THE POTENTIAL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF VOLCANO ALERTS

The Volcano Alert Level (VAL) system, standardized by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2006, is meant to save lives and keep citizens living in the shadow of an active volcano informed of their current level of risk. A new study published in Risk Analysis suggests that, when an alert remains elevated at any level above “normal” due to a period of volcanic unrest, it can cause a decline in the region’s housing prices and other economic indicators. Because of this, the authors argue that federal policymakers may need to account for the effects of prolonged volcanic unrest — not just destructive eruptions — in the provision of disaster relief funding.

New drone technology improves ability to forecast volcanic eruptions

Specially-adapted drones developed by an international team have been gathering data from never-before-explored volcanoes that will enable local communities to better forecast future eruptions.
The cutting-edge research at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is also improving scientists’ understanding of how volcanoes contribute to the global carbon cycle, key to sustaining life on Earth.

Using a volcano’s eruption ‘memory’ to forecast dangerous follow-on explosions

Stromboli, the ‘lighthouse of the Mediterranean’, is known for its low-energy but persistent explosive eruptions, behaviour that is known scientifically as Strombolian activity. Occasionally, however, more intense and sudden explosions occur, most recently in July and August last year (2019). These are known as ‘Strombolian paroxysms’. During such events several of Stromboli’s craters are active simultaneously and much greater volumes of pyroclastic materials are erupted than is usual for the volcano.

Bristol scientists shine light on tiny crystals behind unexpected violent eruptions

In a new study of volcanic processes, Bristol scientists have demonstrated the role nanolites play in the creation of violent eruptions at otherwise ‘calm’ and predictable volcanoes. The study, published in Science Advances, describes how nano-sized crystals (nanolites), 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can have a significant impact of the viscosity of erupting magma, resulting in previously unexplained and explosive eruptions.

Michigan Tech volcanic gases expert available to comment on New Zealand’s White Island eruption

Simon Carn, professor in Michigan Technological University’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, focuses on volcanic degassing and volcanic eruption clouds. Carn’s research uses space-borne sensors to detect changes at volcanoes around the world. Carn is able to comment…