News & Events



​Modelling the dynamics and impacts of hazardous volcanic mudflows (lahars)

Published on: 09-May-2019

Event Type: Seminar

Event Date: 9 May 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)

Speaker: Dr Jeremy Philips

About the speaker:

Jeremy Phillips is a Volcanologist with broad interest in environmental hazard, risk and resilience. He received his BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Birmingham UK and his PhD in fluid mechanics of pesticide dispersion jointly from Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham. The primary theme of his postdoctoral research is the fluid mechanics of volcanic activity, from fundamental volcanic processes through to volcanic hazard and risk, and their impacts on global sustainable development. Major foci include dynamics of explosive and persistently-active volcanism, volcanic ash dispersion and impacts, and impacts of hazardous surface flows, including flash floods, volcanic mudflows and landslides. Most of his research now crosses disciplines to integrate hazard assessment with social and physical vulnerability, risk management structures and community engagement, in collaboration with social scientists, engineers, mathematicians and statisticians. He led the hazard workpackage of the UK multidisciplinary research project Strengthening Resilience in Volcanic Areas, and is part of the hazards research team in the new UK £20M Urban Disaster Risk Research Hub. He has been Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Chargé de Cours at Université de Genève, and has published more than 90 research papers and book chapters. Most of his postdoctoral research has been conducted at University of Bristol, where he is now Reader in Physical Volcanology.

About the event:

When volcanic sediments are mixed with water the slurry of material can be highly mobile, flowing for long distances (up to 100 km) from steep volcanic flanks. These flows are commonly referred to as lahars and are one of the most dangerous hazards related to volcanic activity. They can inundate large areas up to depths of a few metres, destroying buildings and infrastructure and damaging agricultural land, and can occur during eruptions and for many years afterwards.

Physical models that describe lahar dynamics are useful tools in managing lahar hazards, allowing quantitative hazard assessments to be performed.  In addition to predicting flow routing and inundation, which are core components of hazard mapping, physical models can provide quantitative predictions of flow variables that are valuable for assessing impacts on infrastructure (such as depth, velocity, dynamic pressures), as well as arrival times of lahars, which are critical for emergency response planning and the development of early-warning systems. A new physics-based dynamic flood model, LaharFlow, can be used to simulate lahar flows and water flows. This seminar will include a hands-on practical session so that you can run lahar or flood simulations online.

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