On an Unified Scaling Law for Volcanic Eruptions

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Flavio Cannavo, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy and Giuseppe Nunnari, University of Catania, DIEEI, Catania, Italy
Volcanoes constitute dissipative systems with many degrees of freedom. Their eruptions are the result of complex processes that involve interacting chemical-physical systems. At the present, both analytical and numerical models are unable to include all the possible dynamics involved into eruptions. On the other hand, the knowledge of eruption duration can be a key factor for natural hazard estimation. In this work, analyzing a large database with most of all the known volcanic eruptions, we have determined that the duration of eruptions can be described by a unique universal distribution which fully governs eruption duration dynamics. In particular, after the well-known results proposed in literature concerning the seismicity (i.e. the Gutenberg-Richter law), we present an Earth-wise power-law distribution of durations of volcanic eruptions that holds from worldwide to local scales, for different volcanic environments and for all the considered eruption types.