Building Volcanic Resilience

In collaboration with:

Jose M. Marrero, Volcanic Hazard and Risk Assessment Officer, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Flemmings – Montserrat – Caribbean. Cátedra Riesgos, University of La Laguna, Tenerife.

Catalina Arguello, University of La Rioja and PREVIA project, University of Granada. Asociación Volcanes de Canarias.

Over 29 million people worldwide live within just 10 km of active volcanoes and good, widely-disseminated information is key to mitigating risk.

The Canary Islands are an active volcanic region, but much of the population does not know enough about the potential hazards or risks involved.  Through our work promoting our 2022 film Lava Bombs (see www.lavabombsfilm.com) on the eruption of the volcano in Cumbre Vieja in La Palma in 2021 and research carried out in our 2022 programmes, we are deeply conscious of the lack of information in the general population here and in other volcanic territories where many of our past GeoIntern students are from.

How do you quantify volcanic risk in a territory? And how do you ensure a population is fully informed and resilient, especially when volcanic eruptions do not happen very often?

With the support of our training and associated experts and institutions, students will work collaboratively to produce a Tenerife Volcanic Resilience report to assess the probability of a volcanic eruption on the island; the measures that are already in place to mitigate its possible impact and produce recommendations on further measures required. The final report will be published in summary as part of our ongoing VolcanoStories research project with a view to a future paper publication. Each student will have responsibility for a section of the report and be fully accredited for their work.

This important ongoing research project will help to inform not only residents of Tenerife, but people across the world who live in the shadow of volcanoes.

Dr José M Marrero is a Tenerife geographer (Volcanic Risk Management, ULL) who has worked for more than 18 years in risk and hazard assessment in volcanic active areas. From 2004 to 2015 he was part of the Department of Volcanology at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC, Spain). He was a researcher of the PROMETEO Program from 2015 to 2016 at the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School and the Military Geographic Institute, participating in the crisis of the Cotopaxi volcano and the evaluation of the impact caused by the earthquake of April 16, 2016 in the canton of Portoviejo, work that continued throughout 2017 as a consultant for the EPN Public Company. In 2019 he was coordinator of the Geography and Systems areas in the project for the development of Archaeological and Paleontological Areas of Ecuador with special emphasis on risk analysis and data management. He worked also as a risk advisor for the Quito Mayor’s Office. Actually he is the Hazard and Risk Assessment Officer at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.

Catalina Arguello has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Granada (Spain) and works as a Professor & Researcher at UNIR. She specialises in community Risk perception and the sense of preparedness in volcanic areas. In our 2022 summer programme, she led a project with the interns to survey residents of the Canary Islands about their feelings of volcanic preparedness in the aftermath of the Tajogaite 2021 eruption. This project produced interesting results and the GeoInterns were co-authors on the paper, https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.22305.48480, which was published on ResearchGate.