Does the Pareto Distribution of Hurricane Damage Inherit its Fat Tail from a Zipf Distribution of Assets at Hazard?
Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
Hugh E. Willoughby
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Pareto, Zipf, Damage, Hurricane, Tropical Cyclone, Catastrophe Model, Normalized Damage, Hazard, Inventory, Vulnerability, Loss
Date of Defense
Tropical Cyclones are a continuing threat to life and property. Willoughby (2012) found that a Pareto (power-law) cumulative distribution fitted to the most damaging 10% of US hurricane seasons fit their impacts well. Here, we find that damage follows a Pareto distribution because the assets at hazard follow a Zipf distribution, which can be thought of as a Pareto distribution with exponent 1. The Z-CAT model is an idealized hurricane catastrophe model that represents a coastline where populated places with Zipf- distributed assets are randomly scattered and damaged by virtual hurricanes with sizes and intensities generated through a Monte-Carlo process. Results produce realistic Pareto exponents. The ability of the Z-CAT model to simulate different climate scenarios allowed testing of sensitivities to Maximum Potential Intensity, landfall rates and building structure vulnerability. The Z-CAT model results demonstrate that a statistical significant difference in damage is found when only changes in the parameters create a doubling of damage.
Hernandez, Javiera I., "Does the Pareto Distribution of Hurricane Damage Inherit its Fat Tail from a Zipf Distribution of Assets at Hazard?" (2014). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1488.
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