Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, and other natural hazards, develop fast, cannot be reliably predicted and may develop into disasters. We aim to better understand and quantify extreme events and their impacts, to support risk analyses and disaster risk reduction. We develop and test models and their uncertainties and develop early warning systems.
Risk results from the superposition (convolution) of hazard and vulnerability. In simplified terms, hazard can be described by the intensity and probability of extreme events, and vulnerability by the exposure and susceptibility of the socio-economic system (social conditions, economy, built environment, etc.) affected by extremes. We aim at understanding the process interactions that may lead to extremes, developing methods for quantifying hazards and risks in a changing environment, and developing technologies for early warning and the provision of fast information immediately before, during or after disasters.
We focus on earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, and related hazards, such as landslides and induced seismicity. An important part of our research is devoted to interactions between different hazards, such as earthquake-triggered landslides. Our research is mainly conducted in Germany and the programme’s observatories in Chile, Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia and in the Indian Ocean region. In most of these regions, several hazards are investigated in parallel, fostering cooperation beyond disciplinary and organisational borders.