
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 209 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 770 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf