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A review of common natural disasters as analogs for asteroid impact effects and cascading hazards

February 7, 2023

Modern civilization has no collective experience with possible wide-ranging effects from a medium-sized asteroid impactor. Currently, modeling efforts that predict initial effects from a meteor impact or airburst provide needed information for initial preparation and evacuation plans, but longer-term cascading hazards are not typically considered. However, more common natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, dust storms, and hurricanes, are likely analogs that can provide the scope and scale of these potential effects. These events, especially the larger events with cascading effects, are key for understanding the scope and complexity of mitigation, relief, and recovery efforts for a medium-sized asteroid impact event. This paper reviews the initial and cascading effects of these natural hazards, describes the state of the art for modeling these hazards, and discusses the relevance of these hazards to expected long-term effects of an asteroid impact. Emergency managers, resource managers and planners, and research scientists involved in mitigation and recovery efforts would likely derive significant benefit from a framework linking multiple hazard models to provide a seamless sequence of related forecasts.

Publication Year 2023
Title A review of common natural disasters as analogs for asteroid impact effects and cascading hazards
DOI 10.1007/s11069-022-05722-z
Authors Timothy N. Titus, D. G. Robertson, Joel B. Sankey, Larry G. Mastin, Francis K. Rengers
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Natural Hazards
Index ID 70240397
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center; Geologic Hazards Science Center; Southwest Biological Science Center; Volcano Science Center