Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 426/427: Natural Hazards and their Mitigation (4)

Prerequisites (Desirable): All EES 300 level courses

Learning Objectives:

As a result of lithospheric plate interactions, the energy is released in the form of earthquakes of different magnitudes and volcanism which constitute significant natural hazards. Further there are other natural hazards which result from disturbances in the climate system such as tropical cyclones and tsunamis. Students will be provided an opportunity to gain insights into the natural mechanisms causing these hazards besides, being exposed to other aspects such as droughts, flooding and landslides in the Himalaya and peninsular India.

Course Contents:

Understanding hazards, disaster, risk, vulnerability; Overlap of human population and natural hazards; Mitigation and management; Institutional frameworks for disaster mitigation in India.

Causes of earthquakes; Geodesy; Seismotectonics and Stable Continental Region (SCR) seismicity; Quantification of earthquakes; Seismometer design; Early warning systems; Earthquake preparedness; Strong motion seismometers and building codes; Centralized hazard mitigation; Case studies (Gurkha, Bhuj, Latur, Jabalpur).

Tectonic environments and types of eruptions; Products of volcanic eruptions; Volcano monitoring (seismicity, gases, and crustal deformation); How do contrasting eruptive styles effect societies differently; Monitoring the spread of volcanic ash; Mitigating volcanic hazards; Case studies (Iceland, Barren Island).

Tropical Cyclones and Severe Weather:
Global overview of extreme weather events; Tropical cyclones and their life cycle; Surface and upper air structure; Pressure, temperature, wind, humidity, and cloud fields; Energy aspects, formation of tropical storms, theories of formation, frequency, intensification and movement of tropical storms; Tropical atmosphere as a hurricane incubator; Thunderstorms; Forecasting tropical cyclones; Early warning and preparedness of Cyclones; Cloudbursts and extreme rainfall events; Case studies (Phailin, Hudhud, Ladakh).

Physical characteristics of tsunamis and tsunami-related terminology; Historic - oral and written records of tsunamis and earthquakes; Causes and prediction; Tsunami warning system (INCOIS) – Ocean bottom sensors; Tsunami modeling; Paleotsunamis; Case studies.

Landslides and other Downslope Movements:
Terminology and classification; rock falls; debris flows; shallow landslides; Stress conditions of unstable slopes; Slow rock slope creep, rapid rock slope failure; Causes of landslides, landslide monitoring using satellite remote sensing techniques, susceptibility and hazard mapping, risk assessment; Impact of climate change; Avalanche control measures; Localized hazard mitigation; Case studies.

Rivers and Flooding:
Types of floods; Geography of floods in India; Flood control – levee systems and embankments; Flood risk assessment, warning, preparedness, and mitigation; Water logging; Annual floods in India; Case studies (Kedarnath 2013, Kosi 2008, Indus 2010).

Causes of droughts; Agricultural droughts; Hydrological droughts; Case Studies.

Disaster Management - Policy and Economics Issues:
Legislative framework in India; Assessment of economic repercussions, risk assessment, and insurance.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Hyndman, D., and Hyndman, D., 2014, Natural Hazards and Disasters (4th Edition), Cengage Learning.
  2. Keller, E. A., and DeVecchio, D. E., 2012, Natural Hazards; Earth’s Processes as Hazards, Disasters, and Catastrophes (3rd Edition), Pearson Prentice Hall.
  3. Kapur, A., 2010, Vulnerable India – A Geographical Study of Disasters, SAGE Publications.
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