Volcanoes and Volcanic Risk in the Circum-Pacific

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The Circum-Pacific is defined to include back arcs and continental areas of volcanism. Volcanoes must be regarded as dormant, if the time since their last eruption is less than about ten times the average interval between eruptions, even if they have not erupted for tens of thousands of years or longer. It is important to establish a complete history, over as long a period as possible, for varying volumes of eruptions. In order to assess risk, the average interval between eruptions should be calculated for each range of erupted vo4ume~, in orders of magnitude from about 10 m up to the maximum volume possible at each volcano. Eruptions are considered to consist of individual explosions, and are grouped into eruptive sequences, with the sequences grouped into overall cycles of activity. Frequency of eruption versus volume erupted is a linear relationship for most andesitic and basaltic volcanoes, but is often bimodal at rhyolitic volcanoes, 3 with a slower eruption rate above about 10 km. Worldwide, during the last 7000 years, there have been three known e~uptions with volumes of ejecta of > 100 km , a9d, since 1638 A.D., 7 with volumes > 10 km , and 48 with volumes > 1 km . Average recurrence intervals are about 71 years for eruptions of > 20 km , 39 years for those of > 10 km , and 7 years for those of > 1 km . Rough esti- mates can be made for larger volumes erupted. Mean intervals in the Circum-Pacific are about twice the length of those for the world as a whole. During the last 400 years, about 61% of the world's eruptions of > 1 km3 have taken place in this region.
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