Decade Volcanoes : Origin , Distribution, Eruption | UPSC Notes

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Decade Volcanoes UPSC

The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. 

The Decade Volcanoes project encourages studies and public-awareness activities at these volcanoes, with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they present, and thus being able to reduce the severity of natural disasters.

They are named Decade Volcanoes because the project was initiated as part of the United Nations-sponsored International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, in the 1990s.

A volcano may be designated a Decade Volcano if — 

  • It exhibits more than one volcanic hazard (people living near the Decade Volcanoes may experience tephra fall, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, lahars, volcanic edifice instability and lava dome collapse);
  • shows recent geological activity;
  • is located in a populated area (eruptions at any of the Decade Volcanoes may threaten tens or hundreds of thousands of people, and therefore mitigating eruption hazards at these volcanoes is crucial);
  • is politically and physically accessible for study; and
  • there is local support for the work.


The general approach of Decade Volcano projects has been to 

  • convene a planning workshop,
  • identify the major strengths and weaknesses of risk mitigation at each volcano, and
  • to plan how to address the weaknesses identified.
  • One of the difficulties faced in mitigating hazards at volcanoes is ensuring that geoscientists and those who will enact the mitigation measures communicate adequately with each other, and the Decade Volcano program has attempted to ensure this by making sure both groups are well represented at Decade Volcano workshops.
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