Applied Volcanology @ GW4


Project period: July – October 2017

GW4 community leads
University of Bristol: Dr Ryerson Christie, Dr Alison Rust, Professor Kathy Cashman
Cardiff University: Dr Wim Degruyter
University of Exeter: Dr James Hickey

Project overview

Reducing risks associated with volcanic hazards has been classified as an increasing international priority requiring urgent and interdisciplinary action in the recent United Nations Global Assessment
Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Three main strands of action were specified to combat this in an accompanying summary paper (Loughlin et al., 2015): (i) identifying risk areas and quantifying the hazard, (ii) strengthening local to national
coping capacity and improving mitigation measures, and (iii) strengthening national to international capacity and cooperation.

Across the GW4, we have the expertise and experience to tackle all three, and thus promote the welfare of people in DAC countries by improving their resilience to volcanic eruptions.

Volcanoes are also an important source of renewable energy and mineral resources. Magmasourced geothermal energy, in particular, has the potential to provide a 10-fold improvement on conventional geothermal energy in volcanically-active countries (Elders et al., 2014), and the industry is growing by 4-5% each year (Geothermal Energy Association).

Research, including scientists from the UoB, is currently underway in Ethiopia, and the results could be rolled out to numerous other DAC countries with volcanic regions to promote their economic development.
The interdisciplinary research opportunities we will address are two-fold, an exploration of: (i) risk reduction and societal resilience to environment change, and (ii) the provision of renewable energy
– both underpinned by applied and physical volcanology. We therefore reach two of the specified Grand Challenge areas. This challenge-led approach can not be solved by a single institution: we will
share resources, current work and expertise to explore and develop future projects where collaborative funding can be sought in response to upcoming calls, focusing on UN sustainable development goals and GCRF priorities. We will adopt an interdisciplinary approach as natural
disasters are inherently political events, and these challenges are not solely natural science related.