ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0042.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: geospatial economic supply; biomass; risk assessment; vulnerability
Online: 4 April 2018 (04:17:33 CEST)
Assessing the economic supply of biomass in a geospatial context while accounting for risk from natural disasters was studied. Risk levels were estimated from a component of factors which included: population density, road density, federal ownership, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ecoregions, and Presidential Disaster Declarations. The Presidential Disaster Declarations included risks due to: coastal storm, drought, fire, flood, freezing, hurricane, mud land slide, severe ices, severe storms, snow, tornado, and tropical storm. Presidential Disaster Declarations included summaries based on a short-term time period from 2000-2011, and on a long-term time period from 1964-2011. Risk categories were developed as a function of the number of disaster declarations, agricultural-to-forest land ratio, average road density, and average population density. A significant contribution of the research was the allocation of spatially explicit data using GIS technology at the 5-digit zip code tabulation area. The average area for 5-digit ZCTAs in the Eastern U.S. study region was approximately 169 kilometers2. Long-term risk (1964-2011) from disaster declarations had a greater impact on the economic availability of biomass supply relative to short-term declarations (2000-2011). The greatest risk to biomass supply came from population density relative to the other risk factors studies. Of the 25,044 total ZCTAs, 12,256 ZCTAs were in locations that did not include population density ≥ 150/km2, road density ≥ 14 km/km2, federal ownership, and US Environmental Protection Agency Level III ecoregions. Of the remaining 12,256 ZCTAs, 26.8% were considered to be moderate-to-high risk based on short-term declarations (2000-2011) and 29.4% were considered to be moderate-to-high risk based on long-term declarations (1964-2011). Lower risk locations for procuring biomass supply for both short-term and long-term declarations, across all risk factors, were in southern Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.