This dissertation proposes a systemic analysis of catastrophes.
Core concept of the analysis are so-called Catastrophe Archetypes. These archetypes represent generic structures causing catastrophe behaviour that appears again and again in numerous fields. Catastrophe Archetypes are an exploration instrument applicable for basically all catastrophic incidents: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, stock market crashes, recessions, global warming, technical failures, etc. They are independent free-standing devices that can function as diagnostic, planning, and theory building tools in theoretical catastrophe research and practical catastrophe management. Using Catastrophe Archetypes reveals underlying structures, behaviour, and time development of catastrophes. The Catastrophe Archetypes have been developed using System Dynamics modelling, a technique that allows us to analyse complex systems on a qualitative and quantitative level.