Title: Sensitivity Analysis and Uncertainty Estimation for Tephra Dispersal Models
Citation: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH vol. 113 p. B06202-1 B06202-17
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC35449
ISSN: 0148-0227
URI: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2006JB004864.shtml
DOI: 10.1029/2006JB004864
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Sensitivity analysis and uncertainty estimation are crucial to the validation and calibration of numerical models. In this paper we present the application of sensitivity analyses, parameter estimations and Monte-Carlo uncertainty analyses on TEPHRA, an advection-diffusion model for the description of particle dispersion and sedimentation from volcanic plumes. The model and the related sensitivity analysis are tested on two sub-plinian eruptions: the 22 July 1998 eruption of Etna volcano (Italy) and the 17 June 1996 eruption of Ruapehu volcano (New Zealand). Sensitivity analyses are key to (i) constrain crucial eruption parameters (e.g. total erupted mass) (ii) reduce the number of variables by eliminating non-influential parameters (e.g. particle density) and (iii) investigate the interactions among all input parameters (plume height, total grain-size distribution, diffusion coefficient, fall-time threshold and mass-distribution parameter). In addition, the uncertainty of predicted tephra accumulation can also be evaluated, with important implications for hazard assessment of a given volcano.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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