Developing a suite of multi-hazard volcanic eruption scenarios using an interdisciplinary approach

Published in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2020

Recommended citation: Hayes, J.L., Wilson, T.M., Deligne, N.I., Lindsay, J.M., Leonard, G.S., Tsang, S.W.R., Fitzgerald, R.H. (2020). " Developing a suite of multi-hazard volcanic eruption scenarios using an interdisciplinary approach." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 392:106763.

Abstract Understanding future eruptions and their potential consequences is an important component of volcanic disaster risk reduction. Suites of scenarios are a useful compromise between fully probabilistic and fully deterministic (single scenario) approaches. In this paper, we present an interdisciplinary approach that combines stakeholder (volcanologists, disaster risk researchers, policy advisors, infrastructure managers, and emergency managers) requirements with fundamental science to produce multi-hazard eruption scenarios for a high-risk volcano. We apply this approach to the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) to develop a suite of scenarios (‘DEVORA Scenarios’) that cover the wide spectrum of credible expected eruption activity. Demand was driven by a desire from stakeholders for scenarios that are scientifically credible and relevant for disaster risk management purposes, including evacuation, welfare, recovery, and critical infrastructure disruption planning. Stakeholders were embedded throughout the scenario development process, most importantly at the scoping and design stage, and through multiple formal and informal review cycles. Balancing scientific credibility whilst ensuring the scenarios is relevant to stakeholders was a challenge that required considerable time by all parties. Importantly, the process of scenario development was just as useful as the final product: it facilitated open discourse on major scientific uncertainties and information gaps on AVF volcanism, hazards, and risk. This served two important ends: 1) it allowed scientists to communicate areas of uncertainty to other stakeholders such as emergency managers, and 2) it identified potential future research avenues with an obvious and tangible societal benefit. It is anticipated that the DEVORA Scenarios will serve as a foundation for studies exploring the societal ramifications of a future AVF eruption. The process we outline here can be followed to develop credible and relevant suites of eruption scenarios for disaster risk management purposes in other environments.

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