Natural Hazards

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 1631–1659 | Cite as

Natural hazard chain research in China: A review

  • Lifen Xu
  • Xiangwei Meng
  • Xuegong Xu
Review Article


Most catastrophic disasters are triggered by multi-hazards that occur simultaneously or sequentially rather than singly; this can result in more severe consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the occurrence, development, and transformation of hazard chains and comprehend their rules in order to predict secondary hazards. An effective action for reducing potential losses can be taken to block a hazard chain before it expands and transforms. Many studies have been conducted on hazard chains, some of which are of great significance. This article is a comprehensive literature review on hazard chains. First, an introduction to the definition, classification, and recognition of hazard chains is given. Then, some typical researches on mechanical studies of geological hazard chains, meteorological hazard, chains and geological–meteorological hazard chains are presented. On the basis of case studies on hazard chains, the following comprehensive methodologies are summarized: (1) engineering geology methodology, (2) integrated geographical assessment methodology, (3) system dynamics methodology, and (4) methodology of disaster physics. Reconstruction as a part of the disaster process is also reviewed. However, the research presented is still in the beginning stage; neither the mechanics nor the methodology is finalized. Research on hazard chains still has a long way to go.


Hazard chain Definition Classification Recognition Mechanism Methodology 



This paper has been financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) Project (No. 41271102, No. 40830746). Thanks to Dr. Xiaofeng Duan, who gave many useful suggestions and comments to the modification of this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Urban and Environmental Sciences & Laboratory for Earth Surface Process of Ministry of EducationPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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