Geological and social dimensions of volcanic hazards and risk assessment/management: Taal Volcano, Philippines as case study

Funding Agency

Australian Government through the Australia Awards Scholarship
Philippine Government through the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
Sydney Southeast Asia Studies Centre Internal Research Grant

Project Team

Name Position
Perla J. Delos Reyes PhD Candidate
Assoc. Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes Chief Investigator, Project Manager and Primary Supervisor
Dr Christina Magill Risk Frontiers, Co-supervisor
Other PHIVOLCS scientists  

Project Details

Most volcano-related studies conducted in the Philippines involves hazard mapping, assessment, and mitigation but even with increased understanding of volcanic hazards, researchers saw the importance of people-based treatment of these hazards. Volcanic risk assessment, risk perception, and risk management are relatively new field of study in the Philippine setting. In order to address the gap, investigation and analyses of social dimensions of volcanic hazards and risks shall be expounded, with Taal Volcano as the case study area.

Even with devastating eruptions resulting in significant casualties and loss of properties, communities continue to live around Taal Volcano Island. Currently, there are more than 6000 inhabitants in the island. Volcanic hazard exposure is expected to increase with increasing population in the island and surrounding communities.

The overall aim of the research is to blend physical/geological dimension of volcanic hazards and risks with consideration of social elements in order to have a more sustainable disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. The physical aspect of the research will involve tephra fall modelling in order to generate best-fit eruption source parameters that could be utilized as input data for worst-case scenario hazard delineation, while the social dimension will involve looking into factors/influences that determines perceptions of risk and identifying motivational responses of Taal communities in order to find ways to improve DRR strategies. At the end of the research, we hope we can find answers to issues pertaining to volcanic hazards (specifically tephra) and risks as they relate different stakeholders including the Taal communities, disaster risk managers and action officers, land use planners of identified local government units (LGUs), agricultural, engineering and air traffic stakeholders, just to name a few.