Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Rudiger Escobar Wolf

Committee Member 1

Luke Bowman

Committee Member 2

Kari Henquinet


Effective disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts depend on comprehensive risk assessments that consider potential hazard events and social vulnerability. The Lake Nyos Disaster (LND) caused the deaths of about 1,700 people, forced another 4,000 people from their homes, and left survivors more vulnerable to future hazards. There is considerable research on the gas hazard and some work on local vulnerability; however studies rarely consider both aspects of disaster risk (DR). This study addresses both the hazard and vulnerability and uses several qualitative and quantitative methods which have never been applied to LND survivor vulnerability or gas hazard. Interviews, participant observation, the Pressure and Release (PAR) and Access models are used to analyze vulnerability. A modified LAHARZ model and GIS mapping are used to categorize the gas hazard. By modeling various gas release scenarios and determining the main factors affecting vulnerability, DR for survivors in the Nyos area is calculated.