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Extending natural hazard impacts: an assessment of landslide disruptions on a national road transportation network

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posted on 02.02.2017 by Ben Postance, John Hillier, Tom Dijkstra, Neil Dixon
Disruptions to transportation networks by natural hazard events cause direct losses (e.g. by physical damage) and indirect socio-economic losses via travel delays and decreased transportation efficiency. The severity and spatial distribution of these losses varies according to user travel demands and which links, nodes or infrastructure assets are physically disrupted. Increasing transport network resilience, for example by targeted mitigation strategies, requires the identification of the critical network segments which if disrupted would incur undesirable or unacceptable socio-economic impacts. Here, these impacts are assessed on a national road transportation network by coupling hazard data with a transport network model. This process is illustrated using a case study of landslide hazards on the road network of Scotland. A set of possible landslide-prone road segments is generated using landslide susceptibility data. The results indicate that at least 152 road segments are susceptible to landslides, which could cause indirect economic losses exceeding £35 k for each day of closure. In addition, previous estimates for historic landslide events might be significant underestimates. For example, the estimated losses for the 2007 A83 'Rest and Be Thankful' landslide are £80 k day−1, totalling £1.2 million over a 15 day closure, and are ~60% greater than previous estimates. The spatial distribution of impact to road users is communicated in terms of 'extended hazard impact footprints'. These footprints reveal previously unknown exposed communities and unanticipated spatial patterns of severe disruption. Beyond cost-benefit analyses for landslide mitigation efforts, the approach implemented is applicable to other natural hazards (e.g. flooding), combinations of hazards, or even other network disruption events.

Funding

This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number 1401793].

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Environmental Research Letters

Volume

12

Issue

1

Citation

POSTANCE, B. ...et al., 2017. Extending natural hazard impacts: an assessment of landslide disruptions on a national road transportation network. Environmental Research Letters, 12: 014010.

Publisher

© The Authors. Published by the Institute of Physics (IOP)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

22/12/2016

Publication date

2017-01-11

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Institute of Physics under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

1748-9326

Language

en

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