Assessing Volcanic Hazard

Joan Martí Molist

Published online September 2017 | | DOI:

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  • Natural Disasters (Environmental Science)
  • Geology and the Lithosphere
  • Geophysics


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Volcanoes represent complex geological systems capable of generating many dangerous phenomena. To evaluate and manage volcanic risk, we need first to assess volcanic hazard (i.e., identify past volcanic system behavior to infer future behavior. This requires acquisition of all relevant geological and geophysical information, such as stratigraphic studies, geological mapping, sedimentological studies, petrologic studies, and structural studies. All this information is then used to elaborate eruption scenarios and hazard maps. Stratigraphic studies represent the main tool for the reconstruction of past activity of volcanoes over time periods exceeding their historical record. This review presents a systematic approach to volcanic hazard assessment, paying special attention to reconstruction of past eruptive history. It reviews concepts and methods most commonly used in long- and short-term hazard assessment and analyzes how they help address the various serious consequences derived from the occurrence (and nonoccurrence in some crisis alerts) of volcanic eruptions and related phenomena.

Keywords: volcanic hazards; hazard assessment; event tree; scientific communication; risk reduction

Article.  26578 words. 

Subjects: Natural Disasters (Environmental Science) ; Geology and the Lithosphere ; Geophysics

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