"The next global volcanic catastrophe" with Prof David Pyle

Past Event

30 November 2017, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR

This seminar is organised by the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.

Volcanoes are distributed unequally around the globe; and present a direct threat to the tens to hundreds of millions of people who live on and around them. Volcanic disasters of the past three hundred years have primarily been due to the inundation of communities with hot avalanches, mudflows and ash, with little or no warning. But three particular events over the same period point to the potential impacts of the next eruption of regional to global significance. The eruption of Tambora, Indonesia, in 1815 was followed by the ‘Year without a summer’ of 1816, and the collapse of food production in northern Europe. The eruption of Laki volcano in Iceland in 1783-4 caused an unprecedented air-quality crisis in Europe in summer 1783; while the much smaller eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 caused unprecedented disruption to European air travel. In this talk, I shall explore the anatomy of volcanic disasters of the past; explore some of the challenges in volcano monitoring today, and develop some hypotheses about the nature and consequences of the next global volcanic disaster.

All welcome. Registration not required. Coffee and cake after the seminar.
For more information please see: www.ageing.ox.ac.uk

About the speaker

Professor David Pyle (Professor of Earth Sciences; Fellow of St Anne's College) is a volcanologist, whose work focuses on the causes and consequences of volcanic activity. In recent years he has worked on young volcanoes in Chile, Greece and Ethiopia, investigating the long-term geological feedbacks between tectonic processes, climate and volcanism. For the past five years, he has been working within the NERC-ESRC ‘STREVA’ project on the social dimensions of volcanic hazards and risk, with a particular focus on the Caribbean. This work stimulated his interests in historical volcanology, which he explored in the Bodleian Libraries Volcanoes exhibition in Spring 2017.