Volcanic ash hazard in the Central Mediterranean assessed from geological data
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- Sulpizio, R., Zanchetta, G., Caron, B. et al. Bull Volcanol (2014) 76: 866. doi:10.1007/s00445-014-0866-y
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Volcanic ash produced during explosive eruptions can have very severe impacts on modern technological societies. Here, we use reconstructed patterns of fine ash dispersal recorded in terrestrial and marine geological archives to assess volcanic ash hazards. The ash-dispersal maps from nine Holocene explosive eruptions of Italian volcanoes have been used to construct frequency maps of distal ash deposition over a wide area, which encompasses central and southern Italy, the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas and the Balkans. The maps are presented as two cumulative-thickness isopach maps, one for nine eruptions from different volcanoes and one for six eruptions from Somma-Vesuvius. These maps represent the first use of distal ash layers to construct volcanic hazard maps, and the proposed methodology is easily applicable to other volcanic areas worldwide.