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Title: Evidence-based assessment of global volcanic hazard and risk
Author: Auker, Melanie Rose
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 960X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Increasing global volcanic risk is driven by rising exposure and vulnerability. This study develops population-focussed, evidence-based, globally-applicable indices for assessment of volcanic hazard and exposure, then explores the potential for combining them with vulnerability metrics (e.g. the WorldRisklndex vulnerability index) to measure volcanic threat. Outputs may be used to inform hazard and risk management strategies. The hazard index is based on three strands of investigation: analysis of a newly-compiled database of global volcanic fatalities; critique of existing volcanic hazard indices; exploration of the global eruption catalogue. These investigations identify the major determinants of loss of life, shortcomings of existing indices, and issues such as under recording of eruptions and concurrence of hazards that should be controlled for, respectively. The fatalities analysis also highlights the dominance of a few large disasters and a handful of regions on the global fatalities distribution. 74% of fatalities result from just 13 (of 533) fatal incidents, though 55% of fatal incidents have caused ten or fewer fatalities. The findings are used to develop a hazard index with indicator scores based on lethality: Hazard index score = [(modal VEI + pyroclastic flow score + mudflow score + lava flow score) x frequency status score] + maximum recorded VEI Sufficient data exist to apply this method to and calculate hazard scores for 319 'verified' volcanoes. For the remaining 1,232 'unverified' volcanoes, hazard scores are calculated using 'verified' volcanoes of similar morphology as proxies. A Population Exposure Index (PEI) is proposed, which uses weighted population counts to measure the exposed population within 100 km of volcanoes. Weights reflect differences in proximity (based on incidence of fatalities) and population density (based on spatial distribution). Exploration of the creation of a threat measure that combines the hazard index and PEl with the WorldRisklndex vulnerability index highlights a number of complex issues. This is a non-trivial undertaking with many further avenues to be explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available