A methodology for the spatiotemporal identification of compound hazards: Wind and precipitation extremes in Great Britain (1979-2019)

Aloïs Tilloy*, Bruce D. Malamud, Amélie Joly-Laugel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Compound hazards refer to two or more different natural hazards occurring over the same time period and spatial area. Compound hazards can operate on different spatial and temporal scales than their component single hazards. This article proposes a definition of compound hazards in space and time, presents a methodology for the spatiotemporal identification of compound hazards (SI-CH), and compiles two compound-hazard-related open-Access databases for extreme precipitation and wind in Great Britain over a 40-year period. The SI-CH methodology is applied to hourly precipitation and wind gust values for 1979-2019 from climate reanalysis (ERA5) within a region including Great Britain and the British Channel. Extreme values (above the 99ĝ€¯% quantile) of precipitation and wind gust are clustered with the Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (DBSCAN) algorithm, creating clusters for precipitation and wind gusts. Compound hazard clusters that correspond to the spatial overlap of single hazard clusters during the aggregated duration of the two hazards are then identified. We compile these clusters into a detailed and comprehensive ERA5 Hazard Clusters Database 1979-2019 (given in the Supplement), which consists of 18ĝ€¯086 precipitation clusters, 6190 wind clusters, and 4555 compound hazard clusters for 1979-2019 in Great Britain. The methodology's ability to identify extreme precipitation and wind events is assessed with a catalogue of 157 significant events (96 extreme precipitation and 61 extreme wind events) in Great Britain over the period 1979-2019 (also given in the Supplement). We find good agreement between the SI-CH outputs and the catalogue with an overall hit rate (ratio between the number of joint events and the total number of events) of 93.7ĝ€¯%. The spatial variation of hazard intensity within wind, precipitation, and compound hazard clusters is then visualised and analysed. The study finds that the SI-CH approach (given as R code in the Supplement) can accurately identify single and compound hazard events and represent spatial and temporal properties of these events. We find that compound wind and precipitation extremes, despite occurring on smaller scales than single extremes, can occur on large scales in Great Britain with a decreasing spatial scale when the combined intensity of the hazards increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1020
Number of pages28
JournalEarth System Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022


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