Skip to main content

The Narrow Margin of Successful Volcanic-Risk Mitigation

  • Chapter
Monitoring and Mitigation of Volcano Hazards

Abstract

Successful mitigation of volcanic risks requires correct forecasts, effective warnings, and a willingness of public officials and citizens to take necessary precautions. Volcanologists should be prepared for obstacles and delays at each step and should be aware that, even when progress is being made toward such forecasts, warnings, and precautionary actions, the margin of safety can be alarmingly narrow.

At Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo, volcanologists made adequate, if imperfect, forecasts, and most public officials took responsible precautions. Despite these positive actions, a suite of problems — including skepticism, bureaucratic and logistic difficulties, and short warning from the volcano — practically eliminated the margin of safety. Ultimately, luck and last-minute efforts played key roles, but warnings and response could easily have been too late.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Crandell DR, Hoblitt RP (1986) Lateral blasts at Mount St. Helens and hazard zonation. Bull Volcanol 48: 27–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crandell DR, Mullineaux DR (1978) Potential hazards from future eruptions of Mount St. Helens volcano, Washington. US Geol Surv Bull 1383-C: 1–26

    Google Scholar 

  • Crandell DR, Mullineaux DR, Rubin M (1975) Mount St. Helens volcano: recent and future behavior. Science 187: 430–441

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Delfin FG Jr (1983) Geology of the Mt. Pinatubo geothermal project. Philippine National Oil Company, Manila, pp 1–35 plus figures, unpubl rep

    Google Scholar 

  • Delfin FG Jr (1984) Geology and geothermal potential of Mt. Pinatubo. Philippine National Oil Company, Manila, pp 1–36, unpubl rep

    Google Scholar 

  • Ebasco Services Inc (1977) Philippine nuclear power plant I, preliminary safety analysis report, vol. 7, Sect 2.5.H.1, Appendix, A report on geochronological investigations of materials relating to studies for the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Fiske RS (1984) Volcanologists, journalists, and the concerned local public: a tale of two crises in the eastern Caribbean. In: National Research Council, Geophysics Study Committee (eds) Explosive Volcanism. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 110–121

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorshkov GS (1959) Gigantic eruption of the volcano Bezymianny. Bull Volcanol 20: 77–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hall ML (1992) The 1985 Nevado del Ruiz eruption: scientific, social, and governmental response and interaction prior to eruption. In: McCall GJH, Laming DJC, Scott S (eds) Geohazards. Chapman and Hall, London, Assoc Geosci Int Devel Rep 15: 43–52

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Janda RJ, Daag AS, Delos Reyes PJ, Newhall CG, Pierson TC, Punongbayan RS, Rodolfo KS, Solidum RU, Umbal JV (1996) Assessment and response to lahar hazard around Mount Pinatubo, 1991 to 1993. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence DB (1939) Continuing research on the flora of Mount St. Helens. Mazama 21(12): 49–54

    Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence DB (1954) Diagrammatic history of the northeast slope of Mount St. Helens. Mazama 36(13): 41–44

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipman PW, Moore JG, Swanson DA (1981) Bulging of the north flank before the May 18 eruption — geodetic data. In: Lipman PW, Mullineaux DR (eds) The 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1250: 143–155

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipman PW, Mullineaux DR (eds) (1981) The 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1250: 1–844

    Google Scholar 

  • Marcial SS, Melosantos AA, Hadley KC, LaHusen RG, Marso J (1996) Instrumental lahar monitoring at Mount Pinatubo. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Martinez ML, Arboleda RA, Delos Reyes PJ, Gabinete E, Dolan MT (1996) Observations of 1992 lahars along the Sacobia-Bamban River system. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller CD, Mullineaux DR, Crandell DR (1981) Hazards assessments at Mount St. Helens. In: Lipman PW, Mullineaux DR (eds) The 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1250: 789–802

    Google Scholar 

  • Newhall CG (1982) A method for estimating intermediate and long-term risks from volcanic activity, with an example from Mount St. Helens, Washington. US Geol Surv Open-file Rep 82–396, pp 1–59

    Google Scholar 

  • Newhall CG (1984) Semiquantitative assessment of changing volcanic risk at Mount St. Helens, Washington: US Geol Surv Open-File Rep 84–272, pp 1–29

    Google Scholar 

  • Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) (1996) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson DW, Tilling RI (1993) Interactions between scientists, civil authorities, and the public at hazardous volcanoes. In: Kilburn CRJ, Luongo G (eds) Monitoring active lavas. UCL Press, London, pp 339–365

    Google Scholar 

  • Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (1988) Distribution of active and inactive volcanoes in the Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, educational poster, 1 sheet

    Google Scholar 

  • Pierson TC, Janda RJ, Umbal JV, Daag AS (1992) Immediate and long-term hazards from lahars and excess sedimentation in rivers draining Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines. US Geol Surv Water-Resour Invest Rep 92–4039, pp 1–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Pinatubo Volcano Observatory Team (1991) Lessons from a major eruption: Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines. Eos, Trans Am Geophys Union 72: 545, 552–553, 555

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Punongbayan RS (1987) Disaster preparedness systems for natural hazards in the Philippines: an assessment. In: Geologic hazards and disaster preparedness systems, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, pp 77–101

    Google Scholar 

  • Punongbayan RS, Newhall CG, Bautista MLP, Garcia D, Harlow D, Hoblitt RP, Sabit J, Solidum RU (1996) Eruptive hazard assessments and warnings. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Ramos AF, Isada MG (1990) Emergency investigation of the alleged volcanic activity of Mount Pinatubo in Zambales Province. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Manila, Memorandum Report, 1–2

    Google Scholar 

  • Saarinen TF, Sell JL (1985) Warning and response to the Mount St. Helens eruption. State University of New York Press, Albany, pp 1–240

    Google Scholar 

  • Sabit JP, Pigtain RC, de la Cruz EG (1996) The west side story: observations of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruptions from the west. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Swanson DA, Casadevall TJ, Dzurisin D, Malone SD, Newhall CG, Weaver CS (1983) Predicting eruptions at Mount St. Helens, June 1980 through December 1982. Science 221: 1369–1376

    Google Scholar 

  • Tungol NM, Regalado MTM (1996) Rainfall, acoustic flow monitor records, and observed lahars of the Sacobia River in 1992. In: Newhall CG, Punongbayan RS (eds) Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, and University of Washington Press, Seattle (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • UNDRO/UNESCO (1985) Volcanic emergency management. UNDRO/UNESCO, pp 1–86

    Google Scholar 

  • Verhoogen J (1937) Mount St. Helens — a recent Cascade volcano. Univ Calif Publ Geol Sci 24(9): 263–302

    Google Scholar 

  • Voight B (1988) Countdown to catastrophe. Earth Mineral Sci (Pennsylvania State Univ) 57: 17–30

    Google Scholar 

  • Voight B (1990) The 1985 Nevado del Ruiz volcano catastrophe: anatomy and retrospection. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 44: 349–386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watanabe H (1984) Gradual bubble growth in dacite magma as a possible cause of the 1977–1978 long-lived activity of Usu Volcano. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 20: 133–144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wolfe JA, Self S (1982) Structural lineaments and Neogene volcanism in southwestern Luzon. In: Hayes DE (ed) The tectonic and geologic evolution of Southeast Asian seas and islands, pt 2. Am Geophys Union Monogr 27: 157–172

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolfe JA, Self S (1983) Subduction, arc volcanism and hydrothermal mineralization: the Manila Trench sector, Philippines. Philippine J Volcanol 1(1): 11–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Yamaguchi DK (1985) Tree-ring evidence for a 2-year interval between recent prehistoric explosive eruptions of Mount St. Helens. Geology 13: 554–557

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yamaguchi DK (1993) Forest history, Mount St Helens. Nat Geogr Res Explor 9(3): 294–325

    Google Scholar 

  • Yokoyama I, Yamashita H, Watanabe H, Okada Hm (1981) Geophysical characteristics of dacite volcanism — the 1977–1978 eruption of Usu Volcano. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 9: 335–358

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 1996 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Newhall, C.G., Punongbayan, R.S. (1996). The Narrow Margin of Successful Volcanic-Risk Mitigation. In: Monitoring and Mitigation of Volcano Hazards. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-80087-0_25

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-80087-0_25

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-80089-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-80087-0

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

Publish with us

Policies and ethics