Abstract

Destruction of human property by lava flow invasion is a significant volcanic hazard at Mount Etna (Italy), where reliable risk maps are important for risk mitigation. We present new high-resolution quantitative risk maps of Mount Etna that are based on lava flow simulations starting from more than 70,000 different potential vents, a probability distribution of vent location, an empirical relationship for the maximum length of lava flows, and a database of buildings. In addition to standard risk maps, which classify areas according to the expected damage at each point, we classify each point of the volcano with respect to the damage that would occur if a vent opened at that point. The resulting maps should help local authorities in making the necessary decisions to deal with ongoing eruptions and to plan long-term land use.

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