New Bass Connections Project: Understanding the Initiation and Transmission of Cascading Hazards

January 6, 2019

Mark Borsuk and Celine Robinson, in collaboration with other researchers in the Duke community, received one of five Bass Connections grants to study Hurricane Florence. Our team will investigate the cascading failures, or the chain of disrupting events, that occurred in North Carolina as a result of the hurricane. This project team will focus on widespread power outages, coal ash spills, hog-waste lagoon overflows, and other large-scale systems failures we encounter.


Using a system dynamics perspective, the team will:

 1. Evaluate the nature and extent of the cascading disasters following Hurricane Florence with a focus on socio-economic factors, environmental justice concerns, and environmental impacts. 

2. Identify methods for anticipating and mitigating future cascades using event trees, causal networks, and other structured risk assessment tools. 

3. Propose policies and regulations that can be used to avoid cascading effects and assess the costs and benefits of such tools. 


To read more about this Bass Connections project and others studying Hurricane Florence, visit the Bass Connections website.