Dr Sarah K Brown

BSc(Hons), PGCert, PhD

  • BS8 1RJ


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Personal profile

Research interests

My reserach focus is volcanology, with a particular interest in volcanic hazard and risk.

I am working on multiple projects, all looking at volcanic records, past activity, the impact on people and communicating risk. These projects include:

 - VolFilm: producing a series of short educational films documenting volcanic hazards and their impacts. These films are designed for communities living near active volcanoes, with the aim of increasing their awareness of the hazards and provision of some methods of self-protection. This is a large international project with many project partners, working with Steve Sparks, and both Aspect Films and Lambda Films. This project is funded by the World Bank's GFDRR and UKAID.

- Volcanism in Turkey: This is a large collaborative project between Bristol and the MTA in Turkey funded by RCUK-TUBITAK. There are 10 active volcanoes in Turkey, though there is little awareness of these, their eruptive history and the associated hazards and risk. This project aims to profile the volcanoes in Turkey, identifying recent activity and producing hazard and risk profiles.

- LaMEVE: I am the database manager for the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions database which is a product of VOGRIPA. This database provides a comprehensive record of large Pleistocene and Holocene volcanic eruptions worldwide, and should prove to be a valuable asset to the volcanology and disaster-risk management community. As well as maintaining this database, I work on analysis of the record and under-recording issues. This is part-funded by a Leverhulme grant.

- VolCore: My work on LaMEVE feeds into the VolCore project with Sue Mahony. Ash layers are identified through ocean cores and ice cores which can sometimes be correlated with the eruption record of the largest eruptions. This is part-funded by a Leverhulme grant.

- Volcanic fatalities and population distribution: I am working to update the database of volcanic fatalities, identifying and analysing the distribution of hazards and associated fatalities. I am  also working on updating the Population Exposure Index, which is a method of describing the population distribution around volcanoes weighted by the fatality data. This method begins to capture the factors that affect risk to life.

I completed my PhD at the University of Portsmouth, investigating the effusive activity of the period 1631 to 1944 at Vesuvius, Italy and the resultant lava flow fields, and the development of eruptive sites away from the summit.


Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cabot Institute Natural Hazards and Disasters Research


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