Utilizing GIS to Enhance Estimation of Risk Associated with Transportation of Hazardous...

Utilizing GIS to Enhance Estimation of Risk Associated with Transportation of Hazardous Materials on Local Roads

Dr. Khalil Al-Joburi
Visting Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Sharjah
Sharjah, UAE

Geographic information systems (GIS) provide unique multi layer data management platforms and significantly enhance analyzing spatial and non-spatial data from multiple sources. GIS provide researchers, planners and managers powerful tools for predicting and consequently managing risk resulting from natural sources or human-related activities. In this article, a comprehensive approach using GIS to identify, map, model and prioritize the zones that are potentially subject to elevated levels of risk of transporting hazardous materials (Hazmat) on local UAE roads is proposed. Road selection for hazmat transportation relies heavily on risk analysis. With risk being generally expressed as a function of probability of release of hazmat and expected consequence, GIS provide ideal tools for analyzing the geographic-specific data needed to assess the associated risk. Risk analysis heavily relies on the availability of statistically reliable data on hazmat incidents and their consequences. Locally, the lack of such data due to assortment of reasons, including systematic underreporting and documentation of such events, presents a major challenge. In this case, comparative risk assessment (CRA) provides a useful tool for assessing the special and temporal variations of risk due to hazmat transport on local roads. In this article, CRA is used to assess the risk associated with hazmat transport within an appropriate GIOS platform.