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ANR funded project

(DS0902) 2016
Projet LAVA

Lava and the City: Risk Assessment, Hazard Mitigation and Crisis Management of Effusive Disasters

Populations located on active volcanoes are at huge risk from both explosive and effusive eruptions. Although the explosive risk is well known and researched, the effusive risk less so. Fatalities are very rare during effusive eruptions, but lava flow inundation will require replacement and/or relocation of community and all infrastructure, as well as timely evacuation. In addition, all vegetation will be burnt and buried. However, even though most effusive centers with significant populations are heavily vegetated, the effect of vegetation on the ability of lava to move is unknown. If drying and burning of vegetation does have a cooling effect, then placement of vegetation barriers may even reduce the rate of flow propagation; thus being an ecologically friendly means of delaying lava ingress into populated areas. Likewise, we have no knowledge on the effect of down flow degassing on flow cooling, crystallization, rheology and hence dynamics. We will thus fill these knowledge gaps to allow improved modeling of lava flows through vegetation and into vulnerable populations. Execution of modeling as part of a geographical information system containing building type, population and land value layers will also allow assessment of, and preparation for, loss. The system will also allow implementation of cost benefit analyses to assess the need for, and effect of, diversion, mitigation and replacement measures. Recent studies have shown that the way in which we respond to volcanic disasters is framed by the media is key if the nature of the crisis is to be correctly understood and prepared for. Thus, we also need to research the way in which results and science are communicated to, and then used by, the media and recipient population, to understand and respond to the crisis with which they are faced. If we understand the framing process, we can implement effective communication and education protocols to ensure that the message is correctly received. Scientifically, we need to be prepared to help resident populations to use hard information to respond and develop resilience. Preparation will thus also involve use of open-access information nodes to allow effective education and outreach, as well as workshop-based exercises that involve the entire community. We will fulfill these science needs by combining two foreign partners and four French laboratories at three different institutions to provide a response system capable of real-time implementation during an effusive crisis, as well as education prior to crises. There will be special focus on the French Island of La Réunion which is heavily vegetated and where volcanic risk is a major concern.


DST-Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra Università di Torino

IPGP Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

 Lancaster Environment Centre

LJK-UGA Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann - Université Grenoble-Alpes

LMV Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans

ANR grant: 411 989 euros
Beginning and duration: janvier 2017 - 42 mois


ANR Programme: (DS0902) 2016

Project ID: ANR-16-CE39-0009

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Andrew HARRIS (Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.