Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2024-3
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2024-3
10 Jan 2024
 | 10 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Social sensing a volcanic eruption: application to Kīlauea 2018

James Hickey, James Young, Michelle Spruce, Ravi Pandit, Hywel Williams, Rudy Arthur, Wendy Stovall, and Matthew Head

Abstract. Protecting lives and livelihoods during volcanic eruptions is the key challenge in volcanology, conducted primarily by volcano monitoring and emergency management organizations, but complicated by scarce knowledge of how communities respond in times of crisis. Social sensing is a rapidly developing practice that can be adapted for volcanology. Here we use social sensing of Twitter posts to track changes in social action and reaction throughout the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea, Hawai'i. The volume of relevant tweets explodes in early May, coincident with the beginning of the eruption; automated sentiment analysis shows a simultaneous shift towards more negative emotions. Temporal trends in topics of local Twitter conversation reveal societal actions and reflect patterns in volcanic activity, civil protection actions and socioeconomic pressures. We show how hazard and risk information is discussed and reacted to on Twitter, which helps inform our understanding of community response actions and aids situational awareness.

James Hickey, James Young, Michelle Spruce, Ravi Pandit, Hywel Williams, Rudy Arthur, Wendy Stovall, and Matthew Head

Status: open (until 26 Mar 2024)

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James Hickey, James Young, Michelle Spruce, Ravi Pandit, Hywel Williams, Rudy Arthur, Wendy Stovall, and Matthew Head
James Hickey, James Young, Michelle Spruce, Ravi Pandit, Hywel Williams, Rudy Arthur, Wendy Stovall, and Matthew Head

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Short summary
Protecting lives and livelihoods during volcanic eruptions is the key challenge in volcanology. Analysing social media usage during volcanic crises can help better understand the impacts of volcanic eruptions and how warning messages are received and actioned, to eventually better protect those people and their livelihoods. Our work shows how social media data could be used in real-time during a volcanic crises to learn more about volcanic eruptions.
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