From the Director

Motoo UKAWA, Director

The Volcano Research Department at NIED has been promoting the research on predicting volcanic eruptions. We started a project named Research into volcanic eruption prediction and disaster mitigation when The 2nd 5-year Plan began, and focus on the research that would be directly connected to volcano disasters reduction.
Volcanic eruptions are a dangerous phenomenon that has the possibility of taking a heavy toll. To minimize the damage for people from the volcanic eruptions, the implementation of evacuation procedures is important. There are two important aspects to an efficient evacuation procedures; (1) Implementing a practical system to predict the time and size of a volcanic eruption, (2) Constructing the prediction system of volcanic phenomena, which is directly connected to disasters, such as lava flows and ash falls.
We started research that utilizes the observation of earthquakes and crust deformations to understand magma activities, which enables us to predict volcanic eruptions. Because of the research, at Mt. Miyake in 2000, we could provide important information to the island residents for their evacuation, from the beginning of the volcanic activities.
We will perform the research of predicting volcanic eruptions, to aim to construct the volcanic eruption prediction system including an automated detection system of earthquake activity and crust deformations. Moreover to predict disasters accurately, we have started implementing the numerical simulation of lava flows, pyroclastic flows and of ash fall. Volcanic eruptions often last for long periods therefore, we can increase disaster prevention through the combination of scientific knowledge and countermeasures of disaster prevention. We will develop our research by taking into considerations these features.

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