Modeling lahar behavior and hazards

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Lahars are highly mobile mixtures of water and sediment of volcanic origin that are capable of traveling tens to > 100 km at speeds exceeding tens of km hr-1. Such flows are among the most serious ground-based hazards at many volcanoes because of their sudden onset, rapid advance rates, long runout distances, high energy, ability to transport large volumes of material, and tendency to flow along existing river channels where populations and infrastructure are commonly concentrated. They can grow in volume and peak discharge through erosion and incorporation of external sediment and/or water, inundate broad areas, and leave deposits many meters thick. Furthermore, lahars can recur for many years to decades after an initial volcanic eruption, as fresh pyroclastic material is eroded and redeposited during rainfall events, resulting in a spatially and temporally evolving hazard. Improving understanding of the behavior of these complex, gravitationally driven, multi-phase flows is key to mitigating the threat to communities at lahar-prone volcanoes. However, their complexity and evolving nature pose significant challenges to developing the models of flow behavior required for delineating their hazards and hazard zones.
Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Modeling lahar behavior and hazards
ISBN 9781139021562; 9780521895439
DOI 10.1017/CBO9781139021562.014
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publisher location Cambridge
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 31 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Modeling volcanic processes: the physics and mathematics of volcanism
First page 300
Last page 330
Country United States
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