GEOL3026 3


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Volcanic hazards characteristics & impacts: 

Volcanic hazards characteristics & impacts

Structure of talk: 

Structure of talk Introduction to volcanic hazard mitigation A review of principal hazards and their mitigation lavas and tephra PFs, lahars and volcanic landslides other hazards Monitoring methods seismic and ground deformation other methods Risk awareness and education

Critical issues in volcanic hazard mitigation: 

Critical issues in volcanic hazard mitigation Identifying the risk Awareness and education Baseline monitoring Recognition of eruption precursors Forecasting nature of activity & hazard zonation Eruption duration and climax Mount St. Helens 1980

Reducing volcanic risk: 

Reducing volcanic risk Return period analysis and risk estimation Hazard mapping Volcano monitoring Eruption forecasting Intervention Building construction

The ‘Volcanic Gap’ concept: 

The ‘Volcanic Gap’ concept By using average return periods in estimates of volcanic risk we are defining something akin to a volcanic equivalent of a ‘seismic gap’ Generally speaking, the longer the period of repose, the larger the next eruption Clearly the potentially most worrying ‘volcanic gaps’ are located at those Holocene volcanoes for which there are no dated or documented eruptions. Length of a ‘gap’ will not be comparable between volcanoes, but will depend on average return period of eruption for each volcano

Identifying the risk: when is a volcano ‘dead’?: 

Identifying the risk: when is a volcano ‘dead’? Active: potential to erupt again or actually erupting (also ‘in eruption’) Dormant: not erupted for a long (undefined) period. May be ended by an unusually violent eruption Extinct: No means of distinguishing long dormant from recently extinct volcanoes (Critical: difference between zero risk and the risk of a huge eruption Life-span: some volcanoes may be active for millions or even > 10 million years. Often with very long periods of dormancy (10s of thousands y)

How long do eruptions last?: 

How long do eruptions last? Major implications for emergency planning Eruption length highly variable Learn from past activity Most eruptions last 10 - 1000 days Less than 20% over within 72 hours Median is 7 weeks 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 Duration (days) Eruptions 600 1000 200

Eruption climax parameters: 

Eruption climax parameters Most eruptions have a CLIMACTIC phase: during which most damage occurs Timing, scale, and duration very difficult to predict: Krakatoa (1883) and Mount St. Helens (1980): after several months Soufriere Hills, Montserrat (1995-present) after two years Rabaul, PNG (1994) within hours Beware of false climaxes (Tambora, Indonesia 1815). Big bang - 5 day gap - bigger bang!

Volcanic hazards: 

Volcanic hazards Additional hazards noxious gases floods tsunami atmospheric shock waves Secondary effects crop damage livestock poisoning water contamination health problems famine socio-economic disruption

The most destructive volcanic hazards: 

The most destructive volcanic hazards Mudflows 489 at 160 volcanoes Pyroclastic flows 763 at 237 volcanoes Tsunami 62 at 42 volcanoes Ash and lava eruptions not included

Lava flow characteristics: 

Lava flow characteristics VEI 0 - 1 eruptions Temperature of flowing lava above ignition point of many materials (750 to 1100 degrees C) Crust forms but internal temp can remain high for years Flow rate is viscosity dependent (a few 10s m h to > 60km h) Thickness: a few to 10s m Tube & channel flow Etna 1971

Lava flow damage potential : 

Lava flow damage potential Fire threat Strength sufficient to destroy most structures Buoyancy effect may lift and transport objects Large areal extent: may inundate large areas of farmland May dam rivers & modify drainage Sustained lava eruptions may generate noxious haze (Laki, Iceland 1783) Etna 1983

Lava flow mitigation: 

Lava flow mitigation Bombing (Kilauea 1940s) Water sprays (Heimaey 1973) Barriers Feeder tube blocking Diversion (all Etna 1983 & 1991 - 3) Heimaey 1973

Tephra hazard: 

Tephra hazard

Ballistic characteristics: 

Ballistic characteristics Distribution usually circular; within 3 - 5km of vent Wind direction & velocity has little effect Directed blast may give symmetric distribution Projectiles > ~ 10cm may have terminal velocities & high impact energies Densities can be up to 3 tonnes/cubic m Some projectiles may be above ignition T of many materials Large bomb (Etna)

Ballistic damage potential: Etna & Montserrat: 

Ballistic damage potential: Etna & Montserrat

Ash characteristics: 

Ash characteristics Most voluminous product of explosive eruptions (VEI 2- 8) Eruption columns typically up to 10km (may reach > 50km) Strong wind influence Downwind transport velocities <10 - <100 km/h Exponential fall in thickness downwind Can extent >1000km downwind Bedded ashes Laacher Zee (Germany)

Ash damage potential: I: 

Ash damage potential: I Pumice may be hot enough to ignite fires at 30+km Density of compacted wet ash may be 1.6 tonnes/cubic m 30cm may collapse roofs Visibility may be a few 10s cm for hours Dry ash also causes visibility problems Highly abrasive Magnetic

Ash damage potential and mitigation: 

Ash damage potential and mitigation Surface crusting of fine ash promotes runoff Provide source for lahars Disrupts transportation communication, power distribution, and electronics Crop and fishery damage and water contamination Human and livestock health problems Mitigation: roof design & ash clearance Heimaey 1973

The threat to aircraft: 

The threat to aircraft > 80 damaging ash cloud - aircraft encounters 1982 BA747 Singapore-Australia encountered Galunggung ash cloud: engine flameout for 13 minutes 1989 Encounter with Redoubt (Alaska) cloud: engine damage $80 million 1992 Mt. Spurr (Alaska) ash cloud disrupted air traffic as far as northern Ohio 5000km away 1996 Air Canada aircraft into Antigua encountered Montserrat ash cloud

Ash cloud: El Chichon 1983: 

Ash cloud: El Chichon 1983

Yellowstone eruptions: 2.1 Ma and 640 ka BP: 

Yellowstone eruptions: 2.1 Ma and 640 ka BP Compacted ash deposits 20 cm thick 1500 km from eruptions site Ash fell in Los Angeles & El Paso Metres thick ashy mud deposits in Caribbean cores attest to massive reworking of ash Global climatic impact unknown but probably catastrophic

Depth of ash from a future Yellowstone super-eruption: 

Depth of ash from a future Yellowstone super-eruption 10 cm 30 cm 100 cm 1 cm

Pyroclastic flow characteristics: 

Pyroclastic flow characteristics Common during moderate to large (VEI 3 - 8) explosive eruptions. E.g Vesuvius 79AD, Mont Pelee (Martinique) 1902, Montserrat 1997 Concentrated (dense) gas - solid dispersion Flow durations rarely more than a few minutes Velocities may be up to 160m/s Emplacement Ts: >100 and up to 900 degrees C May remain hot at depth for years Montserrat 1996

Pyroclastic flow characteristics II: 

Pyroclastic flow characteristics II Restricted to more Si-rich compositions Typically formed by dome collapse or explosion or eruption column collapse block & ash flows ignimbrite flows Smaller flows are largely topographically controlled (travel distances 5 - 10km) Large flows may travel in all directions and can reach 50 - 100km Low concentration (dilute) pyroclastic surges may detach from flow

Pyroclastic flow damage potential and mitigation: 

Pyroclastic flow damage potential and mitigation Above ignition T of many materials Force of impact extremely destructive High velocity ensures no possibility to out run Can overcome 1000m high topography Surge can travel across water Generate co-pyroclastic flow ash fall Deposits may source lahars Buildings and clothing may offer some protection

Pyroclastic flow formation: 

Pyroclastic flow formation

Lahar characteristics : 

Lahar characteristics May be formed by eruption onto snow or ice field breaching of a crater lake precipitation onto unconsolidated ash & PF deposits Velocities 10s km/h Travel for 10s km Deposits may be metres to 10s m thick May be hot or cold Largely topographically controlled Rabaul (PNG)

Lahar damage potential and mitigation: 

Lahar damage potential and mitigation May be erosive or bury land and property Can contain house-size blocks May clog rivers, overspill banks and block channels Can contaminate water supplies Hazard may continue for years Mitigation: trip wires; refuges; barriers and dredging Pinatubo

Mudflow hazard map: Mount Rainier: 

Mudflow hazard map: Mount Rainier

Volcanic landslide characteristics: 

Volcanic landslide characteristics Lateral sector collapse involving at least 10 - 20 million cubic m Terrestrial collapses: volumes up to 40 cubic km and runouts of >120 km Oceanic volcano collapse: volumes > 1000 cubic km Where magma is involved in collapse may generate entire spectrum of volcanic hazards Emplacement velocities up to 100m/s Can overcome obstacles up to 1000m high Caldera Taburiente La Palma

Mount St. Helens. May 18 1980: 

Mount St. Helens. May 18 1980

Mount St Helens - May 18, 1980: 

Mount St Helens - May 18, 1980

The scale of volcanic collapses: 

The scale of volcanic collapses Mount St Helens 2.5 cubic km run-out ~ 20 km Mount Shasta 40 cubic km run-out ~ 50 km Nevado de Colima 30 - 40 cubic km run-out > 120 km

Historical volcanic landslides: 

Historical volcanic landslides

Volcano destabilisation: 

Volcano destabilisation Magma related discrete intrusion incremental intrusion (rifting) Collapse triggered due to pore-water pressurization mechanical push related earthquakes Other mechanisms crustal stress changes environmental factors (sea-level change) Rift-related dykes Valle del Bove (Etna)

Volcanic landslide damage potential: 

Volcanic landslide damage potential May be extremely widespread: slide deposit may cover 100s - 1000s square km lahar source tsunami threat if emplaced in water If eruption triggered atmospheric shock wave PF flows and surges extensive ash fall

Mount St Helens - aftermath: 

Mount St Helens - aftermath

Mount St Helens - aftermath II: 

Mount St Helens - aftermath II

Volcanogenic tsunami: 

Volcanogenic tsunami Generated by: landslides large, violent eruptions at island or coastal volcanoes Typically, several waves are generated Deep water velocities can exceed 800 km/h Inundation velocities in range 1 - 8 m/s Wave heights may be 30+m high; exceptionally 100sm high Predicted La Palma tsunami

Tsunami damage potential: 

Tsunami damage potential Very rapid dispersal due to high velocities Little warning, especially close to source May occur without eruption Widespread areal impact (ocean basin wide in largest events) High impact energies Wavelengths of hundreds of km Mitigation difficult without warning system Krakatoa 1883

Historical volcanic tsunami: 

Historical volcanic tsunami

Climatic and other secondary effects: 

Climatic and other secondary effects Climate modification sulphuric acid aerosols Tambora 1815 Laki 1783 El Chichon/Pinatubo Noxious gases Lake Nyos (Cameroon)1986, 1700 dead Poas (Costa Rica) crops affected by acid gas emissions Famine & disease fluorosis respiratory problems Atmospheric transmission at Mauna Loa Observatory (Hawaii)

Impact of volcanic eruptions on the atmosphere: 

Impact of volcanic eruptions on the atmosphere

Climatic impact of selected eruptions: 

Climatic impact of selected eruptions

Tambora & ‘the year without a summer’: 

Tambora & ‘the year without a summer’ Largest known historic eruption → 200 Mt sulphate aerosol in stratosphere 1816 one of coldest northern hemisphere summers of last 600y Extreme weather June snow in eastern North Am. Summer killing frosts led to near total failure of crops in New England Europe Summer T 3ºC cooler than 1951-70 average Cooling effect continued for 3 years 1816-19 ‘last great subsistence crisis in western world’ bread riots; famine; typhus & cholera

Lakagigar (Iceland) 1783: 

Lakagigar (Iceland) 1783 Iceland’s greatest natural disaster Second largest basalt flood eruption in historic times 14.7 km3 lava 8 months of lava effusion together with 10 moderate explosive events Released 122 Mt of sulphur dioxide Massive livestock loss in Iceland; death of 25% of population Sulphur aerosol haze caused 1783 summer warming followed by severe cooling over North America & Europe UK 1783 Summer mortality rates up by 10,000 Today would stop air traffic in region for several months

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