Ethiopian volcanic hazards: a changing research landscape
C. Vye-Brown, R. S. J. Sparks, E. Lewi, G. Mewa, A. Asrat, S. C. Loughlin, K. Mee, T. J. Wright, 2016. "Ethiopian volcanic hazards: a changing research landscape", Magmatic Rifting and Active Volcanism, T. J. Wright, A. Ayele, D. J. Ferguson, T. Kidane, C. Vye-Brown
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Collaborative research projects have a significant role in filling the knowledge gaps that are obstacles to the rigorous assessment of volcanic hazards in some locations. Research is essential to generate the evidence on which raising awareness of volcanic hazards, monitoring and early warning systems, risk reduction activities and efforts to increase resilience can be built. We report the current state of volcanic hazards research and practice in Ethiopia and on the collaborative process used in the Afar Rift Consortium project to promote awareness of volcanic hazards. Effective dissemination of findings to stakeholders and the integration of results into existing practice need leadership by in-country researchers, effective long-term collaboration with other researchers (e.g. international groups) and operational scientists, in addition to integration with existing programmes related to disaster risk reduction initiatives.
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A major rifting episode began in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia in September 2005. Over a ten-day period, c. 2.5 km3 of magma were intruded along a 60 km-long dyke separating the Arabian and Nubian plates. Over the next five years, a further 13 dyke intrusions caused continued extension, eruptions and seismicity. This activity led to a renewed international focus on the role of magmatism in rifting, with major international collaborative projects working in Afar and Ethiopia to study the ongoing activity and to place it in a broader context. This book brings together articles that explore the role of magmatism in rifting, from the initiation of continental break-up through to full seafloor spreading. We also explore the hazards related to rifting and the associated volcanism. This work has implications for our understanding of how continents break-up and the associated distribution of resources in rift basins and continental margins.