Special Issue "Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019)
Mitigation of the effects of volcanic eruptions is ever more important given the increasing number of people occupying hazardous locations. One of the most important steps in mitigating volcanic risk is forecasting the activity, for which it is necessary to understand the large range of possible eruption scenarios and their associated hazards. We need to know when and how the eruption will occur; what the hazards will be and their distribution on the ground or in the air. Usually, we know the where, since most eruptions will occur from summit vents; however, this is not the case with flank activity or distributed volcanism.
Forecasting eruptions has presented a challenge ever since the first volcano observatory commenced measurements of Vesuvius in 1841. Today, there are 79 monitoring organizations registered on the World Organization of Volcano Observatories website (www.wovo.org); however, many of these are coordinating many more individual local observatories, such as the case of Indonesia, where 76 volcano observatories are continuously monitoring 66 volcanoes.
Many active and dangerous volcanoes do not have permanent monitoring, usually it is economics that is the restricting factor. Enormous advances have recently been made in satellite-based remote sensing, whereby monitoring is carried out irrespective of international borders and responsibilities. This is helping to improve our mitigation capabilities for volcanoes with no ground monitoring network.
Volcano monitoring is not easy. Today there are a plethora of signals that can be measured and compared. Man is pitting himself against nature, trying to make order of chaos, trying to understand what makes volcanoes tick. To win the game, it is necessary to gather the data and interpret it, as precisely as possible to be able to answer those all-important questions of when will it occur? and what will it throw at us? The search is for anomalies in the data that might represent precursors to the onset of volcanic unrest, magma ascent or the acceleration of any process that might increase the risk situation for the exposed communities. Monitoring is generally indirect, which complicates the interpretation. The only exception being gas monitoring or petrological monitoring of the magma itself.
This Special Issue will take a step back and examine the state-of-the-art of volcano monitoring, including the complete range of aspects, from the generation of the data, to its interpretation and application to generate models and ultimately forecasts. It will also scrutinize the interface between the science and the people; how are the conclusions communicated and decisions taken to reduce the risk at potentially dangerous volcanoes?
This science is incredibly multidisciplinary, including a requirement of expertise from various fields of physics, chemistry, and geology, as well as computer science and statistics, amongst other areas. If we include the communication of the messages generated for the end-user, we must add social sciences to the list. Indeed, it is important to remember that volcano monitoring is rendered useless, without effective communication to those that need to take action. The publication of Volcano Alert Levels often represents the chosen method with which to quickly and simply declare the status of a volcano, with certain appropriate actions to be taken by the authorities.
This Special Issue will include papers on the development of equipment and techniques, new analytical methodologies, how data is interpreted, often requiring comparisons with laboratory experiments using analogue or real materials, how forecasts are made, whether they are deterministic from empirical models, or probabilistic, and finally how monitoring data is transformed into an appropriate message and delivered to the public. Coverage will be given to the more traditional monitoring methods, which fall into three areas: seismic, geodesic and geochemical, and also to more recent augmentations such as infrasound, gravity surveys, lightning detection etc. The Special Issue aims to provide a useful reference on the many facets of this complex and important topic.
Dr. Nick Varley
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
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- Volcano monitoring
- Eruption precursors
- Risk communication