New insights into volcanic hazard assessment

Posted on Nov. 3, 2016

Mount Rainier is an active volcano near a large population center

EPSS postdoc Melanie Barboni and collaborators have published an article with important implications for volcanic hazard assessment.  A popular model posits that melt detection in magma chambers beneath volcanoes is a sign of imminent eruption.  But Barboni and her colleagues show that magmas may generally be stored warm, such that the presence of melt underneath dormant volcanoes does not necessarily indicate imminent eruption.  For instance, their analysis shows that the Soufrière volcanic reservoir on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia was eruptible for over 100,000 years.  The article is published in PNAS.