Remote sensing and Earth observations (EOs) are used increasingly in different phases of risk management and in development cooperation, due to the challenges posed by contemporary issues such as climate change, population pressure, and increasingly complex social interactions. EO-based applications have a number of advantages over traditional fieldwork expeditions including safety, the provision a synoptic view of the region of interest, the availability of data extending back several years, and, in many cases, cost savings. Fortunately, the advent of new, more powerful sensors and more finely tuned detection algorithms provides the opportunity to image, assess, and quantify natural hazards, their consequences, and vulnerable regions more comprehensively than ever before.
For these reasons, civil protection organizations, development agencies, and space agencies now permanently use applications of EO data to risk management. During the preparedness and prevention phase, EO has proven invaluable, especially in data-scarce environments, for hazard, vulnerability, and risk mapping. EO data are applicable during both the forecasting and early emergency response phases, thanks to the possibility of rapid mapping and interpretation. EO data are also increasingly being used for planning operations during the recovery phase.
This special issue is dedicated to multidisciplinary contributions in particular focused on the demonstration of the benefit of the use of EO for risk management.
The research presented might focus on
- addressed value of EO data in risk/hazard forecasting models (observation of possible precursory events and evaluation of potential predictive capabilities);
- innovative applications of EO data for rapid mapping;
- innovative applications of EO data for hazard, vulnerability, and risk mapping;
- innovative applications of EO data for the post-disaster recovery phase;
- innovative applications in support of disaster risk reduction strategies (e.g. landscape planning);
- development of tools and platforms for assessment and validation of hazard/risk models.
The use of different types of remote sensing observations (e.g. thermal, visual, radar, laser, and/or the fusion of these) might be considered, with an evaluation of their respective pros and cons. Evaluation of current sensors, data capabilities, and algorithms will be welcomed, as will suggestions for future sensor considerations, algorithm developments, and opportunities for emergency management agency buy-in.
Authors are discouraged from submitting solely engineering papers that do not also deal with remote applications for natural hazard studies.
A note: in 2017, a special issue on the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in monitoring applications and management of natural hazards was published in NHESS (https://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/special_issue859.html
). The authors should be aware that this is not a special issue again on RPAS; the number of papers on this technique will be limited while focusing more on other types of platforms.