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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 2 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 7, 219-230, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-7-219-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  12 Mar 2007

12 Mar 2007

Residential building and occupant vulnerability to pyroclastic density currents in explosive eruptions

R. Spence1, I. Kelman1,2, A. Brown3, G. Toyos1, D. Purser4, and P. Baxter5 R. Spence et al.
  • 1Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research (supported by the National Science Foundation), USA
  • 3Cambridge Architectural Research, Ltd, UK
  • 4Hartford Environmental Research, UK
  • 5Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, UK

Abstract. A major hazard during the eruption of explosive volcanoes is the formation of pyroclastic density currents (PDCs). Casualties and physical building damage from PDCs are caused by the temperature, pressure, and particle load of the flow. This paper examines the vulnerability of buildings and occupants to the forces imposed by PDCs along with associated infiltration of PDC particle and gas mixtures into an intact building. New studies are presented of building and occupant vulnerability with respect to temperature, pressure, and ash concentration. Initial mitigation recommendations are provided.

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