3 years ago

Towards Quantitative Volcanic Risk of Pyroclastic Density Currents: Probabilistic Hazard Curves and Maps Around Somma‐Vesuvius (Italy)

L. Sandri, G. A. Valentine, E. R. Stefanescu, A. K. Patra, R. Sulpizio, P. Tierz, W. Marzocchi


Pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) are hot flowing mixtures of gas and pyroclasts that can cause widespread loss of life and structural damage around the erupting volcano. Hazard assessments that include quantification of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty are a necessary step toward calculating volcanic risk of PDCs in an accurate and complete manner. We develop a three‐stage procedure to quantify such uncertainties for dense PDCs. First, the TITAN2D model is parameterized to simulate the PDC phenomenology at the target volcano. Second, TITAN2D is coupled with Polynomial Chaos Quadrature to propagate aleatory uncertainty from model parameters to hazard intensity measures (flow depth and speed). Third, the TITAN2D‐PCQ analysis is merged with the Bayesian Event Tree for Volcanic Hazard to include other volcano‐specific aleatory uncertainty and estimates of epistemic uncertainty. A comprehensive collection of probabilistic hazard curves and maps for flow depth and speed around the volcano is obtained through this methodology and its application is illustrated at Somma‐Vesuvius (Italy). Our results indicate that, given an eruption from the current central crater, exceedance probabilities are around 30% (aleatory uncertainty only) and between 10% and 60% (aleatory and epistemic uncertainty), for flow depth = 1 m and flow speed = 2 m/s, over the first 2–3 km around the vent. Dense PDCs faster than 30 m/s may cover areas about 50 km2 around the vent, on average, 1 every 10 eruptions. This type of probabilistic hazard assessment represents a crucial step toward quantitative volcanic risk of dense PDCs at Somma‐Vesuvius and worldwide.

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2017JB015383

DOI: 10.1029/2017JB015383

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