TASKS

TASK 1: MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING TO THE COMMISSION

This task aims at facilitating effective cooperation between the partners during the whole duration of the project and to coordinate and prepare progress reports for the Commission. This task appears to be particularly critical in the structure of the project because the outcomes of some tasks and activities need to be integrated consistently and, in some cases, used as a complement for other ones. It is therefore obvious that this will require a rigorous timing in the deliveries of each task and the adoption of common data protocols between the project participants. In order to minimize such a risk, the participants agreed to cooperate closely in the carrying out of any product affecting the work of more than one participant, and will dedicate part of their work to the management activity.

TASK 2: PUBLICITY

To publicise the results of the project through several dissemination strategies including collaborations to media, public information meetings on how volcanic risk management is addressed by authorities and scientists, production of dissemination material on volcanic risk assessment and management for general public, technical publications on the project and, particularly, the creation of a virtual agora (website) for volcanic risk assessment and management. This Agora should be envisaged as a virtual channel for communication, information exchange, dissemination of scientific and technical innovations, and storage and use of e-tools; so that any scientist or professional involved in volcanic risk could have on-line access to them. A strong point of this conception is that, apart from disseminating the results arising from the project, it aims also to become a permanent resource continuously updated by scientific and technical innovations.

TASK 3: GENERAL WORKSHOPS

This project requires a close and permanent collaboration between all participants and external collaborators (Civil Proteccion Agencies), as it is based on sharing the information and experience on the different aspects involved in volcanic hazard assessment and risk management between all them. This means that all participants (physical volcanologists, modellers, vulnerability experts, emergency planners, etc) involved in some way in disaster planning or the management of a volcanic crisis, have to exchange their experiences with the others in the same forum of discussion and not separately. These forums of discussion pursue to identify the gaps between strategies adopted in different regions and, consequently, to propose a unified set of procedures and requirements that any volcanic risk management strategy should incorporate at the minimum, regardless of local specific features.

TASK 4: DATABASE

Assessment of volcanic risk depends – amongst other factors – on both the quantity and quality of the available volcanic data and an optimum storage mechanism. This requires the design of purpose-built databases that take into account data format and availability and afford easy data storage and sharing, and provide for a more complete risk assessment that combines different analyses but avoids any duplication of information. Data contained in any such database should facilitate spatial and temporal analysis to (1) produce probabilistic hazard models for future vent opening, (2) simulate volcanic and associated hazards, finally, (3) assess their socio-economic impact. This task aims at constructing a new spatial database structure which allows different types of data, including geological, volcanological, meteorological, monitoring and socio-economic information, to be manipulated, organized and managed and used in the e-tools developed in the project.

TASK 5: GIS PLATFORM

This task aims at crating a software platform specially designed to assess and manage volcanic risk and that will integrate all the available e-tools already designed by the CSIC groups (the Coordinator). The starting point for the platform will be QGIS that is the widest used free an open source Information System and Remote Sensing multiplatform. It allows displaying, consulting and editing both raster (remote sensing images, orthophotos, digital elevation models -DEM-, conventional thematic maps in a grid-based structure, etc) and vector maps (thematic or topographic maps containing points, lines or polygons), and is the one of the most widely used GIS package in the World. Interoperability is one of the aims of every GIS application and in Europe it can only be achieved by using the standards recommended by INSPIRE. Within this task, the main task is to adapt QGIS to the specific needs of the project, to incorporate the libraries (plugins) with models (Task 6) to link it with the databases and vulnerability functions (Tasks 4 and 6), to incorporate an efficient probabilistic methodology (Task 7) and the standard protocols for preparedness planning (Task 8), and to convert the resulting product into a set of libraries (accessible through the virtual agora) by defining appropriate interfaces and communication protocols.

TASK 6: VOLCANIC SCENARIOS MODELLING

This task is aimed at a critical review of available physical (simulation) models in terms of their applicability and usefulness in hazard assessment and mitigation. Models will be evaluated considering not only the accuracy of their predictions, but also considering their ability to provide the information required by vulnerability studies, and their adequacy (in terms of computational time, variables represented, …) with respect to the requirements of statistical methods. Particular emphasis will be given to the cascade effect of volcanic and associated hazards, as it is the most complex issue in volcanic hazard assessment. Special test cases will be considered to compare the performance of different models. A critical review will highlight the potential applicability of existing models to volcanic risk assessment. It will also provide useful indications for future research projects, indicating where further improvement or new development is mostly needed. As a result, the task will produce general guidelines for appropriate model application and development within the context of hazard assessment.

TASK 7: PROBABILISTIC METHODOLGIES

Quantitative volcanic hazard is defined as the probability of occurrence of a specific volcanic event in a fixed space-time window. For this reason, probabilistic methodologies have a prominent role in volcanic hazard assessment, so that it is necessary to develop methodologies and protocols with which to provide better risk-informed support for authority decision-making. Therefore, the main goal of this task will be the identification of the most appropriate probabilistic and statistical techniques for volcanological data analysis and treatment in the context of quantitative hazard and risk assessment and the harmonisation of approaches and protocols for decision-support in civil protection.

TASK 8: DECISION MAKING MODEL

Understanding the potential evolution of a volcanic crisis is crucial for designing effective mitigation strategies. This is especially the case for volcanoes close to densely-populated regions, where inappropriate decisions may trigger widespread loss of life, economic disruption and public distress. An outstanding goal for improving the management of volcanic crises, therefore, is to develop objective, real-time methodologies for evaluating how an emergency will develop and how scientists communicate with decision makers. This task pretend to implement as part of the e-tools to be developed a general and flexible, probabilistic approach to managing volcanic crises. The model will combine the hazard and risk factors that decision makers need for a holistic analysis of a volcanic crisis. These factors include eruption scenarios (Task 6) and their probabilities of occurrence (Task 7), vulnerability of populations and their activities, and the costs of false alarms and failed forecasts. The model will be designed to be be implemented before an emergency, to identify optimum mitigating actions and how these may change as new information is obtained.


© GVB-CSIC 2015