© 2015 Cardiff Scientific Society

The Lord Phillips Memorial Lecture

(Sponsored by Cardiff University)

Volcanoes and Society

Professor Stephen Sparks CBE BSc PhD FRS

Department of Earth Sciences, Bristol University


There are thought to be about 600 million people living close enough to active volcanoes to be affected when they erupt. Casualties from volcanic eruptions have been modest (around 300,000 in the last 200 years) compared to other natural hazards, but economic losses and societal disruption can be considerable. The modest sized eruption of Eyjafalljokull volcano in Iceland in April and May 2010 did not kill anyone but disrupted the travel of millions of people and cost the airline industry billions of dollars. This emergency highlighted the increasing vulnerability of modern globalised societies.

New approaches to volcanic hazard assessment and risk management are emerging as Society requires more information to respond to volcanic emergencies, making the study of their return periods, possible environmental effects and consequences a key goal of volcanology.

A drinks reception will be available from 6.45pm in the

Viriamu Jones gallery

6th March 2013

Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre
Cardiff University

Chile’s Llaima Volcano erupting in 2008