Paper: Global catastrophic risk from lower magnitude volcanic eruptions

06 August 2021
by Lara Mani, Asaf Tzachor, Paul Cole

A new open-access paper by Lara Mani, Asaf Tzachor and Paul Cole in the journal Nature Communications presents seven global pinch points where a clustering of global critical systems converges with regions of volcanic activity, presenting a new landscape for catastrophic volcanic risk. 

Author Lara Mani says, "We need to move away from thinking in terms of colossal eruptions destroying the world. Although valid, the more probable scenarios involve lower-magnitude eruptions interacting with our global critical systems & cascading us towards catastrophe.”


Globalisation supports the clustering of critical infrastructure systems, sometimes in proximity to lower-magnitude (VEI 3–6) volcanic centres. In this emerging risk landscape, moderate volcanic eruptions might have cascading, catastrophic effects. Risk assessments ought to be considered in this light.


Media coverage: 

  • "Even Small Volcanic Eruptions Could Create Global Chaos" in WIRED
  • "Minor volcanic eruptions at Vesuvius and Santorini could cause a 'domino effect', inducing TSUNAMIS that smash submerged cable networks and seal off the Suez Canal, scientists warn" in The Daily Mail.
  • "Even Minor Volcanic Eruptions Could Cause Global Catastrophe, Study Finds" in VICE
  • "Volcanic Eruptions In ‘Vital Infrastructure Hotspots’ Could Spark Global Catastrophe" in Forbes
  • "Minor volcanic eruptions could 'cascade' into global catastrophe, experts argue"
  • "We're Worried About the Wrong Volcanoes" in GIZMODO
  • "The Understudied Risks of Low-Magnitude Eruptions" in EOS

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