A review of volcanic hazard and risk-assessment praxis at the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 1997 to 2011
Published:January 01, 2014
G. Wadge, W. P. Aspinall, 2014. "A review of volcanic hazard and risk-assessment praxis at the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 1997 to 2011", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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Volcanic hazard and risk at Soufrière Hills Volcano (SHV), Montserrat has been assessed in a consistent and quantitative manner for 14 years (1997–2011) during highly variable eruptive activity involving andesitic lava-dome growth, which has placed serious constraints on Montserratian society. This work has been carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee (and predecessors) in collaboration with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. We describe the organizational context of these assessments, the types of hazards and the methods used to analyse them. Knowledge elicitation using hazard scenarios and analysis by the Classical Model method were employed to formulate probabilistic forecasts of future hazardous events over the next year, and to quantify risks to individuals and Montserrat society generally. We devised a scheme for assessing the likelihood that the volcanic system had stopped receiving basalt magma, considered to be the main driver of the eruption. The accuracy of forecasts was tested using Brier Skill Scores: 83% of forecasts for events that were critical to life had positive skill, as measured by this method. We also discuss how government responded to our assessments. The continuous series of quantitative volcanic hazard and risk assessments described here is the only one of its kind.
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The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
The 1995 to present eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat is one of the most important and best-studied eruptions of an explosive andesitic volcano. This volume presents scientific findings from the period between 2000 and 2010; it follows on from Memoir 21, which focused on the early years of activity between 1995 and 1999. In addition to descriptions and analysis of the growth, collapse and explosions associated with lava domes, there are papers on the deformation of the volcano caused by the deep magma, the petrology and geochemistry of the lavas and associated gases. Of particular note are: an overview of the insights into the deep structure of the volcano that resulted from a major international seismic tomography experiment; and an analysis of the quantitative risk assessment process that has run now for most of the eruption, the longest such continuous assessment in the world.