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Title: Assessing volcanic hazard and exposure to lava flows at remote volcanic fields: a case study from the Bolaven Volcanic Field, Laos
Authors: Verolino, Andrea
Jenkins, Susanna F.
Sieh, Kerry
Herrin, Jason Scott
Schonwalder-Angel, Dayana
Sihavong, Vanpheng
Oh, Jee Hon
Keywords: Science::Geology::Volcanoes and earthquakes
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Verolino, A., Jenkins, S. F., Sieh, K., Herrin, J. S., Schonwalder-Angel, D., Sihavong, V. & Oh, J. H. (2022). Assessing volcanic hazard and exposure to lava flows at remote volcanic fields: a case study from the Bolaven Volcanic Field, Laos. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 11(1), 6-.
Journal: Journal of Applied Volcanology 
Abstract: Southeast Asia is home to a large number of active and well-studied volcanoes, the majority of which are located in Indonesia and the Philippines. Northern Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) also hosts volcanoes that for several reasons (post-World War II conflicts, poor accessibility due to dense vegetation, no known historical activity) have been poorly studied. Systematic assessments of the threat these volcanoes pose to resident populations do not exist, despite evidence of numerous eruptions through the late Pleistocene and likely even during the Holocene. A recent study inferred the location of the Australasian meteorite impact to be beneath the Bolaven Volcanic Field in southern Laos; this study provided a wealth of data for the field: in particular, mapping of vents and flows, and their relative or absolute ages. The Bolaven Volcanic Field (16 Ma—< 40 ka) has a surface area of about 5000 km2, contains nearly 100 scoria cones and more than 100 individual lava flows. Some lava flow systems are as long as 50 km, with thickness ranging from a few meters at the flow edges, up to > 50 m in some locations. Building upon this foundation, we used the Bolaven Volcanic Field as a case study for assessing the potential exposure of populations and infrastructure to lava flows during future effusive eruptions. Our study uses remote sensing to map past flows and vents (i.e. scoria cones), lava-flow simulations from new simulated vents, and open-access exposure data, to assess hazards and exposure. Our results show that future vents are most likely to occur in a N-S band atop the Bolaven plateau, with some flows channelling into canyons and spilling down the plateau flanks onto lower plains that support more populated areas such as the provincial centre, Pakse. Our exposure assessment suggests that around 300,000 people could experience socio-economic impacts from future lava flow inundations. The largest impacts would be on two of the main economic sectors in the region, agriculture and hydropower. The potential also exists for life-threatening explosions from interactions between magma and surface waters, which are abundant in the region. We estimate an average recurrence interval of approximately 10,400 years, based on information from lava flows and scoria cones.
ISSN: 2191-5040
DOI: 10.1186/s13617-022-00116-z
DOI (Related Dataset): 10.21979/N9/HQDXRQ
Schools: Asian School of the Environment 
Research Centres: Earth Observatory of Singapore 
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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EOS Journal Articles

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