Research Topic

Volcanic hazard assessment: rising to the challenges of data and model integration

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About this Research Topic

Volcanoes are complex systems that can produce a wide variety of hazardous phenomena both during and after actual eruptions, including pyroclastic density currents, lava flows, lahars, debris avalanches, ballistic ejecta, ash plumes and ash fall, but also ground shaking from earthquakes, inundation via ...

Volcanoes are complex systems that can produce a wide variety of hazardous phenomena both during and after actual eruptions, including pyroclastic density currents, lava flows, lahars, debris avalanches, ballistic ejecta, ash plumes and ash fall, but also ground shaking from earthquakes, inundation via tsunami, landslides, gas emissions, flooding and fires. Furthermore, there is a diverse array of possible approaches to hazard assessment. Hazard assessment may focus on one or more of these hazardous phenomena for a specific volcano, or one or more of these phenomena for a specific region or city. Assessment may be based solely on geological investigations, or deterministic or probabilistic modelling, or a combination. Time frames for volcanic hazard analyses can also vary, from long-term (years), to short-term /rapid hazard assessments after volcanic unrest has initiated (weeks, days or less). The quality of data used in every step of the hazard assessment process will vary, and thus uncertainties associated with data also need to be accounted for, from uncertainties in the past eruptive behaviour at a particular volcano through to uncertainties in future wind patterns. The difference strands of information available for any given assessment are thus diverse in terms of origin and type of data, methodologies involved in their generation and the associated uncertainties. Although integration of these respective strands presents both scientific and methodological challenges for us, particularly if the output of the hazard assessment is to be a single unified product, such as a hazard map, when accomplished an integrated approach will lead to vastly improved characterististion of the hazard than using any single approach alone.

With this Frontiers Research Topic we thus encourage contributions related to approaches used for the integration of data and/or information from different hazards, or from different methods, or both. Have you produced a volcanic hazard map that utilizes novel approaches for combining results of different models of different hazards? Have you combined results from a number of different models of the same hazard in a hazard assessment (multi-models)? Have you developed a method to capture uncertainties in geological data that is used in or propagated into volcanic hazard assessment? Have you integrated deterministic and probabilistic data into one end product? Have you developed a computer platform for hazard assessment that can integrate different types of data with different uncertainties? If these sound like the challenges you are tackling then you might like to contribute to this collection of papers. Our aim is to trigger discussion on this challenging topic and spark novel approaches to hazard data integration for future research.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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