Entry for:150 Years of Discovery: Emerging Research
1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city. It is home to over 1.4 million people and a hub of the nation’s economy. However, deep beneath the city a volcanic force awaits to be unleashed. Auckland is built upon a volcanic field that has erupted at least 53 times over about 200,000 years, each time in a different location. Eruptions within the Auckland Volcanic Field are thought to exhibit many different types of volcanic hazards such as: lava flow, volcanic ballistics, volcanic ash, base surges, earthquakes, volcanic gas, So the question needs to be asked: what happens if it erupts again? History is filled with examples where human society has come into conflict with the power of volcanism. Heimaey, Iceland, long considered an analogy for a future eruption in Auckland, erupted with little warning in 1973. A six month long eruption crisis and an extended clean-up and recovery followed. Heimaey did recovery and has since prospered. Plymouth, the capital of Montserrat was inundated by pyroclastic flows. Plymouth has since been abandoned, the situation considered too difficult to fix. In 2008, Chaitén, Chile was devastated by lahars as a result of the eruption of Chaitén volcano. The town has since been partially relocated, but nearly 10 years on many damaged and buried buildings remain.
So what factors are important to understand how an urban area cleans up and recovers after a volcanic eruption? What plans should be put in place to best mitigate and prepare for a future eruption within Auckland? This research aims to help answer such questions. But ultimately, this is a story about resilience. A story about survival. A story about a city of volcanoes.
2. Do you have a video hashtag for sharing via twitter?
I am a PhD Candidate in Disaster Risk and Resilience at the University of Canterbury. My research interests include volcanic risk assessment and management, and disaster clean-up and recovery.