The Vulnerability of the European Air Traffic Network to Spatial Hazards

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  2. Dr Sean Wilkinson
  3. Sarah Dunn
Author(s)Wilkinson SM, Dunn S, Ma S
Publication type Article
JournalNatural Hazards
Year2012
Volume60
Issue3
Pages1027-1036
ISSN (print)0921-030X
ISSN (electronic)1573-0840
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The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjalla volcano had a devastating effect on the European air traffic network (EATN), preventing air travel throughout most of Europe for 6 days (Oroian 2010). The severity of the disruption was surprising as previous research suggests that this type of network should be tolerant to random hazard (Albert et al. 2000; Strogatz 2001). The source of this hazard tolerance lies in the degree distribution of the network which, for many real world networks has been shown to follow a power law (Albert et al. 1999, 2000). In this paper, we demonstrate that the ash cloud was unexpectedly disruptive because it was spatially coherent rather than uniformly random. We analyse the spatial dependence in air traffic networks and demonstrate how, the combination of their geographical distribution and their network architectures jeopardises their inherent hazard tolerance.
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11069-011-9885-6
DOI10.1007/s11069-011-9885-6
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