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Volcanic hazard assessment at Deception Island

Deception Island is the most active volcano of the South Shetland Islands (Antarctica) with more than twenty eruptions recognised over the past two centuries. This recent volcanic activity is characterised by monogenetic eruptions of low volume and short duration.  The eruptions show a variable degree of explosivity, strombolian or phreatomagmatic, with a VEI 2 to 4, which have generated a wide variety of pyroclastic deposits and lava flows. Tephra record preserved in the surrounding glaciers or in marine sediments show the explosive power of the phreatomagmatic phases and the wide dispersal of its finest products in a great variety of directions of the prevailing winds. Despite the clear indications of its high volcanic activity and eruptive recurrence, no accurate volcanic hazard assessment has been carried out in the island, yet.

The main objective of this project is to perform an exhaustive volcanic hazard assessment of Deception Island based on new data from a field work survey taking place during the 2012-2013 austral summer and numerical simulations. In the latter case, we apply probabilistic methods to estimate the susceptibility, statistical techniques to determine the eruption recurrence and eruptive scenario, and reproduce the effects of historical eruptions. All this allows us to define the long-term volcanic hazard and also the short-term one by incorporating the information coming from the monitoring network. Finally, we intend to design a system for hazard assessment that can be daily updated by incorporating geological and volcanological criteria, information of volcano monitoring and other external processes such as weather forecasts and tides. This enables the creation of a daily hazard map to identify potential safety zones and escape routes.



  • Funding

    Project Financed by PNIDI-CTM: CTM2011-13578-E


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