Natural hazards

  • Article | | open

    Phyllosilicate minerals are critical components of seismogenic fault, shear and subduction zones. Here, the authors provide a new deformation mechanism for phyllosilicates, based on newly discovered crystallographic defects in biotite (ripplocations), affecting our understanding of fault zone processes.

    • Joe Aslin
    • , Elisabetta Mariani
    • , Karl Dawson
    •  & Michel W. Barsoum
  • Article | | open

    Using seismic data and numerical modelling, here, the authors characterize the three-month period of unrest occurring prior to the 2017 Agung eruption (Bali, Indonesia). They observe a large uplift signal located at ~5 km from Agung summit corresponding to the emplacement of a 10 km deep magma intrusion between Agung edifice and Batur caldera, suggesting a potential magmatic connection between the two volcanic systems.

    • Fabien Albino
    • , Juliet Biggs
    •  & Devy Kamil Syahbana
  • Article | | open

    The continental record of the end Permian mass extinction is limited, especially from high paleolatitudes. Here, Fielding et al. report a multi-proxy Permo-Triassic record from Australia, resolving the timing of local terrestrial plant extinction and the relationship with environmental changes.

    • Christopher R. Fielding
    • , Tracy D. Frank
    • , Stephen McLoughlin
    • , Vivi Vajda
    • , Chris Mays
    • , Allen P. Tevyaw
    • , Arne Winguth
    • , Cornelia Winguth
    • , Robert S. Nicoll
    • , Malcolm Bocking
    •  & James L. Crowley
  • Article | | open

    Tectonic faults weaken during slip in order to accelerate and produce earthquakes. Here the authors show a mechanism for weakening faults through the transformation of quartz to amorphous nanoparticulate wear powders that lubricate friction experiments, and transform back to quartz under geologic conditions.

    • Christie D. Rowe
    • , Kelsey Lamothe
    • , Marieke Rempe
    • , Mark Andrews
    • , Thomas M. Mitchell
    • , Giulio Di Toro
    • , Joseph Clancy White
    •  & Stefano Aretusini
  • Article | | open

    The upper-ocean warming, a consequence of anthropogenic global warming, is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger. Here the author show that global wave power has been increasing and can represent a climate change indicator.

    • Borja G. Reguero
    • , Iñigo J. Losada
    •  & Fernando J. Méndez
  • Article | | open

    Climate extremes, exposure and vulnerability all contribute to global difference in heatwave risk. Here the authors investigated the inequality in global heatwave risk under both 1.5 and 2 °C scenarios and found that heatwave risk for the poor under 1.5 °C scenario exceeds that risk for the rich under 2 °C scenario.

    • Simone Russo
    • , Jana Sillmann
    • , Sebastian Sippel
    • , Monika J. Barcikowska
    • , Claudia Ghisetti
    • , Marek Smid
    •  & Brian O’Neill
  • Article | | open

    There is increasing evidence that the seismicity of large Himalayan earthquakes can be bimodal, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, the authors present a model and show that the bimodal seismicity results from a relatively higher friction and a non-planar geometry of the Himalayan megathrust.

    • Luca Dal Zilio
    • , Ylona van Dinther
    • , Taras Gerya
    •  & Jean-Philippe Avouac
  • Article | | open

    It is unclear whether the gut microbiome can mitigate or exacerbate arsenic toxicity. Here, Coryell et al. show that the human gut microbiome protects mice from arsenic-induced mortality, with protection levels correlating with the relative abundance of the human commensal Faecalibacterium.

    • Michael Coryell
    • , Mark McAlpine
    • , Nicholas V. Pinkham
    • , Timothy R. McDermott
    •  & Seth T. Walk
  • Article | | open

    Permafrost thaw poses a serious threat to the sustainable development of Arctic communities. Here the authors show that most fundamental Arctic infrastructure and population will be at high hazard risk, even if the Paris Agreement target is achieved.

    • Jan Hjort
    • , Olli Karjalainen
    • , Juha Aalto
    • , Sebastian Westermann
    • , Vladimir E. Romanovsky
    • , Frederick E. Nelson
    • , Bernd Etzelmüller
    •  & Miska Luoto
  • Article | | open

    Storm runoff extremes dominate flash flood formation and generation, posing a grand threat to ecosystems and communities across the world. Here the authors show that current projected response of these storm runoff extremes to climate and anthropogenic changes are underestimated.

    • Jiabo Yin
    • , Pierre Gentine
    • , Sha Zhou
    • , Sylvia C. Sullivan
    • , Ren Wang
    • , Yao Zhang
    •  & Shenglian Guo
  • Article | | open

    UNESCO World Heritage located in low-lying coastal areas is increasingly at risk from flooding and erosion due to sea-level rise. This study shows that up to 82% of cultural World Heritage sites located in the Mediterranean will be at risk from coastal flooding and over 93% from coastal erosion by 2100 under high-end sea-level rise.

    • Lena Reimann
    • , Athanasios T. Vafeidis
    • , Sally Brown
    • , Jochen Hinkel
    •  & Richard S. J. Tol
  • Article | | open

    Correlations between prehistoric eruptions and other phenomena depend on accurate dating of the eruption. Here the authors show that magmatic CO2 in groundwater can bias radiocarbon ages for eruptions and that plateaux of carbon isotopic values in tree ring sequences biased by magmatic CO2 foreshadow major eruptions.

    • Richard N. Holdaway
    • , Brendan Duffy
    •  & Ben Kennedy
  • Article | | open

    The structure of turbidity currents has remained unresolved mainly due to lack of observations. Here the authors present data from a high-resolution monitoring array deployed for 18 months over Monterey Bay, that suggests turbidity currents are driven by dense near-bed layers.

    • Charles K. Paull
    • , Peter J. Talling
    • , Katherine L. Maier
    • , Daniel Parsons
    • , Jingping Xu
    • , David W. Caress
    • , Roberto Gwiazda
    • , Eve M. Lundsten
    • , Krystle Anderson
    • , James P. Barry
    • , Mark Chaffey
    • , Tom O’Reilly
    • , Kurt J. Rosenberger
    • , Jenny A. Gales
    • , Brian Kieft
    • , Mary McGann
    • , Steve M. Simmons
    • , Mike McCann
    • , Esther J. Sumner
    • , Michael A. Clare
    •  & Matthieu J. Cartigny
  • Article | | open

    A warmer and drier climate will affect wildfire activity but the climate-fire relationship could change under warming. Here the authors use models with a non-stationary climate-fire relationship to show that to avoid doubling the burned area in the coming decades we must stay below 1.5 °C Paris target.

    • Marco Turco
    • , Juan José Rosa-Cánovas
    • , Joaquín Bedia
    • , Sonia Jerez
    • , Juan Pedro Montávez
    • , Maria Carmen Llasat
    •  & Antonello Provenzale
  • Article | | open

    Current ultraviolet (UV) sensors cannot differentiate between UVA, B and C, each of which has a remarkably different impact on human health. Here the authors show spectrally-selective colorimetric monitoring of ultraviolet radiations by developing a photoelectrochromic ink that consists of a multiredox polyoxometalate and an e donor.

    • Wenyue Zou
    • , Ana González
    • , Deshetti Jampaiah
    • , Rajesh Ramanathan
    • , Mohammad Taha
    • , Sumeet Walia
    • , Sharath Sriram
    • , Madhu Bhaskaran
    • , José M. Dominguez-Vera
    •  & Vipul Bansal
  • Article | | open

    The degree to which small and large earthquakes share the same rupture processes remains unknown. Here, the authors reveal earthquakes of magnitude 3–5 share almost identical growth processes shared, but while they are controlled by some characteristic structures, their final size remains unpredictable.

    • Takashi Okuda
    •  & Satoshi Ide
  • Article | | open

    Creeping serpentinite shear zones may host large earthquakes, but direct evidence of frictional heating and rupture have been missing. Here, the authors demonstrate via laboratory experiments that earthquake ruptures can propagate through serpentinite shear zones shown by high-temperature reaction products.

    • Matthew S. Tarling
    • , Steven A. F. Smith
    • , Cecilia Viti
    •  & James M. Scott
  • Article | | open

    Great megathrust earthquakes arise from the sudden release of strain accumulated during centuries of interseismic plate convergence. Here, the authors reconstruct interseismic strain accumulation since the 1960 Chile earthquake, finding a transient evolution at decadal scale with implications for estimating the probability of future events.

    • Daniel Melnick
    • , Shaoyang Li
    • , Marcos Moreno
    • , Marco Cisternas
    • , Julius Jara-Muñoz
    • , Robert Wesson
    • , Alan Nelson
    • , Juan Carlos Báez
    •  & Zhiguo Deng
  • Article | | open

    Anticrack propagation in snow results from the mixed-mode failure and collapse of a buried weak layer and can lead to slab avalanches. Here, authors reproduce the complex dynamics of anticrack propagation observed in field experiments using a Material Point Method with large strain elastoplasticity.

    • J. Gaume
    • , T. Gast
    • , J. Teran
    • , A. van Herwijnen
    •  & C. Jiang
  • Article | | open

    Earthquakes rarely affect hydrothermal systems in non-magmatic context. Here the authors report outbursts of CO2 and hydrothermal disturbances triggered by the 2015 Nepal earthquake, revealing high sensitivity of Himalayan hydrothermal systems to co-, post- and possibly pre- seismic deformation.

    • Frédéric Girault
    • , Lok Bijaya Adhikari
    • , Christian France-Lanord
    • , Pierre Agrinier
    • , Bharat P. Koirala
    • , Mukunda Bhattarai
    • , Sudhan S. Mahat
    • , Chiara Groppo
    • , Franco Rolfo
    • , Laurent Bollinger
    •  & Frédéric Perrier
  • Review Article | | open

    Eruptive styles at a single volcano may transition from explosive to effusive behaviour (or vice versa) at any given time. This review examines the underlying controls on eruptive styles such as magma viscosity, degassing and conduit geometry at volcanoes with silicic compositions.

    • Mike Cassidy
    • , Michael Manga
    • , Kathy Cashman
    •  & Olivier Bachmann
  • Article | | open

    Societal exposure to large fires has been increasing in recent years and fire forecasting is required for fire management strategies. Here the authors use seasonal climate models to provide skilful predictions of global fire activity.

    • Marco Turco
    • , Sonia Jerez
    • , Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes
    • , Amir AghaKouchak
    • , Maria Carmen Llasat
    •  & Antonello Provenzale
  • Article | | open

    Volatile contents in melt inclusions can be used to unravel magma migration and degassing. Here, the authors use olivine chronometry and melt inclusion data from the 2008 Llaima eruption and find that magma intrusion occurred 4 years before the eruption and reached a depth of 3–4 km, 6 months before the eruption.

    • Dawn C. S. Ruth
    • , Fidel Costa
    • , Caroline Bouvet de Maisonneuve
    • , Luis Franco
    • , Joaquin A. Cortés
    •  & Eliza S. Calder
  • Article | | open

    Giant submarine gravity flows are a key mechanism in global sediment transport, yet their properties remain enigmatic. Here, the authors reconstruct the properties of a historic giant submarine gravity flow from deposits across the seafloor.

    • Christopher John Stevenson
    • , Peter Feldens
    • , Aggeliki Georgiopoulou
    • , Mischa Schӧnke
    • , Sebastian Krastel
    • , David J. W. Piper
    • , Katja Lindhorst
    •  & David Mosher
  • Article | | open

    Changes in the sea-level annual cycle have a profound effect on the coast, yet little is known about their drivers. Here the authors show a considerable variability in the amplitude of the cycle along the United States Gulf and Southeast coasts and relate it to Atlantic Rossby waves.

    • Francisco M. Calafat
    • , Thomas Wahl
    • , Fredrik Lindsten
    • , Joanne Williams
    •  & Eleanor Frajka-Williams
  • Article | | open

    Imaging the internal structure of faults remains challenging using conventional seismometers. Here, the authors use fibre-optic cables used for telecommunications to obtain strain data and identify faults and volcanic dykes in Iceland and suggest that fibre-optic cables could be used for hazard assessment.

    • Philippe Jousset
    • , Thomas Reinsch
    • , Trond Ryberg
    • , Hanna Blanck
    • , Andy Clarke
    • , Rufat Aghayev
    • , Gylfi P. Hersir
    • , Jan Henninges
    • , Michael Weber
    •  & Charlotte M. Krawczyk
  • Article | | open

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet sits atop an extensional rift system with volcano-like features, yet we do not know if any of these volcanoes are active, because identifying subglacial volcanism remains a challenge. Here, the authors find evidence in helium isotopes that a large volcanic heat source is emanating from beneath the fast-melting Pine Island Ice Glacier.

    • Brice Loose
    • , Alberto C. Naveira Garabato
    • , Peter Schlosser
    • , William J. Jenkins
    • , David Vaughan
    •  & Karen J. Heywood
  • Article | | open

    Extreme sea levels are a flood risk along the world’s coastlines. Here the authors carry out probabilistic projections of extreme sea levels and show that for the present century coastal flood hazards will increase significantly along most of the global coastlines.

    • Michalis I. Vousdoukas
    • , Lorenzo Mentaschi
    • , Evangelos Voukouvalas
    • , Martin Verlaan
    • , Svetlana Jevrejeva
    • , Luke P. Jackson
    •  & Luc Feyen
  • Article | | open

    Coral reefs provide significant coastal protection from storms but they have experienced significant losses. Here the authors show that the annual damages from flooding would double globally without reefs and they quantify where reefs provide the most protection to people and property.

    • Michael W. Beck
    • , Iñigo J. Losada
    • , Pelayo Menéndez
    • , Borja G. Reguero
    • , Pedro Díaz-Simal
    •  & Felipe Fernández
  • Article | | open

    Flooding may cause loss of life and economic damage, therefore temporal changes need assessment. Here, the authors show that since 1870 there has been an increase in area inundated by floods in Europe, but a reduction in fatalities and economic losses, although caution that smaller floods remain underreported.

    • Dominik Paprotny
    • , Antonia Sebastian
    • , Oswaldo Morales-Nápoles
    •  & Sebastiaan N. Jonkman
  • Article | | open

    Shallow magmatic feeder systems in monogenetic volcanic fields may determine how a volcano erupts. Here, the authors use numerical modeling to show that explosive excavation and infilling of eruptive craters affects local stress states, with feedbacks controlling sites and depths of crater-forming explosions.

    • Nicolas Le Corvec
    • , James D. Muirhead
    •  & James D. L. White
  • Article | | open

    Accumulation of interseismic strain may now be constrained by satellite observations. Here, the authors show that strain accumulation rates on the North Anatolian Fault are constant for the interseismic period indicating that lower-crustal viscosities from postseismic studies are not representative.

    • Ekbal Hussain
    • , Tim J. Wright
    • , Richard J. Walters
    • , David P. S. Bekaert
    • , Ryan Lloyd
    •  & Andrew Hooper
  • Article | | open

    Marine heatwaves are climatic extremes with devastating and long-term impacts on marine ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture. Here the authors use a range of ocean temperature observations to identify significant increases in marine heatwaves over the past century.

    • Eric C. J. Oliver
    • , Markus G. Donat
    • , Michael T. Burrows
    • , Pippa J. Moore
    • , Dan A. Smale
    • , Lisa V. Alexander
    • , Jessica A. Benthuysen
    • , Ming Feng
    • , Alex Sen Gupta
    • , Alistair J. Hobday
    • , Neil J. Holbrook
    • , Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
    • , Hillary A. Scannell
    • , Sandra C. Straub
    •  & Thomas Wernberg
  • Article | | open

    Wildland fire seasons in the United States are getting longer, yet the impacts of fire on water availability at the regional scale are unclear. Here the authors show that fire increased annual river flow throughout the West, while prescribed burns in the subtropical Southeast had limited impact on river flow.

    • Dennis W. Hallema
    • , Ge Sun
    • , Peter V. Caldwell
    • , Steven P. Norman
    • , Erika C. Cohen
    • , Yongqiang Liu
    • , Kevin D. Bladon
    •  & Steven G. McNulty
  • Article | | open

    Earthquakes generated from the Nankai Trough have caused much devastation over the years. Here, the authors present a b-value map for the Nankai Trough zone, where the Eastern part of the trough has lower b-values than the West, which may help to explain why the Eastern part tends to rupture first.

    • K. Z. Nanjo
    •  & A. Yoshida
  • Article | | open

    Volatiles such as water play a key role in magma ascent and ultimately triggering explosive eruptions. Here, the authors show that water-rich melts with water concentrations of 6–9 wt.% can ascend rapidly to the surface over the timescales of hours to days with very short warning times.

    • M. Petrelli
    • , K. El Omari
    • , L. Spina
    • , Y. Le Guer
    • , G. La Spina
    •  & D. Perugini
  • Article | | open

    Thermal triggering of rock exfoliation has long been discounted as relevant to the evolution of rock domes. Here, the authors documented and measured recent fracturing events in California, USA to show that hot summer periods can lead to thermal stresses and cause seemingly spontaneous rock exfoliation.

    • Brian D. Collins
    • , Greg M. Stock
    • , Martha-Cary Eppes
    • , Scott W. Lewis
    • , Skye C. Corbett
    •  & Joel B. Smith
  • Article | | open

    There is a strong correlation between submarine slope failures and the occurrence of gas hydrates. Here, the authors use a combination of seismic data and numerical modelling to show that overpressure at the gas hydrate stability zone leads to potential destabilization of the slope and submarine landslides.

    • Judith Elger
    • , Christian Berndt
    • , Lars Rüpke
    • , Sebastian Krastel
    • , Felix Gross
    •  & Wolfram H. Geissler
  • Article | | open

    Gas hydrates are maintained via a balance of temperature and pressure, if this changes then destabilization may occur. Here, the authors show instead that due to recent changes in the salinity of the sea water of the Black Sea, gas hydrates may become destabilized with widespread methane seepage.

    • Vincent Riboulot
    • , Stephan Ker
    • , Nabil Sultan
    • , Yannick Thomas
    • , Bruno Marsset
    • , Carla Scalabrin
    • , Livio Ruffine
    • , Cédric Boulart
    •  & Gabriel Ion
  • Article | | open

    Earthquakes frequently occur in the brittle-ductile transition near the base of the seismogenic zone. Using shear experiments on calcite faults, here the authors show that microscale cavitation plays a role in controlling the brittle-ductile transition, and in nucleating earthquakes at the base of the seismogenic zone.

    • Berend A. Verberne
    • , Jianye Chen
    • , André R. Niemeijer
    • , Johannes H. P. de Bresser
    • , Gillian M. Pennock
    • , Martyn R. Drury
    •  & Christopher J. Spiers
  • Article | | open

    Tropical cyclone intensity is commonly measured by both central pressure and maximum wind speed, yet the physical relationship between the two is not understood. Here the authors show that the central pressure is an intensity measure that depends on maximum wind speed and the product of storm size and background rotation rate.

    • Daniel R. Chavas
    • , Kevin A. Reed
    •  & John A. Knaff
  • Article | | open

    The degree to which human societies have responded to past climatic changes remains unclear. Here, using a novel combination of approaches, the authors show how volcanically-induced suppression of Nile summer flooding led to societal unrest in Ptolemaic Egypt (305–30 BCE).

    • Joseph G. Manning
    • , Francis Ludlow
    • , Alexander R. Stine
    • , William R. Boos
    • , Michael Sigl
    •  & Jennifer R. Marlon
  • Article | | open

    El Niño tends to follow 2 years after volcanic eruptions, but the physical mechanism behind this phenomenon is unclear. Here the authors use model simulations to show that a Pinatubo-like eruption cools tropical Africa and drives westerly wind anomalies in the Pacific favouring an El Niño response.

    • Myriam Khodri
    • , Takeshi Izumo
    • , Jérôme Vialard
    • , Serge Janicot
    • , Christophe Cassou
    • , Matthieu Lengaigne
    • , Juliette Mignot
    • , Guillaume Gastineau
    • , Eric Guilyardi
    • , Nicolas Lebas
    • , Alan Robock
    •  & Michael J. McPhaden
  • Article | | open

    Although the mass end-Permian extinction is linked to large igneous provinces, its trigger remains unclear. Here, the authors propose that the abrupt change from flood lavas to sills resulted in the heating of sediments and led to the release of large-scale greenhouse gases to drive the end-Permian extinction.

    • S. D. Burgess
    • , J. D. Muirhead
    •  & S. A. Bowring
  • Article | | open

    Tsunamis can be an extremely hazardous event, but understanding their occurrence through past records remains challenging. Here, the authors document tsunami occurrence from a 7,400 year old record of tsunami deposits in a cave in Indonesia, helping us to reconstruct the frequency of earthquakes in the region.

    • Charles M. Rubin
    • , Benjamin P. Horton
    • , Kerry Sieh
    • , Jessica E. Pilarczyk
    • , Patrick Daly
    • , Nazli Ismail
    •  & Andrew C. Parnell
  • Article | | open

    During subduction water is transported into the mantle, but constraining its release remains challenging. Here, using seismic tomography of the Lesser Antilles arc, the authors track the multistage dehydration of the slab and its lateral variations associated with heterogeneous slab composition.

    • Michele Paulatto
    • , Mireille Laigle
    • , Audrey Galve
    • , Philippe Charvis
    • , Martine Sapin
    • , Gaye Bayrakci
    • , Mikael Evain
    •  & Heidrun Kopp
  • Article | | open

    Uncertainties in contemporary extreme sea levels (ESL) from mean sea level rise (SLR) projections have been overlooked in broad-scale risk and adaptation studies. Here, the authors quantify the uncertainties in present-day global ESL estimates and find that they exceed those from global SLR projections.

    • T. Wahl
    • , I. D. Haigh
    • , R. J. Nicholls
    • , A. Arns
    • , S. Dangendorf
    • , J. Hinkel
    •  & A. B. A. Slangen