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It’s alive! Virtual eruptions on a supercomputer

Evivo copertina DVD

Some videos on the DVD can be viewed at the following YouTube channel:


Volcanoes are not all alike: some like Mount Etna erupt frequently, while others such as Vesuvius seem quiescent, but their geological history teaches us that they can erupt even after a long period of time. The eruption that awakens them is often explosive and can project large amounts of gas and ash into the atmosphere. When this material flows along the flanks of the volcano pyroclastic flows form: these are very hot, dense, fast-moving clouds that destroy everything in their path.

Our mathematical model allows us to simulate these flows, much like meteorological models are used to simulate atmospheric phenomena. The model is used to investigate the features and conditions that control the generation of pyroclastic flows, their movement and their impact on an area. This DVD illustrates our research, and the animations collected in it translate the results of the model into images.

The DVD develops upon our 2005 CD-ROM “<a href=”” target=”_blank”>È VIVO! Eruzioni VIrtuali al VesuviO!</a>”, which contained the first 2D animations ( The improved model, which can now simulate the phenomenon in 3D, has been applied to different volcanoes around the world. We chose to comment upon the animations in a video which, through the voice of scientists and professionals, discusses the motivations and implications of this research.