Combining Geological and Geophysical Data in Volcanic Hazard Estimation for Dominica, Lesser Antilles

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Ophelia George1, Joan L Latchman2, Charles Connor1, Rocco Malservisi1 and Laura Connor1, (1)University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, United States, (2)University of the West Indies, Seismic Research Center, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Risk posed by volcanic eruptions are generally quantified in a few ways; in the short term geophysical data such as seismic activity or ground deformation are used to assess the state of volcanic unrest while statistical approaches such as spatial density estimates are used for long term hazard assessment. Spatial density estimates have been used in a number of monogenetic volcanic fields for hazard map generation and utilize the age, location and volumes of previous eruptions to calculate the probability of a new event occurring at a given location within this field. In a previously unpublished study, spatial density estimates of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc showed the island of Dominica to have the highest likelihood of future vent formation. In this current study, this technique was used in combination with relocated seismic events occurring beneath Dominica within the last ~ 20 years as well as InSAR images of ground deformation to generate a hazard map which not only takes into consideration the past events but also the current state of unrest. Here, geophysical data serve as a weighting factor in the estimates with those centers showing more vigorous activity receiving stronger favorability in the assessment for future activity. In addition to this weighting, the bandwidth utilized in the 2D-radially symmetric kernel density function was optimized using the SAMSE method so as to find the value which best minimizes the error in the estimate. The end results of this study are dynamic volcanic hazards maps which will be readily updatable as changes in volcanic unrest occurs within the system.