Keynote talk of Dr. Augusto Neri, REsearch Director at INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)
The contributions of the EU-funded MEDiterranean SUpersite Volcanoes (MED-SUV) project to the assessment of volcanic ash hazard
S. Barsotti, F. Buongiorno, M. Coltelli, G. Macedonio, L. Nannipieri, A. Neri, G. Puglisi, S. Scollo, J. Taddeucci
More than 3 million people are threatened by volcanic hazards in a large region of the Mediterranean Sea where two among the largest European volcanic regions are located : Mt. Etna and the Campi Flegrei/Vesuvio area. The MED-SUV project aims to improve our capacity to assess volcanic hazards of supersite volcanoes of Southern Italy by optimising and integrating existing and new observation/monitoring systems, by a breakthrough in the understanding of relevant volcanic processes and by increasing the effectiveness of coordination between scientific and end-user communities. In particular the project aims to fully exploit the unique in-situ monitoring datasets available at these volcanoes and integrate them with Earth Observation (EO) data and numerical models, thus producing the basic tools for a significant step ahead in the analysis of pre-, syn- and post-eruptive processes and the quantification of their hazards.
With specific reference to volcanic ash a variety of multidisciplinary activities are planned in the project. These include : 1) physical and analogue laboratory experiments on ash dispersal and aggregation, 2) integration of satellite data (e.g. METEOSAT, MODIS) and ground-based measurements (e.g., RADAR, LIDAR) of Etna’s volcanic plumes to quantify key eruptive variables, such as mass eruption rate, grain-size distribution at source, and ash cloud concentration, with a greater accuracy, 3) development of long-term probabilistic ash fallout maps at the supersite volcanoes, 4) development of modelling tools and automatic procedures for the short-term hazard assessment of volcanic ash by adopting multi-model and multi-scenario approaches, 5) development of short-term probabilistic hazard assessment modelling tools able to use direct measurements and observations of the plume and ash cloud in almost real time (i.e. now-casting).