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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Apr 2018

Research article | 03 Apr 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Exposure-based risk assessment and emergency management associated with the fallout of large clasts

Sara Osman1, Eduardo Rossi2, Costanza Bonadonna2, Corine Frischknecht2, Daniele Andronico3, Raffaello Cioni4, and Simona Scollo3 Sara Osman et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth PO1 3QL, UK
  • 2Département des Sciences de la Terre, Université de Genève, 13, Rue des Maraîchers, CH-1205 Genève, Switzerland
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, Piazza Roma 2, 95125 Catania, Italy
  • 4Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy

Abstract. Fallout of ballistic blocks and bombs ejected from eruptive vents represents a well-known hazard in proximal areas. However, fallout of large clasts sedimenting from plume margins extending to medial areas with the potential to produce severe injuries to people and cause damage to infrastructure, is often overlooked. Recent eruptive events at Mount Etna (Italy) provide a clear example where large-clast fallout from plume margins (> 5 cm) has posed a real threat both to the many visitors reaching the summit area and to local infrastructure, and, therefore, has been selected as a case study. To quantify this hazard, a new particle-sedimentation model was calibrated with field data and then used for probabilistic hazard assessments. For a fully probabilistic scenario the hazard zone covered 72 km2 and included some 125 km of paths and roads, and 15 buildings; evacuation on foot to a safe area was estimated at almost 4 hours, but this could be reduced to less than 3 hours if two shelters were provided. Our results show the importance of integrating probabilistic hazard analysis of large-clast fallout within effective strategies of risk management and reduction, especially in the case of volcanoes where visitors can reach the summit areas.

Sara Osman et al.
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Sara Osman et al.
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Short summary
The fallout of large clasts (> 5 cm) from the margins of eruptive plumes can damage local infrastructure and severely injure people close to the volcano. Even though this potential hazard has been observed at many volcanoes, it has often been overlooked. We present the first hazard and risk assessment of large-clast fallout from eruptive plumes and use Mt Etna (Italy) as a case study. The use of dedicated shelters in the case of an explosive event that occurs with no warning is also evaluated.
The fallout of large clasts ( 5 cm) from the margins of eruptive plumes can damage local...