Title: Remote Sensing Derived Built-Up Area and Population Density to Quantify Global Exposure to Five Natural Hazards over Time
Authors: EHRLICH DANIELEMELCHIORRI MICHELEFLORCZYK ANETAPESARESI MARTINOKEMPER THOMASCORBAN CHRISTINACARNEIRO FREIRE SERGIO MANUELSCHIAVINA MARCELLOSIRAGUSA ALICE
Citation: REMOTE SENSING vol. 10 no. 9 p. 1378
Publisher: MDPI AG
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC112985
ISSN: 2072-4292 (online)
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/10/9/1378
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC112985
DOI: 10.3390/rs10091378
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Exposure is reported to be the biggest determinant of disaster risk, it is continuously growing and by monitoring and understanding its variations over time it is possible to address disaster risk reduction, also at the global level. This work uses Earth observation image archives to derive information on human settlements that are used to quantify exposure to five natural hazards. This paper first summarizes the procedure used within the global human settlement layer (GHSL) project to extract global built-up area from 40 year deep Landsat image archive and the procedure to derive global population density by disaggregating population census data over built-up area. Then it combines the global built-up area and the global population density data with five global hazard maps to produce global layers of built-up area and population exposure to each single hazard for the epochs 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2015 to assess changes in exposure to each hazard over 40 years. Results show that more than 35% of the global population in 2015 was potentially exposed to earthquakes (with a return period of 475 years); one billion people are potentially exposed to floods (with a return period of 100 years). In light of the expansion of settlements over time and the changing nature of meteorological and climatological hazards, a repeated acquisition of human settlement information through remote sensing and other data sources is required to update exposure and risk maps, and to better understand disaster risk and define appropriate disaster risk reduction strategies as well as risk management practices. Regular updates and refined spatial information on human settlements are foreseen in the near future with the Copernicus Sentinel Earth observation constellation that will measure the evolving nature of exposure to hazards. These improvements will contribute to more detailed and data-driven understanding of disaster risk as advocated by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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