UCL Earth Sciences

Crises at Calderas.

30 May 2014

Research by the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre on pre-eruptive unrest at volcanoes has been used for the near real-time simulations of emergencies at large calderas.


Figure Caption: Eastern Campi Flegrei, in the foreground, was the location of intense volcanic activity between 3.5 and 4.5 ka BP and is considered among the most likely sites for a future eruption. Vesuvius can be seen 30 km away in the background. (Photo: C.R.J. Kilburn.)

Christopher Kilburn co-led scenario planning for the first simulation of a volcanic emergency in the Campi Flegrei caldera, west of Naples in southern Italy. The caldera is one of the most populated active volcanoes on Earth and has been in episodic unrest since 1968. The unrest is the first to have occurred for nearly 500 years and suggests that the caldera has re-entered a state with an increased probability of eruption. The exercise formed part of the EU Project VUELCO  and used simulated pre-eruptive unrest to test near real-time responses by monitoring scientists at the INGV-Vesuvius Observatory and emergency-response personnel at Italy’s Department for Civil Protection. The results will be used to develop enhanced mitigation strategies across the EU’s active volcanic regions.  

Related Links: Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre