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From anecdotes to quantification: advances in characterizing volcanic eruption impacts on the built environment

December 21, 2021

Over the past 20 years, our understanding of volcanic eruption impacts on the built environment has transformed from being primarily observational with small datasets to one grounded in field investigations, laboratory experiments, and quantitative modeling, with an emphasis on stakeholder collaboration and co-creation. Here, we summarize key advances and knowledge gaps of impacts across volcanic hazards and built environment types from the past 20 + years. Studies have concentrated on impacts from tephra fall (ash) and to buildings, with less examination of other hazards’ impacts to critical infrastructure. As we look to the next decade, we speculate on likely research directions, including the increasing role of new technologies, higher resolution modeling, transdisciplinary collaborations, and evidence-based mitigative solutions.