Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Novel tools to evaluate the effects of natural hazards on transport infrastructure

An EU initiative introduced several tools to assess the risks of natural disasters on road and rail networks.
Novel tools to evaluate the effects of natural hazards on transport infrastructure
When a natural disaster strikes, European transport networks need to be more resilient in order to withstand or minimise the impact. New ways are also needed to measure the associated consequences for roads and railways.

The EU-funded INFRARISK (Novel indicators for identifying critical infrastructure at risk from natural hazards) project introduced methodologies and support tools for European infrastructure managers and owners to analyse the potential impacts of extreme natural hazard events. These solutions will also assist in the decision-making process for the protection of critical infrastructure (CI).

To develop reliable stress tests for critical European road and rail infrastructure, project partners proposed a framework that can be used to perform such assessments for distributed road and rail networks. It can evaluate the potential losses associated with the occurrence of low-probability, high-consequence hazard scenarios concerning impacts on road and rail transport infrastructure. They devised a methodology to support the framework’s implementation.

The INFRARISK team developed an online decision-support tool that assesses potential cascading risks from natural hazards to CI. It hosts databases with supporting scenario simulations for natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and their likelihood of occurrence in relation to CI.

Researchers created an integrated approach to risk assessment that considers the interdependence between infrastructure networks. They also set up an online database enabling users to upload and perform queries on data involving historical failures of CI.

Numerous dissemination materials were produced and events held. These include videos, educational products, policy briefs, fact sheets, a dedicated sample training course for infrastructure owners/managers and a final conference.

INFRARISK’s new stress test approaches will improve prevention and preparedness. Such optimal stress testing methods should ultimately contribute to the protection of European CI.

Related information

Keywords

Natural hazards, transport infrastructure, INFRARISK, critical infrastructure, stress test
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