Reflexive volcanology: 15 years of communicating risk and uncertainty in scientific advice on Montserrat
Published:January 01, 2014
Amy Donovan, Clive Oppenheimer, Michael Bravo, 2014. "Reflexive volcanology: 15 years of communicating risk and uncertainty in scientific advice on Montserrat", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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This paper examines in detail the history of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) reports – formerly the Risk Assessment Panel (RAP). In particular, it discusses examples of processes within the SAC reporting as constituting a reflexive process: as methods are used, reviewed, reacted to and redefined, there is a honing of the material and report format. This is used to draw some conclusions about the nature of reporting volcanic risk and scientific uncertainty, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Results from a 2011 survey of Montserratians are provided to contextualize the discussion. The paper concludes by looking more broadly at risk governance on Montserrat, and how risk management feeds back into risk assessment via the public domain.
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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.