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Detecting, Modelling and Responding to Effusive Eruptions

jkhgThe direct and indirect effects of volcanic eruptions have the potential to cause extreme humanitarian disasters, particularly within vulnerable populations located in resource-poor regions of the world. Volcanic eruptions cannot be halted by human action. Effusive-styles of eruption (characteristically with lava fronts progressing at relatively slow rates of a few to few hundred metres per hour) however have the potential to allow sufficient time to appropriately respond to an advancing lava front when an effusive eruption event is underway.

Developed from initial discussions within the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the RED SEED (Risk Evaluation, Detection and Simulation during Effusive Eruption Disasters) working group was established to initiate a collaborative exchange between volcano science, operational support providers and actual event responders. A key objective is to develop new requirements and services (or ‘products’) that can directly inform and benefit future humanitarian responses during these events. This GSL Special Publication is the first production from this working group, presenting an overall statement of intent and need, a directory of currently accessible capabilities and operational service providers, and an ‘events’ simulation intended to demonstrate how a multi-disciplinary response to these crises is viable.

Introduced with an overview summary paper, the volume is arranged in four interrelated main thematic parts and a comprehensive concluding section - 1: Volcano hot spot detection, tracking and targeting, 2: Towards operational tracking and dissemination systems, 3: Lava flow modelling and 4: Application in crisis-mode: experiences and requirements. The final concluding section presents the extensive initial findings and recommendations of the RED SEED group and a detailed test simulation for a proposed geographical information system (GIS) to enable damage and evacuation assessment during an effusive eruption event.

This publication is undoubtedly an important data reference source that documents current insights and progress within the science and technology underpinning the humanitarian responses available (or required) to effectively mitigate the impacts of effusive eruption events. The anticipated readership will be geoscientific, technical and engineering practitioners working within this field (and contributory disciplines), as well as humanitarian responders requiring a thorough contemporary understanding of the scientific developments informing their decision making.

Reviewed by Mark Griffin

DETECTING, MODELLING AND RESPONDING TO EFFUSIVE ERUPTIONS by Harris A J L, De Groeve T, Garel, F and Carn, S A (eds). Geological Society of London Special Publication No 426. 2016. ISBN 978-1-86239-736-1. Hbk. 683pp. ISSN 0305-8719. List Price: £140.00, Fellows' Price £70.00