Co-Sponsored Event: Coupling Uncertain Geophysical Hazards Workshop: March 24-26, 2019


This workshop was held at the Energy Hall Rooms A-D, James B. Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.


The forecasting of natural hazards, whether earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, or landslides, poses a difficult challenge for earth scientists. Often a cascade of events accompanies a natural disaster — rain weakens the soil on a fire-scorched hillside, which gives way causing a large landslide, killing people and damaging property. Models of the principal disaster, the landslide, have many inputs, most of which are uncertain and many of which are affected by rain and fire. The trigger for the landslide is a problem of soil stability, which is then coupled with a mass flow model, in order to predict the regions at risk.

Scientists are beginning to understand the propagation of uncertainty through mathematical models, to enable predictions of the likely outputs given the uncertainty of inputs. More challenging is the propagation of uncertainty through coupled models. Outputs of the first model are usually not directly related to the inputs of the second model — so how does one effect the coupling? How do the assumptions and uncertainties of the first model propagate through to outputs of the second? Although coupling has been recognized as an important issue in quantifying uncertainty, the analysis of coupled models has only very recently been the subject of mathematical and statistical study.

Earth scientists, applied and computational mathematicians, and statisticians were invited to meet to examine modeling of coupled hazards, to identify the primary challenges in making predictions, and to devise effective strategies to advance methodologies for tackling these complex problems. There was an examination of the physics of the dominate geophysical process such as mudslides, landslides, avalanches, volcanic mass flow events and airborne ash clouds, and their attendant uncertainties. Researchers examined and applied new statistical methodologies to potentially show promise for the efficient coupling of hazards.

Keynote Lecture

Gavin Smith, Professor of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, NCSU

Date/Location: March 25, 2019, 5-6pm at the Duke Energy Rooms, James B. Hunt Library, Centennial Campus, N.C. State University

Title: Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning

Presented by: This talk discusses lessons learned from natural hazard experiences that help communities plan for and adapt to climate change. Referencing from more than 260 case studies, Gavin Smith talks about how these lessons are used to examine diverse experiences, from severe storms to sea-level related hazards, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, floods, earthquakes and tsunami, in North America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, Africa and Small Island Developing States.






Confirmed speakers for this event were:

Schedule and Supporting Media

Printed Schedule
Titles and Abstracts
Poster Titles
Keynote Lecture Flyer

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Energy Hall Rooms A-D, James B. Hunt Library, N.C. State University

Description Speaker Slides
Inclined Plane
Data – sources, varieties, models
Finish-up morning, lunch, setup teams
R, Matlab scripts for emulation

Monday, March 25, 2019
Energy Hall Rooms A-D, James B. Hunt Library, N.C. State University

Description Speaker Slides
Welcome/Introduction Mansoor Haider, Associate Director, SAMSI
Challenges to Predicting Hazards and Impacts from Sediment Flows Jeremy Phillips, University of Bristol
Uncertainty Quantification for Calibrating Spatio-temporal Models using Basis Methods Daniel Williamson, University of Exeter
Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) Eruption Forecasting: methods, data, and challenges Sarah Ogburn, USGS-USAID
Quantifying Lava ‘Breakouts’ Colton Conroy, Columbia University
Developing a Consensual Procedure for Validation and Benchmarking of Pyroclastic Density Currents (PDC) Hazard Models Sylvain Charbonnier, University of South Florida
Calibration of Imperfect Mathematical Models by Multiple Sources of Data with Measurement Bias Mengyang Gu, Johns Hopkins University
Coastal Flooding Uncertainty, Attribution, and Communication Taylor Asher, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Geospatial Uncertainty Modeling using Stacked Gaussian Processes Gabriel Terejanu, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Actuarial Risk Measures and the Propagation of Uncertainty for Index-based Insurance Robert Erhardt, Wake Forest University
Keynote Talk: Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning Gavin Smith, N.C. State University
Reception, and Discussion on Hazards, Risk, Communication and Uncertainty

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Energy Hall Rooms A-D, James B. Hunt Library, N.C. State University

Description Speaker Slides
Coupled Lava Flow Hazards: Literally a cascading event! Charles Connor, University of South Florida
Developing 21st-Century Probabilistic Maps of Volcanic Ashfall Hazards from U.S. Volcanoes Larry Mastin, U.S. Geological Survey
How can we Address Uncertainties in Volcanic Hazard Assessment? The Case of Galeras Volcano, Colombia Gustavo Córdoba, University of Nariño
Post-wildfire Debris Flow Hazard Modeling and Associated Sources of Uncertainty Anne Tillery, U.S. Geological Survey
Uncertainties in Coupling a Tsunami Model to Earthquake and Landslide Source Models for the Makran Subduction Zone Serge Guilas, Alan Turing Institute
Coastal Resiliency to Extreme Events in a Changing Climate Tori Tomiczek, U.S. Naval Academy
Coupling Computer Models through Linking their Statistical Emulators Jim Berger, Duke University
Michelle Bensi, University of Maryland
Marcus Bursik, University of Buffalo
Jeremy Phillips, Bristol University (England)
Adjourn and Shuttle to RDU Airport

Questions: email