Report on potential sampling biases in the LaMEVE database of global volcanism

Natalia I Deligne*, R. Stephen J. Sparks, Sarah K. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
301 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate whether the disproportionate contribution of individual volcanoes in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruption database (LaMEVE) potentially compromises the treatment of LaMEVE as a globally representative database of volcanic activity. We find that 41% of volcanoes which contribute at least one eruption to LaMEVE only contribute one eruption (10% of all eruptions), and the six most prolific volcanoes contribute 11% of eruptions. However, there is no systematic bias with respect to the eruption magnitude or date for volcanoes contributing one eruption. Also, no bias can be discerned for when the smallest or largest eruption at a volcano occurs in its eruptive record. Half of the volcanoes contributing one or more eruptions to the LaMEVE database had their first eruption prior to 36.4 ka. We find LaMEVE is representative – while there are well-known issues of eruption under-reporting, LaMEVE is not overly biased by the activity of a few volcanoes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Volcanology
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017


  • LaMEVE
  • Explosive volcanism
  • Quaternary
  • Under-reporting
  • Individual volcano
  • Eruptive record

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