The Department of Civil Protection is now participating in the annual meeting of FutureVolc research project in Bifrost, Borgarfjordur, Iceland. FutureVolc is a 26-partner project funded by FP7 Environment Programme of the European Commission, addressing topic “Long-term monitoring experiment in geologically active regions of Europe prone to natural hazards: the Supersite concept”. The project started 1 October 2012 and has duration of 3.5 years.
The supersite concept implies integration of space and ground based observations for improved monitoring and evaluation of volcanic hazards, and open data policy. The project is led by University of Iceland together with the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
The role of the Department of Civil Protection in FutureVolc, in collaboration with the participants in the project, for example the Icelandic Met Office, the Institutions of Earth Sciences University of Iceland, and the British Geological Survey, is to research, and improve, communication between earth scientists, and scientific institutions and organisations, on the one hand and civil protection institutions, other stakeholders, and the general public on the other side. The scope of the research is the region of Europe, which is to say that communication, risk reduction and hazard assessment, is on the regional level.
The volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 was an eye opener for European nation states (including Iceland), organisations, industries and the general public in the sense that Icelandic volcanos are now, again, seen as a real risk factor that must be monitored and studied for the sake of European risk reduction. A proof of that is the fact that in the UK National Risk Register for Civil Emergencies (2013 edition) a volcanic eruption in Iceland, or elsewhere, such as the Laki eruption in 1783-84, is listed in fourth place as ‘the highest priority risks, taking both likelihood and impact into account’. (Read the document here.)
On the FutureVolc web page, that can be found here, one can read more about the project and see a list of all the participants. It is also interesting to read the European Commission press release from last friday, 19. august 2014, on the FutureVolc research project. The press release can be found here.