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ORIGINAL RESEARCH article

Front. Earth Sci. | doi: 10.3389/feart.2021.645945

Integrative Post-Event Impact Assessment Framework for volcanic eruptions: a disaster forensic investigation of the 2011-2012 eruption of the Cord´on Caulle volcano (Chile) Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Italy
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, sezione di Bologna, Italy

Understanding the complexity of future volcanic impacts that can be potentially induced by the large variability of volcanic hazards and the multiple dimensions of vulnerability of the increasingly interdependent and interconnected societies, requires an in-depth analysis of past events. A structured and inclusive post-event impact assessment framework is proposed and applied for the evaluation of damages and disruptions on critical infrastructures provoked by the eruption of the Cord´on Caulle volcano (Chile) in 2011-2012. This framework is built on the forensic analysis of disasters combined with the techniques of the root cause analysis that converge in a bow-tie tool. It consists of a fault tree connected to subsequent event trees to describe the causal order of impacts. Considering the physical and systemic dimensions of vulnerability, four orders of impact have been identified: i) the first order refers to the physical damage or the primary impact on a component of the critical infrastructure; ii) the second order refers to the loss of functionality in the system due to a physical damage on key components of the system; iii) the third order refers to the systemic impact due to the interdependency and connectivity among different critical infrastructures; and iv) a higher order is related to the consequences on the main economic sectors and to social disruption that can activate an overall damage to the economy of the country or countries affected. Our study in the Argentine Patagonia shows that the long-lasting impacts of the 2011-2012 Cord´on Caulle eruption are mostly due to a secondary hazard (i.e., wind remobilisation of ash), which exacerbated the primary impacts affecting significantly larger areas and for longer time with respect to primary tephra deposition. In addition, systemic vulnerability, particularly the intrinsic dependencies within and among systems, played a major role in the cascading impacts of the analysed communities.

Keywords: impact assessment, Volcanic Eruptions, forensic analysis, Systemic vulnerability, Cascading effects, Bow-tie approach

Received: 24 Dec 2020; Accepted: 04 May 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Dominguez, Bonadonna, Frischknecht, Menoni and Garcia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Lucia Dominguez, Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland, lucia.dominguez@unige.ch