Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR)
The Science Application for Risk Reductioon (SAFRR) estimates consequences of natural hazard disaster scenarios as a strategy to increase community resiliency, a community’s ability to cope with the effects of a disaster. SAFRR was initiated in 2006 as Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP) in southern California (website link) but in 2012 the Associate Director of the Natural Hazards Mission Area expanded the scope of the project nationwide under SAFRR. This website offers insight on past, present and future research contributions toward SAFRR projects from the USGS Western Geographic Science Center, as well as information on the researchers themselves.
Visit the SAFRR website.
Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards
The risk of a future natural disaster is a function not only of the hazards but also of the vulnerability of individuals and communities that occupy hazard-prone areas. This project focuses on developing new methods for assessing and communicating community vulnerability to natural hazards. Research includes community vulnerability to tsunamis (Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii), volcanoes (Mount Rainier), hurricane storm surge (Florida) and climate-change-enhanced coastal hazards (Oregon and Washington coast).
Dasymetric Mapping Techniques: GIS-Based Tool & Analysis
Spatial analysis of populated centers is necessary in order to conceptualize urban growth patterns essential for land-use planning and urban-growth modeling and natural hazard mitigation. Cartographic representation of human population distributions and socioeconomic information is commonly displayed using decennial census information using choropleth mapping techniques. However, these data are aggregates of geographic units (census tracts or block groups) whose boundaries do not always reflect the natural distribution of human populations. A dasymetric mapping technique is one potential solution for mapping population density relative to residential land-cover. Dasymetric mapping depicts quantitative areal data using boundaries that divide the area into zones homogenous land use/land cover, with the purpose of uncovering the statistical surface of population density. We have used the dasymetric mapping technique to enhance population representation for multiple areas. The 9-county San Francisco Bay Area was the pilot area for testing data inputs and the associated GIS-tool. The method was then applied to areas in the Pacific Northwest (Clatsop Co., and Clackamas Co., Oregon) for risk and vulnerability studies in the event of natural disasters.
Our objectives are to (1) use land use/land cover data i.e. USGS National Land Cover Datasets for 1992, 2001, and 2006 to classify homogeneous zones of high, low, and non-urban land cover; (2) utilize ancillary datasets such as slope, land ownership, and transportation to exclude uninhabited areas; (3) use our ARCGIS-based tool to automate calculations in order to create a surface grid of population; and (4) visually and statistically represent the newly distributed population-density values for comparison in a temporal framework.
More information, data and tool downloads