Defining high-detail hazard maps by a cellular automata approach: application to Mount Etna (Italy)

Rocco Rongo, Maria Vittoria Avolio, Boris Behncke, Donato D’Ambrosio, Salvatore Di Gregorio, Valeria Lupiano, Marco Neri, William Spataro, Gino M. Crisci


The individuation of areas that are more likely to be affected by new events in volcanic regions is of fundamental relevance for the mitigation of the possible consequences, both in terms of loss of human life and material properties. Here, we describe a methodology for defining flexible high-detail lava-hazard maps and a technique for the validation of the results obtained. The methodology relies on: (i) an accurate analysis of the past behavior of the volcano; (ii) a new version of the SCIARA model for lava-flow simulation (based on the macroscopic cellular automata paradigm); and (iii) high-performance parallel computing for increasing computational efficiency. The new release of the SCIARA model introduces a Bingham-like rheology as part of the minimization algorithm of the differences for the determination of outflows from a generic cell, and an improved approach to lava cooling. The method is here applied to Mount Etna, the most active volcano in Europe, and applications to land-use planning and hazard mitigation are presented.

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X