|I really like this paper. It is very well conceived - charting the co-evolution of humans and volcanoes in the Campanian region, both in terms of societal growth and scientific knowledge. It will be very useful for both researchers and those teaching volcanology.|
It needs some minor revisions (mostly in formatting!) before publication.
1. The paragraph structure is mostly missing - the paragraphs are very very long, and most need to be broken down. E.g. para ll38 needs to be about 3-4 separate ones. A new paragraph should start when the subject of discussion changes. This is a big issue in the paper because it makes it significantly more difficult to follow. In some places, you could also insert sub-subheadings to break up the sections (e.g. by volcano, or having a separate section on volcanologists and media v volcanologists and the public at the end? – just a suggestion and hard to know if it is necessary without better paragraphing!!)
2. I think you are missing a trick in your discussion sections at the end. The history of the Campanian plain is actually also very interesting for disaster-development trajectories in other countries. The mistakes - particularly those of not linking risk with development practice - are being repeated all over the world in hazard-prone areas. I think you could safely add a paragraph late in the paper about this - the importance of risk-sensitive development practices, that incorporate scientific advice, urban planning, social studies etc. The issue raised in ll455 ff around institutions having discrete responsibilities and not talking to each other or having influence over each other is also relevant for this (and well documented elsewhere).
3. Dave Chester has written on the specifics of religion and risk perception on Vesuvio: Chester, D.K., Duncan, A.M. and Dibben, C.J., 2008. The importance of religion in shaping volcanic risk perception in Italy, with special reference to Vesuvius and Etna. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 172(3-4), pp.216-228.
Chester, D., Duncan, A., Kilburn, C., Sangster, H. and Solana, C., 2015. Human responses to the 1906 eruption of Vesuvius, southern Italy. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 296, pp.1-18.
4. Annie Winson’s paper on alert levels and warnings would also be pertinent to the discussion of false alarms etc. This tension between false alarms and high uncertainty is chronic in volcanology and also relates to communications and managing the expectations that a population have of scientific capacity over the long term – they need to know ahead of time what can and cannot be done! The communication issue also requires the involvement of a wider range of experts.
5. I wondered about having some more systematic population estimates or maybe a population density map? The JRC (European commission) has the GHS dataset that is relatively easy to map quickly, and this would be useful. It can be estimated from Fig 1 but maybe an inset would help clarify?
6. The question of the media/volcanologists’ engagement with it – Andy Harris has written some interesting reflections on this:
Harris, A.J., 2015. Forecast communication through the newspaper part 1: framing the forecaster. Bulletin of volcanology, 77(4), pp.1-37.
Harris, A.J., 2015. Forecast communication through the newspaper part 2: perceptions of uncertainty. Bulletin of Volcanology, 77(4), pp.1-39.
Calabrò, L., Harris, A.J. and Thouret, J.C., 2020. Media views of the Stromboli 2002–2003 eruption and evacuation: a content analysis to understand framing of risk communication during a volcanic crisis. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 9(1), pp.1-23.
5. Some other minor issues:
L25 “which” should be new sentence “It is inhabited”
The spelling of Pompei should be regularised throughout (sometimes English, sometimes Italian – stick with Italian!)
L433 “major” should be “mayor”
L469 is this two deaths?
L497 “appears unacceptable”
The text is not suitable for publication as it stands because the standard of written English is not up to publishable standard. The whole manuiscript needs to be re-written. I started to correct the manuscript using 'track change' but it was taking me a hour per page and this is clearly not the role of the reviewer.
The academic content is fine and the paper should be published, but not in its present form.