NH Natural Hazards Division on Natural Hazards

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European Geosciences Union

Division on Natural Hazards
nh.egu.eu

Division on Natural Hazards

President: Ira Didenkulova (nh@egu.eu)
Deputy President: Paolo Tarolli (paolo.tarolli@unipd.it)

The Natural Hazards (NH) Division of the EGU covers all the geological and geophysical processes that can be hazardous and can produce damage to the environment and to the society. Therefore it is a place where scientists and researchers of various geo-disciplines meet with sociologists, economists and people responsible for territorial and urban defense and planning policies. The aim is to improve the understanding of the evolution of the processes and to discuss new technologies, methods and strategies to mitigate their disastrous effects. The Division is structured in nine Subdivisions covering specific hazards. Of these seven are listed here: hydro-meteorological, volcanic, landslide, earthquake-, sea and ocean, remote sensing and hazards, wildfire hazards. The eighth Subdivision covers biological and environmental hazards and in addition hazards not included in the previous ones. The ninth (natural hazards and society) focuses on the social aspects of the hazards, including development sustainability, emergency, warning, after-disaster resilience, etc. Most of the topics that are treated in the NH Division are also treated in other EGU Divisions, which is expected due to the intrinsic transversal nature of the NH Division. For example, earthquakes are the main interest of the Seismology Division, but they are also of interest here where the chief topics are, among others, how to evaluate vulnerability and risk, how to reduce the  impact on human lives and society, how geo-scientists can contribute to a prompt recovery of a community affected by disasters.

The NH Division is one the historical Divisions of the EGU that was established since when EGU was founded and has been and is one of the largest divisions to which many geo-scientists provide steadily contributions of papers and ideas over the years.

As for all EGU Divisions, an Early Career Scientist Award is established also for the NH Division and is given to young researchers who obtain outstanding results in the assessment and mitigation of natural hazard adopting a multidisciplinary approach. In addition, the NH Division awards the Plinius Medal devoted since 2012 to mid-career researchers and the Soloviev Medal for scientists who give outstanding contributions in fundamental aspects of research on natural hazards.

Recent awardees

Claire J. Horwell

Claire J. Horwell

  • 2020
  • Plinius Medal

The 2020 Plinius Medal is awarded to Claire J. Horwell for her outstanding interdisciplinary research on the respiratory health implications of volcanic aerosols, including ash, minerals and liquid droplets.


John J. Clague

John J. Clague

  • 2020
  • Sergey Soloviev Medal

The 2020 Sergey Soloviev Medal is awarded to John J. Clague for his remarkable scientific contributions in fundamental and applied research on earthquakes, tsunamis, outburst floods and landslides, directed towards risk reduction for the benefit of societies.


Vitor Silva

Vitor Silva

  • 2020
  • Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award

The 2020 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Vitor Silva for his fundamental contributions to the research on earthquake risk assessment.


Kyoji Sassa

Kyoji Sassa

  • 2019
  • Sergey Soloviev Medal

The 2019 Sergey Soloviev Medal is awarded to Kyoji Sassa for outstanding scientific contributions in fundamental research in landslide hazards and in landslide risk-reduction initiatives for the benefit of societies.


Philip J. Ward

Philip J. Ward

  • 2019
  • Plinius Medal

The 2019 Plinius Medal is awarded to Philip J. Ward for outstanding research on flood and drought risk assessments from global to local scales.


Jadranka Šepić

Jadranka Šepić

  • 2019
  • Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award

The 2019 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Jadranka Šepić for fundamental contributions to the research on meteorological tsunamis and high-frequency sea level oscillations.


Alexandra Urgilez Vinueza

Alexandra Urgilez Vinueza

  • 2019
  • Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award

The 2019 Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award is awarded to Alexandra Urgilez Vinueza The occurrence of Landslides in Guarumales, Ecuador


Ina Teutsch

Ina Teutsch

  • 2019
  • Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award

The 2019 Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award is awarded to Ina Teutsch Rogue Waves in the Southern North Sea


Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar

  • 2019
  • Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award

The 2019 Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award is awarded to Rahul Kumar Urban interactions with heatwaves in India


Ricarda Gatter

Ricarda Gatter

  • 2019
  • Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award

The 2019 Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award is awarded to Ricarda Gatter The significance of weak layers for submarine slope failure

Latest posts from the NH blog

Faults and earthquakes as friends and not foes

Faults and earthquakes as friends and not foes

The earthquake occurrence on the planet Earth is largely considered synonymous with disasters and people generally perceive geological faults as a threat to life and belongings. However, there are exceptions since a small community of earthquake researchers relate the occurrence of earthquakes with the lithospheric plate interactions where movement on faults causes earthquakes. Therefore, my motivation is to explore the world of faulting on Earth and convince you that faults are our friends. Faults are pathways to release the stress …


In between Natural Hazards and Heritage, interview to Maria Bostenaru

In between Natural Hazards and Heritage, interview to Maria Bostenaru

In today’s interview, we talk with Dr Maria Bostenaru. Maria is an architect with a research interest in the complex relationship between urban areas, natural hazards, and heritage. She tells us how she thinks that involving more humanities, which include, for example, the study of languages, literature, archaeology, together with information technology solutions may result in new important advances in her field of research. Moreover, she provides some useful tips on editing and authoring books. Hi Maria, can you briefly …


DE BELLO VULCANICO 40-year scientific effort of ‘predicting the unpredictable’ since the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens

DE BELLO VULCANICO 40-year scientific effort of ‘predicting the unpredictable’ since the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens

Volcanoes arouse emotions in the soul of men: at the same time, they are fascinating and frighten the population that lives on their slopes when they erupt (Fig. 1). Volcanoes can strike without warning and wreak horrific destruction and death. As such, in the ancient time, volcanoes discharging explosive eruptions have been interpreted as the wrath of gods that destroys and annihilates all around. The fourth book of the Epigrams by the Latin poet Marcus Valerius Martial offers a heartbreaking …


Mount Saint Helens 40 years later – May 18, 1980: for everything to stay the same, everything must change

Mount Saint Helens 40 years later – May 18, 1980: for everything to stay the same, everything must change

Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it! Just a few words radioed by volcanologist David ‘Dave’ Johnston on May 18, 1980, to USGS headquarter in Vancouver, Washington State. It was 8:32 a.m., and a few hours later he lost his life during the (in)famous Mount St Helens eruption. That day, exactly forty years ago, the eruption of Mount St. Helen upset the world. It all started with a collapse on the northern flank of the volcano producing the largest landslide in world …

Current issue of the EGU newsletter

Thursday 30 July marks the centennial of the birth of Marie Tharp, a pioneering geologist and cartographer whose groundbreaking scientific contributions played a key role in the eventual acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics. Tharp is best known for her detailed seafloor maps that revealed a wealth of previously unknown features, including seamounts, trenches, transform faults, and most notably, the mid-ocean ridge system.

Tharp’s story is all the more compelling due to the adversity she overcame during her career—much of it related to her gender. Because Tharp didn’t always receive credit for her work, her contributions were initially overlooked. Fortunately, Hali Felt, the author of Tharp’s biography, and others have helped correct the record. “Marie wouldn’t have chosen to experience the gender discrimination that told her the humanities were a “better fit” and forced her to work in an office rather than the field,” says Felt in a recent EGU blog, “but the result was that she found her calling closer to home, and mapped 70 percent of the Earth’s surface in the process.”

This month, EGU is celebrating Tharp’s achievements, and those of all women geoscientists, through a series of posts, including one by the Tectonics and Structural Geology Division that revisits her legacy and its importance for laying the foundations of modern geology. EGU also spoke with six researchers working in the fields of ocean science, tectonics, and mapping to ask them what Marie Tharp’s work means to them personally, as well as to the future of ocean science and tectonic research. “Her life story is a burning, guiding light for me,” says marine geographer Dawn Wright.

We hope these articles will inspire all EGU members to help one another overcome whatever adversity we face. Tharp “succeeded in building a career that she loved, and was proud of,” says structural geologist Lucia Perez Diaz. “As a woman in science, I can’t imagine a better dream to work towards.”

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