Responding to eruptive transitions during the 2020–2021 eruption of La Soufrière volcano, St. Vincent

Joseph, E. P., Camejo-Harry, M., Christopher, T., Contreras-Arratia, R., Edwards, S., Graham, O., Johnson, M., Juman, A., Latchman, J. L., Lynch, L., Miller, V. L., Papadopoulos, I., Pascal, K., Robertson, R., Ryan, G. A., Stinton, A., Grandin, R., Hamling, I., Jo, M.-J., Barclay, J. ORCID:, Cole, P., Davies, B. V. and Sparks, R. J. S. (2022) Responding to eruptive transitions during the 2020–2021 eruption of La Soufrière volcano, St. Vincent. Nature Communications, 13. ISSN 2041-1723

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A critical challenge during volcanic emergencies is responding to rapid changes in eruptive behaviour. Actionable advice, essential in times of rising uncertainty, demands the rapid synthesis and communication of multiple datasets with prognoses. The 2020–2021 eruption of La Soufrière volcano exemplifies these challenges: a series of explosions from 9–22 April 2021 was preceded by three months of effusive activity, which commenced with a remarkably low level of detected unrest. Here we show how the development of an evolving conceptual model, and the expression of uncertainties via both elicitation and scenarios associated with this model, were key to anticipating this transition. This not only required input from multiple monitoring datasets but contextualisation via state-of-the-art hazard assessments, and evidence-based knowledge of critical decision-making timescales and community needs. In addition, we share strategies employed as a consequence of constraints on recognising and responding to eruptive transitions in a resource-constrained setting, which may guide simi larly challenged volcano observatories worldwide

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: For their support to the monitoring of the eruption of La Soufrière, the staff of the SRC and MVO are thanked. Roderick Stewart is thanked for his service as a Scientific Team Lead in St. Vincent. We thank the Director and staff of NEMO, the SMU, Lands and Surveys Department of St. Vincent and volunteers assisting with field work for campaign EDM and GPS occupations. Willy Aspinall is thanked for sharing his insights and expertise throughout the unrest and eruption episode. We thank the ESA and JAXA for tasking systematic Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2 acquisitions over La Soufrière. We thank the Capella Space and ICEYE companies for providing high-resolution SAR images of the volcano during the explosive phase. ALOS-2 SAR data were made available by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the sixth RA proposal (PI no. 3153). Collaborating agencies such as NASA, IPGP, LOA, AERIS/ICARE, CSIC, USGS VDAP, USAID, CIMH, KNMI, CEOS Volcano Demonstrator all provided support for remote sensing data analysis. We thank the MOUNTS platform for their automated analyses of Sentinel data for La Soufrière, SVG. Fieldwork for JB and PC and petrological analysis was supported by NERC Urgency Grant NE/W000725/1 and Royal Society Apex Award APX\R1\180094. We thank David Pyle, Gregor Weber and Jon Blundy for assisting with geochemical analysis of dome samples. Funding for the VRCP project was granted to RR (Grant No. GA 43/STV) through CDB’s Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) and is supported by the Government of Canada and the European Union. We also thank the Executive Director and staff of CDEMA for logistical support and resource mobilisation efforts.
Uncontrolled Keywords: general,physics and astronomy(all),chemistry(all),biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),sdg 17 - partnerships for the goals,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1000
Faculty \ School:
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Geosciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2022 10:30
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 04:01
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-31901-4

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