Methods for Understanding Volcanic Hazards and Risks
|Convener: Sarah Brown | Co-Conveners: Henry Odbert , Joachim Gottsmann , Simona Scollo , Jacopo Selva , Natalia Deligne , Christina Widiwijayanti , Arnau Folch , Danilo Reitano|
Significant advances have been made in observing and understanding volcanoes and how we understand, record and anticipate hazardous behaviour. A key component has been the collation and refinement of large, varied datasets on everything from the monitoring systems in use to the characteristics of eruptions and hazardous phenomena. Efforts are underway worldwide to develop and maintain systematic databases for this, making data easily accessible to all, promoting collaboration and a greater understanding of volcanic systems. Such data are imperative in understanding volcanic unrest and identifying where precursory signals have led to eruption or the creation or exacerbation of existing hazards. Such databases provide an empirical baseline against which we can frame and develop our understanding of the frequency and characteristic of volcanic eruptions, and enable us to assess where there are major gaps in our knowledge, particularly of rarely-documented events. Volcanic unrest is a complex phenomenon leading to the creation of new and exacerbation of existing hazards. The fact that unrest does not necessarily lead to an eruption contributes significant uncertainty to short-term hazard assessment and risk management of volcanic activity world-wide. Better understanding of the physical processes that can generate and modulate unrest episodes is key to our capacity to assess and mitigate volcanic hazards. Laboratory experiments and numerical modelling of volcanic processes provides a route to understanding the conditions that control the distribution of volcanic hazards in space and time. Such experiments, combined with observations from the field, provide constraint on the impact of a potential hazardous scenario. Quantitative Hazard and Risk Analyses are used to estimate the likelihood and impact of volcanic hazards. These kinds of analyses rely on the ability to aggregate and weigh evidence based on empirical, theoretical and observational datasets. In recent decades, a swathe of statistical tools have been applied that enable probabilistic and stochastic quantification of volcanic hazards and their uncertainties.
A key challenge of modern volcanology is to interface our observations and theoretical understanding of volcanic processes with our improved capacity to develop sophisticated statistical and numerical models. Doing so provides a route to rational estimation of hazard forecasts and their associated uncertainties, and thus contributes to improving our capacity to anticipate and mitigate volcanic risk. We welcome contributions reporting advances in volcanic database tools, studies of volcanic unrest, methods in modelling physical volcanic hazards and tools for quantifying forecasts of hazards, risks and their uncertainties.
Invited Speaker: Eliza Calder