Land Surface Hazards Modeling Expo: a two-part series

As the geoscience community confronts the challenges of interpreting and predicting the behavior of hazard cascades on a rapidly changing planet, we seek community input and vision on the formulation and coupling of models that address critical land surface processes. By convening a Modeling Expo in a two-part series, we will galvanize intellectual curiosity and creative thinking on hazard cascades. Most importantly, we invite you to attend and bring your modeling expertise!

Part 1: On May 1 and 2, the CLaSH team hosted a virtual Modeling Expo that featured 8 sessions with each focusing on individual process components of hazard cascades, such as flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and storms. The goals were to promote the awareness and study of hazard cascades, learn about state-of-the-art approaches to process modeling, and identify geoscientists with expertise and interest in our fall 2023 in-person workshop focused on model coupling and integration for risk assessment. The 2-day virtual event was advertised on numerous listservs and over 40 speakers from a wide array of career stages and backgrounds volunteered to present their work. In addition, the session coordinators recruited geoscientists with demonstrated expertise in surface process hazard modeling and the vast majority of those invited were eager to contribute. The speakers were asked to describe their models and implementation from a conceptual standpoint as well as imagine their contribution to coupled hazard cascade simulations. The sessions were composed of several 7-minute talks as well as ample time for discussion and synthesis at the conclusion of each session. CLaSH administrative staff were essential to the planning and execution of the event which enabled the CLaSH team to focus on science content. 

The average attendance over the course of the Expo averaged over 100 and the sessions were recorded in order to encourage additional viewership. During each session, the CLaSH team facilitated questions that were generated by attendees via zoom chat and a google document and the result was a vibrant discussion with the speakers and other attendees. Notably, the Exposure and Risk session featured talks by federal agency social scientists and insurance experts among others and these highlighted the importance of translating surface process hazard modeling into accessible and legible products that can inform regulatory, commercial, and other societal decision-making. In addition, many of the sessions included talks featuring highly innovative modeling frameworks that reflect significant community investment in land surface cascade hazards. 

The CLaSH team is currently planning the in-person Modeling Expo for Fall 2023.

The schedule for the May 1-2, 2023, virtual Modeling Expo is as follows:

Monday, May 1, 2023 (All times Pacific)

  • 8:00-9:00 am: Critical zone and near-surface properties (Seulgi Moon)
    • Seulgi Moon (UCLA) “Prediction of bedrock weathering based on the topographic stress model”
    • Harihar Rajaram (Johns Hopkins), “Advancing Coupled Process Models for Critical Zone Evolution”
    • Mong-Han Huang (U of Maryland) Using near-surface geophysics to constrain moisture and porosity distribution in the critical zones”
    • Miles Reed (U Wisconsin) “Modeling cosmogenic nuclides in transiently evolving topography and chemically weathering soils”
    • Roman Dibiase (Penn State) “Post-fire sediment delivery in steep landscapes

  • 9:00-10:00 am: Geologic forcing (Ben Mason)
    • Kate Allstadt (USGS), “Near-real-time Modeling of Earthquake-triggered Ground Failure”
    • Alex Hatem (USGS), “Fault geometries and activity rates for use in the 2023 update of the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Model
    • Robb Moss (USGS), “Probabilistic Forecasting of Surface Fault Rupture”
    • Erin McEwan (Canterbury), “Coseismic river flooding and avulsion: A new approach for modelling earthquake-induced flood hazards”
    • Theron Finley (Victoria), TBA

  • 10:00-11:00 am: Climate/environmental forcing (Jane Baldwin)
    • Jane Baldwin (UC Irvine), “Climate modeling overview”
    • Amir Aghakouchak (UC Irvine), “Modeling Cascading Hazards”
    • Park Williams (UCLA), “Modeling Forest Fire in the Western United States”
    • Chuxuan Li (Northwestern)  “Augmentation of WRF-Hydro to simulate postfire debris flow susceptibility at regional scales
    • Deanna Nash (UC San Diego), “Modeling Atmospheric Rivers associated with hazards in SE Alaska”

  • 11:00-12:00 pm: Cryosphere processes (Josh West)
    • Ann Rowan (University of Bergen), “Modelling rapid mass loss from debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya and associated hazards”
    • Jaakko Putkonen (North Dakota), “Predicting the future ground instability in Alaska”
    • Xiong (Bill) Yu (Case Western), “Simulation of the Effects of Climate Change and Forest Fire on Permafrost Slope”
    • Madison Douglas (Caltech), “Sediment entrainment and slump blocks limit permafrost riverbank erosion”

 Tuesday, May 2, 2023 

  • 8:00-9:00 am: Hydrology and flood routing (Josh Roering)
    • Paul Bates (Bristol), “Combined modelling of US fluvial, pluvial and coastal flood inundation under current and future climates”
    • Brian Yanites (Indiana), “After the Storm: Increased Flood Hazard Persists for Decades Following the 2009 Typhoon Morakot in Southern Taiwan”
    • Francis Rengers (USGS), “Estimating Post-Fire Debris Flow timing with a Rainfall Runoff Model”
    • Guiseppe Formetta (Trento, Italy), “A three-dimensional hydrological model application for simulating critical zone processes”
    • Lauren Grimley (UNC Chapel Hill), “Modeling tropical cyclone induced flooding using ADCIRC+SFINCS”

  • 9:00-10:30 am: Slope stability and landslide processes (Dimitrios Zekkos)
    • Luke McGuire (University of Arizona), “Process-based modeling of runoff-generated debris flows following fire”
    • Ning Lu (Colorado School of Mines), “A Paradigm for Predicting Rainfall-induced Landslides”
    • Ben Leshchinsky (OSU), “Inverse Analysis of Landslide Inventories to Parameterize Distributed Ground Failure Models”
    • Nick Sitar (UC Berkeley), “Efficient DEM modeling of rock slides and avalanches”
    • Dino Bellugi (UC Berkeley), “A multi-dimensional shallow landslide model coupled to critical zone structures and subsurface hydrology”
    • Dalia Kirschbaum (NASA), “Advancing multi-scale landslide hazard assessment with satellite data and machine learning for stakeholder applications”
    • Katy Barnhart (USGS), “Debris flow and landslide runout simulations for postfire and tsunami hazard assessment”
    • David Milledge (Newcastle, UK), “Improving landslide hazard information through better detection, prediction and communication”
    • Alex Gorr (University of Arizona), “A reduced-complexity model for post-wildfire debris-flow inundation”

  • 10:30-11:15 am:  Sediment transport and dispersal in fluvial systems (Brian Yanites)
    • Jon Czuba (Virginia Tech), “Modeling sediment dynamics in river networks”
    • Colin Phillips (Utah State), “High resolution channel response to flooding, wildfire and debris flows”
    • Jeff Keck (WA DNR), “Mass Wasting Runout: A new tool for assessing landslide hazard and potential sediment delivery to the channel network”
    • Angel Monslave (Idaho), “RiverBedDynamics – A Landlab component for computing two-dimensional sediment transport and river bed evolution”

  • 11:15-12:00 pm: Exposure and risk (Corina Cerovski-Darriau)
    • Alex Dunant (Durham University), “Cascading multi-hazard modelling using graph theory”
    • Nate Wood (USGS), “Modeling societal vulnerability and risk reduction to natural hazards”
    • Jocelyn West (Natural Hazards Center, CU Boulder), “Assessing population exposure to landslide hazards in Puerto Rico”
    • JQ Su (Arbol), “Arbol’s hazard and climate models: a commercial perspective”

Part II: We will host a two-day in-person workshop in early fall 2023 that focuses on identifying future research and integration activities that would be needed to couple process models for advancing hazard cascade predictive capability. 

The product of this two-part series will include a white paper and/or review paper that will help inform our NSF Geohazards Center proposal scheduled for submission in March 2024.  We hope to attract a wide array of disciplinary scientists that bring a suite of new and exciting perspectives on modeling hazard cascades. Currently, our center catalyst is focused on the following generalized hazard cascade systems, although we anticipate revisiting and modifying these during the development of our proposal: 

  1.     Fire-storm-landslide-flood (e.g., Montecito, CA 2018), 
  2.     Climate change-thaw-cryosphere mass wasting-aggradation (e.g., Central Alaska), 
  3.     Earthquake-landslide-storms-damming-outburst floods (e.g., Gorkha EQ, 2015).