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The Independent Volcanic Eruption Source Parameter Archive (IVESPA, version 1.0): A new observational database to support explosive eruptive column model validation and development

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Aubry, TJ 
Engwell, S 
Bonadonna, C 
Carazzo, G 
Scollo, S 


Eruptive column models are powerful tools for investigating the transport of volcanic gas and ash, reconstructing past explosive eruptions, and simulating future hazards. However, the evaluation of these models is challenging as it requires independent estimates of the main model inputs (e.g. mass eruption rate) and outputs (e.g. column height). There exists no database of independently estimated eruption source parameters (ESPs) that is extensive, standardized, maintained, and consensus-based. This paper introduces the Independent Volcanic Eruption Source Parameter Archive (IVESPA,, a community effort endorsed by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) Commission on Tephra Hazard Modelling. We compiled data for 134 explosive eruptive events, spanning the 1902-2016 period, with independent estimates of: i) total erupted mass of fall deposits; ii) duration; iii) eruption column height; and iv) atmospheric conditions. Crucially, we distinguish plume top versus umbrella spreading height, and the height of ash versus sulphur dioxide injection. All parameter values provided have been vetted independently by at least two experts. Uncertainties are quantified systematically, including flags to describe the degree of interpretation of the literature required for each estimate. IVESPA also includes a range of additional parameters such as total grain size distribution, eruption style, morphology of the plume (weak versus strong), and mass contribution from pyroclastic density currents, where available. We discuss the future developments and potential applications of IVESPA and make recommendations for reporting ESPs to maximize their usability across different applications. IVESPA covers an unprecedented range of ESPs and can therefore be used to evaluate and develop eruptive column models across a wide range of conditions using a standardized dataset.



37 Earth Sciences, 3703 Geochemistry, 3705 Geology, 3706 Geophysics

Journal Title

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

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Elsevier BV
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (835939)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/S000887/1)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/S00436X/1)
T.J.A. acknowledges support from the Royal Society through a Newton International Fellowship (grant number NIF\R1\180809), from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 835939, and from the Sidney Sussex college through a Junior Research Fellowship.