Mead, S.R., Procter, J.N., Bebbington, M. & Rodriguez-Gomez, C. 2022. Probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment for national park infrastructure proximal to Taranaki Volcano. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10. doi:10.3389/feart.2022.832531
Hazard assessment for infrastructure close to a volcanic vent raises issues that are often not present, or not as severe in hazard assessments for more distant infrastructure. Nearby regions are subject to a greater number of hazardous phenomena, and variability in impact intensity increases with the hazard magnitude. To probabilistically quantify volcanic hazard to infrastructure, multiple volcanic hazards and their effects on exposed elements need to be considered. Compared to single-hazard assessments, multi-hazard assessments increase the size and complexity of determining hazard occurrence and magnitude, typically introducing additional uncertainties in the quantification of risk. A location-centred approach, focusing on key locations rather than key hazards, can simplify the problem to one requiring identification of hazards with the potential to affect the location, followed by assessment of the probability of these hazards and their triggering eruptions. The location-centred approach is more compatible to multi-source hazards and allows for different hazard estimation methodologies to be applied as appropriate for the infrastructure type. We present a probabilistic quantification of volcanic hazard using this location-centred approach for infrastructure within Te Papakura o Taranaki National Park, New Zealand. The impact to proposed park infrastructure from volcanic activity (originating from Mt. Taranaki) is quantified using a probability chain to provide a structured approach to integrate differing hazard estimation methods with eruption probability estimates within asset lifetimes.
This location-centered approach provides quantitative estimates for volcanic hazards that significantly improve volcanic hazard estimates for infrastructure close to the Taranaki summit vent. Volcanic mass flows, predominantly pyroclastic surges or block and ash flows, are most likely (probability >0.8) to affect walking tracks if an eruption occurs. The probability of one or more eruption(s) in the next 50 years is estimated at 0.35–0.38. This use of probability chains and a location centered assessment demonstrates a technique that can be applied to proximal hazard assessments globally.