Project Title

Improving volcano risk communication at the Long Valley Caldera and Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic system, eastern California, USA

Authors' Affiliations

Justin Peers 1, Ashleigh Reeves1, Chris E. Gregg1, Michael K. Lindell2, and Timothy A. Joyner1 (1) East Tennessee State University, Department of Geosciences, Johnson City, TN, USA (2) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

79

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Chris Gregg

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Geosciences

Type

Poster: Non-Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Natural Sciences

Abstract Text

Exposure to volcano hazards can lead to crises; with or without an eruptive event. Therefore, it is important to distinguish that volcanic events (unrest & eruptions) are physical phenomena while volcanic crises are social. Volcanic eruptions, unlike some other geologic hazards are often preceded by weeks or months of precursors, which offer the opportunity to reduce risk by early intervention. However, resistance to discussion of local hazards can hinder stakeholders’ (emergency managers, scientists, etc.) ability to mitigate volcano hazards and create well-informed protocols to respond when disaster strikes. The Long Valley Caldera (LVC) east of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, has experienced unrest since 1978, at which time a M5.6 earthquake ended 20 years of seismic quiet. Seismicity continued, followed by significant ground deformation and doming of the caldera floor, increased fumarolic activity, and CO2 degassing which has contributed to tree kills and human fatalities. Extensive research in volcano science provides an understanding of the physical phenomena behind the mechanics of volcanos, but limited resources have been dedicated to understanding human processes in response to volcano hazards and their corresponding disasters. Misconceptions and uncertainty surrounding organizational and physical communication of risk information can amplify economic consequences resulting from volcanic crises. This study will utilize two methods to obtain perceptions that local stakeholders and residents hold towards hazards in their region; and their confidence in the agencies that are responsible in responding to crises. A questionnaire sent to 1,200 households in February, 2018 asked head-of-households about their awareness of volcano hazards, preparedness for a volcano emergency, and perceptions of stakeholders responsible for decision making and warning systems. Mental model interviews conducted with stakeholders in summer, 2018 will provide insight on methods used by decision makers tasked with responding to disasters at LVC and the greater Long Valley Volcanic Region (LVVR). Mental models, i.e. schema, are a representation of how a person thinks about and mentally conceptualizes objects, events, and relationships in the real world. Robust to change, mental models are not easily altered; however, new information is either dismissed or made to fit within previous beliefs. Research suggests that the more discordant new information is with respect to existing beliefs, the more likely the information is to challenge those beliefs, providing opportunities for change. Together, these household and stakeholder studies will identify issues surrounding risk communication and risk management to improve tools that communicate the uncertainty of volcanic activity in the LVVR.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Improving volcano risk communication at the Long Valley Caldera and Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic system, eastern California, USA

Ballroom

Exposure to volcano hazards can lead to crises; with or without an eruptive event. Therefore, it is important to distinguish that volcanic events (unrest & eruptions) are physical phenomena while volcanic crises are social. Volcanic eruptions, unlike some other geologic hazards are often preceded by weeks or months of precursors, which offer the opportunity to reduce risk by early intervention. However, resistance to discussion of local hazards can hinder stakeholders’ (emergency managers, scientists, etc.) ability to mitigate volcano hazards and create well-informed protocols to respond when disaster strikes. The Long Valley Caldera (LVC) east of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, has experienced unrest since 1978, at which time a M5.6 earthquake ended 20 years of seismic quiet. Seismicity continued, followed by significant ground deformation and doming of the caldera floor, increased fumarolic activity, and CO2 degassing which has contributed to tree kills and human fatalities. Extensive research in volcano science provides an understanding of the physical phenomena behind the mechanics of volcanos, but limited resources have been dedicated to understanding human processes in response to volcano hazards and their corresponding disasters. Misconceptions and uncertainty surrounding organizational and physical communication of risk information can amplify economic consequences resulting from volcanic crises. This study will utilize two methods to obtain perceptions that local stakeholders and residents hold towards hazards in their region; and their confidence in the agencies that are responsible in responding to crises. A questionnaire sent to 1,200 households in February, 2018 asked head-of-households about their awareness of volcano hazards, preparedness for a volcano emergency, and perceptions of stakeholders responsible for decision making and warning systems. Mental model interviews conducted with stakeholders in summer, 2018 will provide insight on methods used by decision makers tasked with responding to disasters at LVC and the greater Long Valley Volcanic Region (LVVR). Mental models, i.e. schema, are a representation of how a person thinks about and mentally conceptualizes objects, events, and relationships in the real world. Robust to change, mental models are not easily altered; however, new information is either dismissed or made to fit within previous beliefs. Research suggests that the more discordant new information is with respect to existing beliefs, the more likely the information is to challenge those beliefs, providing opportunities for change. Together, these household and stakeholder studies will identify issues surrounding risk communication and risk management to improve tools that communicate the uncertainty of volcanic activity in the LVVR.