Constructing event trees for volcanic crises

Bulletin of Volcanology
By:  and 



Event trees are useful frameworks for discussing probabilities of possible outcomes of volcanic unrest. Each branch of the tree leads from a necessary prior event to a more specific outcome, e.g., from an eruption to a pyroclastic flow. Where volcanic processes are poorly understood, probability estimates might be purely empirical - utilizing observations of past and current activity and an assumption that the future will mimic the past or follow a present trend. If processes are better understood, probabilities might be estimated from a theoritical model, either subjectively or by numerical simulations. Use of Bayes' theorem aids in the estimation of how fresh unrest raises (or lowers) the probabilities of eruptions. Use of event trees during volcanic crises can help volcanologists to critically review their analysis of hazard, and help officials and individuals to compare volcanic risks with more familiar risks. Trees also emphasize the inherently probabilistic nature of volcano forecasts, with multiple possible outcomes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Constructing event trees for volcanic crises
Series title Bulletin of Volcanology
DOI 10.1007/s004450100173
Volume 64
Issue 1
Year Published 2002
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Bulletin of Volcanology
First page 3
Last page 20