The phreatic eruption of the Ontake volcano in 2014 reminded us that even moderately active volcanoes, most of which are tourist attractions in Japan, can sometimes exhibit unpredictable and hazardous behaviors, taking away the lives of those who do not fully recognize their threat. With this adding momentum, the Japanese people want volcanology and its applications to be developed to further improve the precision of volcanic eruption alerts. To meet this expectation, a comprehensive program, the “Integrated program for next-generation volcano research and human resource development,” sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, was started in November 2016 on a 10-years plan. The most stunning aspect of this program is the integration of (1) a research project and (2) a human resource development program to mitigate volcanic disasters in Japan from long-term point of view. Both of these are collaboratively supported by many researchers from almost all Japanese universities and national institutions related to volcanology. This special issue compiles several topics in this research project to demonstrate its present stage of development and to indicate its anticipated future destination. The target of the research project is to develop, using multi-disciplinary scientific methods, new ways of evaluating volcanic hazards. Specifically, four research groups jointly (A) construct a data archive and exchange system connecting all Japanese volcanologists, (B) develop new geophysical and geochemical observation techniques and methods of analyzing data, (C) evolve methods of predicting volcanic eruptions based on eruption history from precise geological survey and numerical simulations, and (D) propose the provision of technologies for volcanic disasters. We hope that this program will greatly help to mitigate volcanic disasters in Japan, and we will strive to realize this through the research project.
In Japan, a number of universities, research institutes, and administrative organizations continue to conduct observations on volcanoes according to their respective roles. They also promote the distribution and sharing of observation data and have collaborated with each other. Japan Volcanological Data Network (JVDN) is a framework that strengthens this cooperation, promotes volcano research, and contributes to volcanic disaster mitigation. In this paper, we report the overview, progress, tasks, and future prospects of the system being developed for JVDN that was initiated in 2016. The observational data collected from each organization is stored in a database and shared using visualization tools to promote collaborative research, (e.g., multi-disciplinary research for eruption prediction) and cooperation between organizations. Furthermore, this database will contribute to volcanic disaster mitigation measures through collaboration between the volcano research community and administrative organizations responsible for volcanic crisis management. Adaptation to the standards of the international WOVOdat database will also promote cooperation with research institutes worldwide.
The detection capability of various anomalous phenomena preceding volcanic eruptions has considerably progressed as the geophysical monitoring networks have become denser and multi-disciplinary. However, current eruption forecasting techniques, from a practical perspective, still have much scope for improvement because they largely depend on empirical techniques. In the past decade, three-dimensional modeling based on the electromagnetic sounding methods such as magnetotellurics (MT) have become a practical choice, and its recent applications to active volcanic fields has revealed certain common features among volcanoes. Information about the resistivity structure, especially in ‘wet’ volcanic fields, is useful for the provisional screening of the eruption potential from the viewpoint of the subsurface structure, and, thus, may contribute to the evaluation of eruption imminence in a broad sense. In this study, for evaluation purposes, we present the roles and possible further applications of the subsurface resistivity structure studies by demonstrating the preliminary results and interpretations of an MT survey that we performed in the Kuttara Volcanic Group, northern Japan.
A new Phase-Shifted Optical Interferometry seismometer system was tested in terms of its feasibility for multi-channeled volcanological observations in two volcanos in Japan. The system is capable of both sensing ground motions and transferring its signals through optical means. The prototype of this system comprises three optical-wired stations and optical components, and was deployed in Sakurajima Volcano in 2016 and in Asama Volcano in 2017. The system successfully operated for 134 days in total and provided seismograms that are in good agreement with those obtained using conventional systems. Several obstacles for putting this system to practical use that need to be solved were found through tests. Their solutions will be explored in subsequent research.
As volcanic hazards induce damage with their flows of gases, liquids, and solid materials, a numerical simulation using multi-phase formulation is applicable to the analysis and evaluation of the risks from these volcanic hazards in both normal and emergent periods. A numerical simulation can also be useful for crisis management. Quick and precise evaluation is needed for upcoming and ongoing hazards, and we present here a concept for the development of a volcanic hazard evaluation system for these hazards, a system in which an input parameter database is compiled and countermeasure information is provided by considering the exposure and vulnerability database.
In this study, a procedure to measure the viscosity of multi-phase magma at high temperatures (>1000°C) was developed by using a simple apparatus comprising a commercially available desktop furnace and viscometer. In particular, the use of a disposable container enabled observations of the microstructure of an entire sample. The procedure was applied to basaltic andesite magma of the 1986 Izu–Oshima fissure eruption, Japan. The results show that reliable data, consistent with previous studies, were obtained and that the magma rheology became non-Newtonian with decreasing temperature, showing clear shear-thinning behavior. The rheological properties of the magma at 1180°C are quantitatively described as a function of shear rate based on three simple non-Newtonian fluid models. Sectional views of the sample confirm that plagioclase and Fe–Ti oxide crystals were nearly uniformly dispersed in the sample. The mean crystal volume fraction of 0.14 enabled crystal interactions inducing changes in crystal arrangement, affecting the rheology.
A new program for the Next Generation Volcano Research and Human Resource Development started in 2016, following the government’s analysis of a volcanic disaster at Mount Ontake in 2014. One of its important purposes is the development of a technology that can provide visualized information of imminent volcanic hazards to the stakeholders. The latter include researchers in the Volcano Disaster Prevention Councils. Since the volcanic activity in Japan has been relatively less in the past few hundred years, larger eruptions are certainly expected to occur in the near future. Volcanic risk management has developed in Japan independently of university or institutional research, and by a national law, researchers are not allowed to officially forecast imminent volcanic eruptions. In the case of large eruptions never being observed, a close communication between the Japan Meteorological Agency and researchers becomes very important. Our project goal is issuing effective information on real-time observational and hazard mitigation simulation data to the stakeholders and researchers. Based on our inspection and interviews we develop information tools using which the above data are provided effectively and the dissemination and education of volcanic disasters are performed.
This paper presents the major specifications and characteristics of the Ku-band high-speed scanning Doppler radar for volcano observation (KuRAD) introduced to Kagoshima University in March 2017 as well as the results of a test observation at Sakurajima. KuRAD is a Doppler radar for research with a wavelength of approximately 2 cm and uses a 45 cm diameter Luneberg lens antenna as a transmitting and receiving antenna to observe the development of a volcanic eruption column immediately following eruption at a maximum rotation speed of 40 rpm. The maximum transmitter power is 9.6 W and the maximum observational range is 20 km. Observed data includes radar reflectivity factor, Doppler velocity, and Doppler spectrum width. Another feature of KuRAD is an obtained radio station license for observation of a total of seven active volcanos in Kyushu. To assess the basic performance of KuRAD, we carried out test observations of volcanic eruptions at Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan and collected a total of 87 eruptions (20 of which are explosive eruptions and 7 of which had 3,000 m or higher eruptive smoke from vents). From the eruption data of Showa vent on May 2, 2017, it was confirmed that KuRAD could monitor the three-dimensional internal structure of a volcanic eruption column immediately following eruption. Eruption data from Minamidake of Sakurajima on March 5, 2018, showed that KuRAD successfully observed the eruptive smoke reaching a height of 4,000 m, although the eruptive smoke was covered with clouds and could not be detected by optical instruments of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Forest fires are a common and destructive natural disaster in Russia. Weather conditions during active forest fire periods in southern Sakha (Eastern Siberia) at high latitudes (58–65°N, 120–140°E) were evaluated. Periods of high fire activity during 2002 to 2016 were identified using MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer) hotspot data by considering the number of daily hotspots and their continuity. Weather conditions during the top seven periods of high fire activity were analyzed using atmospheric reanalysis data for upper (500 hPa) and lower levels (925 hPa). Our results showed that active fires occurred under varied weather conditions and it was difficult to find common weather patterns at both upper- and lower-levels during the seven most active fire periods. Furthermore, it was apparent that the northward movement of warm air masses (cTe: continental temperate) from lower latitudes (∼40°N) toward southern Sakha tended to exacerbate fires mainly due to strong wind conditions during the seven most active fire periods. In particular, on peak hotspot days, warm air masses from the south existed commonly near southern Sakha. This northward movement of warm air masses can be used to forecast fire and predict future fires in the region.
A mixed integer non-linear mathematical model is proposed to efficiently provision necessary supplies for the dignified survival of people affected by hydrometeorological disasters that are usually experienced in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. In the context of damages to property and infrastructure in the municipalities affected by such natural disasters and to develop resilience, a model that combines the problem of locating facilities with the problem of determining inventory levels for uncertain demand is developed, facilitating the timely supply of survival kits. The number of survival kits required is determined according to the needs of the affected people in terms of food products, equipment, water, and medicine. Requirements for food products and equipment are based on the human life cycle, from the stages of early childhood until old age; those for water and medicine on total demand. The model is tested in the Capital Region, one of the ten regions within Veracruz, because the municipalities that comprise the region have experienced numerous declarations of emergency registered in the Natural Disasters Fund. The Capital Region comprises 33 municipalities, 17 of which have experienced this type of declaration in 2016. Therefore, our model has been developed to determine the optimal location of a pre-positioned warehouse in the Naolinco municipality, including the optimal levels of inventory that would satisfy 99% of the affected population in this region. Our model can serve as a tool through which individuals involved in the decision-making process can select the locations that have not been impacted by the hydrometeorological events, including pre-positioned warehouses that in turn safely store the survival kits. This model can be utilized not only in Mexico but in any part of the world by individuals involved in the decision-making process associated with providing relief to affected people.
The 2004 South-East Asia earthquake and tsunami as well as the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquakes and tsunamis caused the greatest economic losses and challenged the continuity of business operations across the continents. Thereafter, regions most at risk when the 2016 Kaohsiung earthquake shook an electronics hub in Southern Taiwan, where lies at the heart of Apple’s supply chain. The large-scale disasters demonstrate the fragility of supply chains and the importance of enhancing disaster resilience through innovative technology and keen collaboration on information sharing/dissemination, resources allocations and risks communication/awareness across borders. With review of the global and regional lessons learn from the large-scale disasters, the increasing threats from devastating earthquakes and extreme weather call for the actions to enhance economic security. Base on the practical experience of DRR project implementations in decades, APEC identifies several key factors to promote disaster resilience in business sectors while the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) declared to promote the disaster risk governance and encourages innovation, science and technology DRR approaches on raising the risk awareness and level of preparedness. At regional level of disaster risk management, empowering the cross-cutting collaborations on science and technology as well as enabling the inter-disciplinary information intelligence platform for communications are keys to resilient society and human well-being. This paper aims to identify conceptual model for enhancing regional resilience and connectivity through public-private partnership. The country-level case studies and comprehensive regional reviews for promoting inclusive and disaster resilient development will be cover.