Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SHAKE AND BLOW
Report identifies grand challenges to better prepare for volcanic eruptions
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 20, 2017


Close to 100 volcanoes erupt somewhere on Earth each year.

Despite broad understanding of volcanoes, our ability to predict the timing, duration, type, size, and consequences of volcanic eruptions is limited, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. To improve eruption forecasting and warnings to save lives, the report identifies research priorities for better monitoring of volcanic eruptions and three grand challenges facing the volcano science community.

Volcano monitoring is critical for forecasting eruptions and mitigating risks of their hazards. However, few volcanoes are adequately observed, and many are not monitored at all. For example, fewer than half of the 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S. have any seismometers - an instrument to detect small earthquakes that signal underground magma movement.

And only three have continuous gas measurements, which are crucial because the composition and quantity of dissolved gases in magma drive eruptions. Enhanced monitoring combined with advances in experimental and mathematical models of volcanic processes can improve the understanding and forecasting of eruptions, the report says.

The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report also highlighted the need for satellite measurements of ground deformation and gas emissions, drone observations, advanced seismic monitoring, and real-time high-speed acquisition of data during eruptions. New approaches in analytical capabilities to decipher magma history, and conceptual and experimental models of magmatic and volcanic phenomena, will provide new insights on the processes that explain how magma is generated and erupts.

"There have been great improvements in conceptual models of volcanic phenomena, compared with those used a few decades ago, but the volcano science community is not yet adequately prepared for the next large eruption," said Michael Manga, professor in the department of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, and chair of the committee.

"There are fundamental challenges that need to be addressed and require a sustained effort from across disciplines. By working toward these grand challenges, the volcano science community can help quantify the global effect of eruptions and mitigate hazards, ultimately benefiting millions of people living in volcanically active areas."

The committee outlined several key questions and research priorities in areas such as the processes that move and store magma beneath volcanoes; how eruptions begin, evolve, and end; how a volcano erupts; forecasting eruptions; the response of landscapes, oceans, and the atmosphere to volcanic eruptions; and the response of volcanoes to changes on Earth's surface.

Based on these research priorities, the committee identified three overarching grand challenges for advancing volcano science and monitoring:

Forecasting the size, duration, and hazard of eruptions by integrating observations with models
Current forecasts are based on recognizing patterns in monitoring data. These approaches have had mixed success because monitoring data do not capture the diversity of volcanoes or their evolution over time. An approach based on models of physical and chemical processes, informed by monitoring data, as is done in weather forecasting, could improve the accuracy of eruption forecasts. Such an approach requires integrating data and methodologies from multiple disciplines, the report says.

Quantifying the life cycles of volcanoes and overcoming our current biased understanding
Current understanding of a volcano's life cycle is skewed because only a small number of volcanoes are studied. Extended monitoring from the ground, sea, and space can overcome some of these observational biases, the report says.

Expanding and maintaining monitoring capabilities and supporting the infrastructure to make historical and monitoring data available are critical for advancing understanding of volcanic processes and assessing volcanic hazards. The committee noted that emerging technologies such as inexpensive sensors, drones, and new micro-analytical geochemical methods are promising tools to provide new insights into volcanic activity.

Building a coordinated volcano science community
Close to 100 volcanoes erupt somewhere on Earth each year. Strengthening multidisciplinary research, domestic and international research and monitoring partnerships, and training networks can help the research community maximize scientific advances that result from the study of eruptions around the world, the committee said.

The report cites the ongoing eruption at Bogoslof volcano in Alaska as an example that highlights these three challenges. A remote, initially submarine volcano in the Aleutian Island arc, the eruption started in late December 2016 and the activity has been continuing as of February 2017. In just one month, the volcano produced numerous explosions with plumes rising 20,000-35,000 feet, posing a significant hazard to North Pacific aviation.

The U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has been relying on distant seismometers, satellite data, infrasound, and lightning detection to monitor the activity because there are no ground-based instruments on the volcano.

The committee said AVO has been able to provide early warning for only some of these hazardous events. This eruption also underscores the limited understanding of magma eruption. In more than 20 discrete events, the emerging volcano has reshaped its coastlines repeatedly, providing snapshots of volcano-landscape interactions.

SHAKE AND BLOW
Antarctic penguin colony repeatedly decimated by volcanic eruptions
London, UK (SPX) Apr 13, 2017
One of the largest colonies of gentoo penguins in Antarctica was decimated by volcanic eruptions several times during the last 7,000 years according to a new study. An international team of researchers, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), studied ancient penguin guano and found the colony came close to extinction several times due to ash fall from the nearby Deception Island volcano. Their re ... read more

Related Links
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SHAKE AND BLOW
US to honour 'dumb' refugee deal with Australia: Pence

Rights group urges China to release N. Korean refugees

'Is this Miami?': An Iraqi family's Colombian odyssey

Sri Lanka ends search for garbage survivors as toll hits 32

SHAKE AND BLOW
Nature: 3-D-printing of glass now possible

Engineering technique is damaging materials research reveals

Finding order and structure in the atomic chaos where materials meet

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years

SHAKE AND BLOW
Ukraine's Mariupol to be without hot water for months

Fewer sharks equals fatter fish, research shows

Sea scorpions: The original sea monster

Degraded coral imperils coastal people: study

SHAKE AND BLOW
Methane seeps in the Canadian high Arctic

More Antarctic protections urged on World Penguin Day

Arctic river ice deposits rapidly disappearing

Reindeer at risk from Arctic hot spell

SHAKE AND BLOW
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives

Climatic effect of irrigation over the Yellow River basin

A better way to predict the environmental impacts of agricultural production

Researchers quantify grasslands' carbon storage value

SHAKE AND BLOW
Atlantic storm season starts early, putting energy industry on notice

Nepal quake injured stalked by disability two years on

Report identifies grand challenges to better prepare for volcanic eruptions

At least 11 killed in Colombia floods: Red Cross

SHAKE AND BLOW
Top conservationist wounded in Kenya gun attack

Morocco, US stage joint military exercise

Gambia's race to save its 'Roots' on Kunta Kinteh island

South Sudan war strains Uganda's generous refugee policy

SHAKE AND BLOW
Indonesian hobbit evolved from African ancestor

Neuroscientists measure 'higher' state of consciousness

Putting social science modeling through its paces

Science says: Let a stranger pick your profile picture




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement