NEMOH – Numerical, Experimental, and Stochastic Modelling of Volcanic Processes and Volcanic Hazards

Papale P., H. Aochi, C.J. Bean, C. Bonadonna , A. Folch , A. Fornaciai, M.T. Gudmundsson, S.J. Lane, R. Pignolo, A. Rust, G. Saccorotti, B. Scheu (2018).
Pacini Editore, ISBN: 978-88-6995-428-3.
Focus

Introduction

Volcanic eruptions are among the most complex of natural processes, with physical and chemical controls occurring over spatial scales from the tens of kilometers of the magmatic system to the sub-millimeter scale of gas and crystal phase nucleation and growth. Time scales range from the multi-millennia of volcanic system evolution, through the seconds (and less) of earthquake generation and magma foam disruption into pyroclastic materials, to microsecond interactions between airborne volcanic ash particles. Volcanic systems display multi-phase, multi-component dynamics, behaviours and properties that are among the most extreme on Earth. Volcanic eruptions are also the source of large to extreme risks for human settlements and challenge engineering resilience (e.g., air traffic), and can exert severe impacts from the local to the global scale, including affecting the Earth climate. Over the last few decades disciplines such as thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, advanced experiments and computation, have been incorporated within volcano science in order to properly face the great challenge of understanding volcanic processes and volcanic eruptions, and formalized treatment of uncertainties has become a prominent means of volcanic hazard evaluation. However, critically, such developments have not been accompanied by a comparable evolution in the curricula of students and young scientists undertaking a career in volcanology.

Under these circumstances a consortium formed by thirteen European partners has gathered into the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network, GA 289976, “NEMOH – Numerical, Experimental and Stochastic Modelling of Volcanic Processes and Hazard”, with the objective of supporting the growth of the next generation of European volcanologists, capable of extending further the knowledge and understanding of volcano dynamics and the methods and paradigms for volcanic hazard evaluation. Nine Full Network Partners plus four Associated Partners including two SMEs and one Governmental Civil Protection Department comprised the NEMOH consortium. NEMOH gave an opportunity of advanced training and research to eighteen young scientists from eight different countries, six from Europe (France, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy), and two from outside Europe (Mexico and India), who were recruited for a total of 528 research months.

This volume represents an overview of some of the scientific activities and results obtained by the young scientists trained under NEMOH. To date (August 2017), they have published in total nearly 70 ISI papers, a testament to the success of NEMOH and making this volume necessarily a limited description of their achievements. The original papers collected here illustrate the scientific quality of the NEMOH young scientists and the trans-disciplinary approach of the project, representing in many respects the state-of-the-art for volcanology in the second decade of the third millennium. Experimental, numerical and stochastic analysis and investigation of volcanic processes and volcanic hazards are developed to illuminate further the complexities of volcanic phenomena, from recharge of magma chambers and convection-mixing dynamics inside them, to rock dynamics, rock deformation and propagation of seismic waves, roles of aquifers and ice caps, dynamics of magma ascent and eruption with complex behavior of melt-crystal-gas mixtures, pyroclastic flow and volcanic plume dynamics, and analysis of uncertainties in volcanic hazard forecasts; including new developments in mathematical treatments and numerical approaches, experimental volcanology, and multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary applications. Although interactions and cooperation between the fellows (and between their tutors) have been one major component throughout the project, this book is organized into separate chapters by individual young scientists, so to best illustrate their individual contributions. With the purpose of maximizing their exposure, each chapter is followed by a one-page self-description by the corresponding author, illustrating their background, scientific interests, and current career developments.

NEMOH has been a major opportunity of multi-disciplinary training and research for eighteen young volcano scientists in Europe and beyond. Simultaneously, NEMOH extended its training, collaboration, and exchange opportunities to nearly 300 additional young scientists who participated in training and dissemination activities, coming from all over the world and greatly extending the impact of the network. NEMOH organized six one-week long Network Schools, namely: Experimental Volcanology (Munich), Numerical Modelling and Simulations (Bristol), Volcano Monitoring and Surveillance (Stromboli), Volcano Deformation and Tectonics (Iceland), Volcanic Signal Analysis and Processing (Dublin), and Volcanic Hazard Evaluations and Forecasts (Etna). Each one delivered expert lectures, seminars and practical group activities, and included as a fundamental component training on additional skills such as poster and oral presentation, group discussion and extraction of group opinions, abstract writing, and project writing. In addition the following were also delivered: a 5-day course on parallel programming with applications in volcanology (Barcelona), a 3-days course on thermo-fluid dynamics and computational volcanology (Pisa), two NEMOH sessions and two NEMOH short courses on different aspects of quantitative volcanological research held at the EGU General Assemblies in Wien in 2014 and 2015, four NEMOH – Marie Curie Open Days aimed at introducing school students and the public to volcano research with an estimated global attendance above 500 people, and a Final Conference also attended by selected international volcano scientists and representatives from the geothermal industry.

Detailed information on NEMOH activities, and much more regarding the life of the network, is illustrated by the NEMOH website www.nemoh-itn.eu, which includes individual pages dedicated to each one of the eighteen NEMOH young scientists. Today, nearly all of them are continuing their career in science; a few of them have already attained permanent positions as scientists. But maybe the greatest success of NEMOH is that it created a community of multi-disciplinary scientists who understand each other, know what others can provide with their complementary approaches, and how their results can best fit into a multi-disciplinary approach with a global vision of volcano science and volcanic hazards forecasts. Even more significantly, they respect each other and continue to grow as a group of friends; their “NEMOH family”. This family is alive and evolving, inspiring confidence in a successful future for the science of volcanoes.

For the NEMOH Consortium: Paolo Papale, Coordinator

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