Spatio-temporal modelling of hydro-meteorological derived risk using a Bayesian approach: a case study in Venezuela

D. E. Villalta, L. Bravo de Guenni, A. M. Sajo-Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extreme environmental events have considerable impacts on society.Preparation to mitigate or forecast accurately these events is a growing concern for governments. In this regard, policy and decision makers require accurate tools for risk estimation in order to take informed decisions. This work proposes a Bayesian framework for a unified treatment and statistical modeling of the main components of risk: hazard, vulnerability and exposure. Risk is defined as the expected economic loss or population affected as a consequence of a hazard event. The vulnerability is interpreted as the loss experienced by an exposed population due to hazard events. The framework combines data of different spatial and temporal supports. It produces a sequence of temporal risk maps for the domain of interest including a measure of uncertainty for the hazard and vulnerability. In particular, the considered hazard (rainfall) is interpolated from point-based measured rainfall data using a hierarchical spatio-temporal Kriging model, whose parameters are estimated using the Bayesian paradigm. Vulnerability is modeled using zero-inflated distributions with parameters dependent on climatic variables at local and large scales. Exposure is defined as the total population settled in the spatial domain and is interpolated using census data. The proposed methodology was applied to the Vargas state of Venezuela to map the spatio-temporal risk for the period 1970–2006. The framework highlights both high and low risk areas given extreme rainfall events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-529
Number of pages17
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Environment risk
  • Extreme events
  • Hazard
  • Rainfall
  • Risk mapping
  • Vulnerability function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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