Epistemic uncertainties and natural hazard risk assessment – Part 2: Different natural hazard areas
Other literature type
Beven, K. J.
Aspinall, W. P.
Bates, P. D.
Phillips, J. C.
Smith, P. J.
Stephenson, D. B.
Wilkins, K. L.
This paper discusses how epistemic uncertainties are considered in
a number of different natural hazard areas including floods,
landslides and debris flows, dam safety, droughts, earthquakes,
tsunamis, volcanic ash clouds and pyroclastic flows, and wind
storms. In each case it is common practice to treat most uncertainties
in the form of aleatory probability distributions but this may lead to
an underestimation of the resulting uncertainties in assessing the
hazard, consequences and risk. It is suggested that such analyses
might be usefully extended by looking at different scenarios of
assumptions about sources of epistemic uncertainty, with a view to
reducing the element of surprise in future hazard occurrences. Since
every analysis is necessarily conditional on the assumptions made
about the nature of sources of epistemic uncertainty it is also
important to follow the guidelines for good practice suggested in the
companion Part 1 by setting out those assumptions in a condition tree.