Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-49
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-49

  17 Feb 2021

17 Feb 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NHESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Quantifying location error to define uncertainty in volcanic mass flow hazard simulations

Stuart R. Mead, Jonathan Procter, and Gabor Kereszturi Stuart R. Mead et al.
  • Volcanic Risk Solutions, Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Abstract. The use of mass flow simulations in volcanic hazard zonation and mapping is often limited by model complexity (i.e. uncertainty in correct values of model parameters), a lack of model uncertainty quantification, and limited approaches to incorporate this uncertainty into hazard maps. When quantified, mass flow simulation errors are typically evaluated on a pixel-pair basis, using the difference between simulated and observed (actual) map-cell values to evaluate the performance of a model. However, these comparisons conflate location and quantification errors, neglecting possible spatial autocorrelation of evaluated errors. As a result, model performance assessments typically yield moderate accuracy values. In this paper, similarly moderate accuracy values were found in a performance assessment of three depth-averaged numerical models using the 2012 debris avalanche from the Upper Te Maari crater, Tongariro Volcano as a benchmark. To provide a fairer assessment of performance and evaluate spatial covariance of errors, we use a fuzzy set approach to indicate the proximity of similarly valued map cells. This fuzzification of simulated results yields improvements in targeted performance metrics relative to a length scale parameter, at the expense of decreases in opposing metrics (e.g. less false negatives results in more false positives) and a reduction in resolution. The use of this approach to generate hazard zones incorporating the identified uncertainty and associated trade-offs is demonstrated, and indicates a potential use for informed stakeholders by reducing the complexity of uncertainty estimation and supporting decision making from simulated data.

Stuart R. Mead et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', Jessica Ball, 04 May 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', David Jessop, 04 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC3', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', Jessica Ball, 04 May 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on nhess-2021-49', David Jessop, 04 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC3', Stuart Mead, 15 Jun 2021

Stuart R. Mead et al.

Stuart R. Mead et al.

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Short summary
Computer simulations can be used to estimate the flow path and inundation of volcanic mass flows, however their accuracy needs to be appropriately measured and handled in order to determine hazard zones. This paper presents an approach to simulation accuracy assessment and hazard zonation with a volcanic debris avalanche as the benchmark. This method helped to identify and support key findings about errors in mass flow simulations, as well as potential end-use cases for hazard zonation.
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