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# ENVS237 Practical 1

## CALCULATING HAZARD AND RISK

AIMS
- To utilise online resources to find information on past natural hazard
events
- To use this information to consider the probability of future event
occurrences
- To consider the accuracy/completeness of available hazard information
- To use exposure and vulnerability functions to calculate loss for a given
event
- To apply the above information to estimate risk for a region

## Risk = (hazard, exposure, vulnerability)

When calculating risk, hazard refers to the likelihood of an event at a particular location of a
particular magnitude, where magnitude can have many different measures. For example, the
magnitude of a flood is typically expressed as the maximum water height, although other measures
include the speed of the water, the rate of water rise and the amount of suspended material.

Exposure is a count of the number of elements exposured to that particular level of hazard.
Exposure may be a count of people, buildings, road lengths, utility providers etc.

Vulnerability is a measure that describes the proportion of loss or damage for a particular hazard
magnitude and exposure type (e.g. 50% of single-storied timber-framed buildings will be destroyed
by an earthquake of magnitude 6.0). In the case of damage, the proportion may relate to either
100% of buildings being damaged by 50% or 50% of the buildings being completely destroyed (or
somewhere in the middle).

Hazard, exposure and vulnerability usually have uncertainties around them and are expressed as
probability functions. However, today we will simplify the calculation of risk and assume that
measures of hazard exposure and vulnerability are known and fixed.

All questions need to be answered on the answer sheet and submitted via the turnitin link on
iLearn by midnight this Sunday. Please provide working where needed and adhere to maximum
Case study Mount Fuji eruption

The first practical will consider the hazard and risk to Tokyo from a future eruption from Mount Fuji
volcano. We will start by looking at Hazard.

## Go to the Smithsonian Institutions Global Volcanism Program Website (http://volcano.si.edu/). This

website lists all known volcanic eruption that have been observed or recorded in the geological
record over the Holocene (approximately last 10,000 years). Then, in the database, search for
Fujisan and have a look at the record for this volcano. On the first page you will find some
interesting information about the volcano and its recent unrest. Then click on eruptive history to
see a record of past eruptions.

Note 1: For this practical, only consider eruptions that are recorded as Confirmed.

Note 2: VEI is the Volcanic Explosivity Index and refers to the magnitude of the eruption. VEI is a log
scale. Therefore an eruption of VEI 4 was 10 times larger than one of VEI 3 (Figure 1). We will
discuss this more in the lecture later this week.

## Figure 1: VEI displayed as spheres depicting erupted volume of tephra (USGS).

Consider the list of past eruptions to answer the following questions:

Question 1 (2 marks): When did the oldest recorded and confirmed eruption from Mount Fuji
occur and how was it dated? Where from the volcano did this eruption occur? What was the VEI?

Question 2 (2 marks): When did the youngest recorded and confirmed eruption from Mount Fuji
occur and how was it dated? Where from the volcano did this eruption occur? What was the VEI?

We now wish to calculate the annual probability (the likely frequency of the hazard) from Mount
Fuji.

Question 3 (2 marks): Using the past known events, calculate the annual probability of an eruption
of any magnitude from Mount Fuji.

Note 3: You will need to count the total number of eruptions and observe the time period that you
are considering.

Question 4 (2 marks): Using the past known events, what is the annual probability of an eruption
of VEI 5 or larger from Mount Fuji.

Question 5 (maximum 50 words ~ 3 lines, 2 marks): Are the values give an overestimate or
underestimate of hazard and why?

## Now we will move onto looking at Risk.

Figure 2 shows the tephra isopachs (ash fall thickness contours) from the most recent eruption of
Mount Fuji (Hoei eruption) that began in 1707. The tephra fall was incredibly widespread and would
severely disrupt Tokyo if the same eruption was to occur again today. Significant damage would
occur close to the volcano.

Table 1 shows the exposure within each isopach, i.e. the number of elements (buildings) exposed to
this minimum thickness of tephra and the total value of these buildings. Figure 3 shows a
vulnerability curve linking tephra thickness to the percentage damage of the building.

Note 4: In this practical we will only consider the tephra fall hazard, not additional hazards from
mudflows, lava etc. We will only consider risk to buildings and assume all buildings are of the same
strength. In reality, each building type, i.e. timber-framed residential buildings, concreate industrial
buildings etc., would have very different vulnerability characteristics.
Figure 2: Isopach map of the Hoei eruption overlain on map of present day Tokyo (Cabinet Office of
the Japanese Government). Note, the highly populated area of central Tokyo is shown in pink.

Table 1: The count and value of buildings within each isopach identified by the minimum tephra
in the following questions and should be submitted with the final answer.

## Isopach Building Total building

(min count value
thickness) (Billion JPY)
1 mm 17,374 537.73
5 mm 30,643 729.45
10 mm 12,040 427.87
20 mm 6,418 390.24
40 mm 20,651 1146.96
80 mm 10,969 427.77
160 mm 13,379 275.77
300 mm 2,103 18.90
640 mm 181 0.49
1280 mm 70 0.17
3000 mm 12 0.02
100

90

80

70

60
% damage

50

40

30

20

10

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
Tephra thickness (mm)

4
% damage

0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Tephra thickness (mm)

Figure 2: Example vulnerability curve showing expected damage from the range of tephra fall
thicknesses. Note: lower curve is just a zoomed view of the curve.
Question 6 (4 marks): Calculate the total loss that would occur if the Hoei eruption was to occur
again today. Show all working in the table and state the total loss.

## Question 7 (2 marks): Is this building loss an overestimate or underestimate

Question 8 (4 marks): Use the values from Questions 4 and 6 to calculate risk to buildings from a
future VEI 5 eruption from Mount Fuji. You may assume that eruptive style, eruption volume, and
wind conditions will always be identical to during the Hoei eruption. The final value should be the
annual expected loss from this magnitude eruption. Please show all working.

## Note 6: Question 6 addresses both exposure and vulnerability

The following references have been uploaded to iLearn and will give you good background
information on the volcanic explosivity index, volcanic ash impacts and calculation of volcanic hazard
and risk.

Jenkins, S.F., Wilson, T.M., Magill, C., Miller, V., Stewart, C., Blong, R., Marzocchi, W., Boulton, M.,
Bonadonna, C. and Costa, A., 2015. Volcanic ash fall hazard and risk. Global Volcanic Hazards and
Risk. doi, 10(1017), pp.173-222.

Miyaji, N., Kan'no, A., Kanamaru, T. and Mannen, K., 2011. High-resolution reconstruction of the
Hoei eruption (AD 1707) of Fuji volcano, Japan. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal
Research, 207(3), pp.113-129.

Newhall, C.G. and Self, S., 1982. The volcanic explosivity index (VEI) an estimate of explosive
magnitude for historical volcanism. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 87(C2), pp.1231-1238.