Volcanic Risk

Teaching Team

  • Costanza Bonadonna (Physical Volcanology) - MODULE RESPONSIBLE
  • Ramón Arrowsmith (Structural Geology)
  • Mauro Rosi (Volcanic Risk and Emergency Management)
  • Ali Asgary (Disaster Management)
  • Chris Gregg (Risk Perception)
  • Scira Menoni (Vulnerability Assessment)

View of La Fossa cone and the Lentia caldera from Vulcanello (Vulcano, Italy).

About the Volcanic Risk module

This module presents an introduction to physical volcanology and volcanic risk. In particular, some basic concepts of volcanoes, volcanic eruptions and their deposits are discussed. The main volcanic processes and their associated hazards are described in greater detail. Finally, how risk management decisions are made in the context of volcanic eruptions are also considered.


At the end of this course, students will be able to describe:

  • volcano distribution
  • volcano typology
  • sizes, rates and frequencies of eruptions
  • eruption classification
  • eruption dynamics
  • volcanic processes
  • pyroclastic deposits
  • volcanic hazards
  • implications of risk analyses and decision making

At the end of this course, students will also be able to combine volcanology information together with vulnerability, economic and social assessments for a comprehensive approach to risk analyses.

Associated Field Trip

Instructors: Costanza Bonadonna (UNIGE), Mauro Rosi (Univ. Pisa, Italy), Ramón Arrowsmith (ASU, USA), Chris Gregg (ETSU, USA), Corine Frischknecht (UNIGE) Scira Menoni (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Ali Asgary (York University, Canada)


On top of La Fossa (CERG 2007; Vulcano, Italy)

The volcanology module includes a one-week field trip to the island of Vulcano (Isole Eolie, Italy) where the students will be able to combine all information received in class together with some of the concepts provided in the Risk Management module. During the first part of the trip students will familiarize themselves with volcanic deposits and with the general volcanic setting of Vulcano. Students will then conduct a vulnerability assessment of the buildings and infrastructure on the island and conduct a social survey to understand how social-psychological factors influence risk on the island. Finally, students analyze economic implications of a potential eruption as well as the economic implications of hazard mitigation. Data collected in these various tasks are merged to develop a comprehensive risk assessment that includes suggestions and recommendations for efficient preventive measures.

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