Dec
3
4:00 PM16:00

"Apocalyptic volcanic super eruption which could DESTROY civilisation is closer than we thought, say experts" (Daily Mail)

School of Mathematics Colloquium, University of Bristol

Abstract
Hazards tend to be summarized in terms of their frequency/magnitude curve. For explosive volcanic eruptions, a supereruption at the top end of the magnitude range is large enough to return us to a "pre-civilisation state", but even a large eruption poses a serious hazard for a country. Inferring the global frequency/magnitude curve from the volcanic record is complicated, because the record is unreliable going back more than a few hundred years. In this talk I will look at the maths of the frequency/magnitude curve, show and discuss the curve we fitted for large explosive volcanic eruptions, and describe the response of the media to our results.

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Oct
30
1:10 PM13:10

Global screening for volcanic risk

CfS Afternoon on Risk, Noise, and Extremes, Edinburgh
https://centreforstatistics.maths.ed.ac.uk/cfs/events/cfs-afternoon-risk-noise-extremes

Abstract: The World Bank has identified parametric (or 'index') insurance as an underused tool for managing risk and reducing poverty. In outline, such an insurance contract might read 'pays $100M the first time a large explosive eruption occurs at an Indonesian volcano in the next year'. The challenge is to calculate the fair price of such a contract. This is one example of the type of problem I consider: given a catalogue of events from cases that are similar but not identical, compute the probability distribution of the number of events of a specified subset, over a specified future time-period. Technically, this appears to be a difficult calculation, given that it involves a convolution over non-identical and non-independent random variables. However, a carefully chosen set of modelling choices makes this a computationally tractable problem that scales well to thousands or millions of cases. This means it can be used for volcanic risk screening (hundreds of cases), and also in many instances of everyday insurance, such as car accidents (millions of cases).

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Oct
21
1:00 PM13:00

Global screening for volcanic risk

IHRR Seminar, Durham University
https://www.dur.ac.uk/ihrr/about/events/?eventno=44838

Abstract

The World Bank has identified parametric (or 'index') insurance as an underused tool for managing risk and reducing poverty. In outline, such an insurance contract might read 'pays $100M the first time a large explosive eruption occurs at an Indonesian volcano in the next year'. The challenge is to calculate the fair price of such a contract. This is one example of the type of problem I consider: given a catalogue of events from cases that are similar but not identical, compute the probability distribution of the number of events of a specified subset, over a specified future time-period. Technically, this appears to be a difficult calculation, given that it involves a convolution over non-identical and non-independent random variables. However, a carefully chosen set of modelling choices makes this a computationally tractable problem that scales well to thousands or millions of cases. This means it can be used for volcanic risk screening (hundreds of cases), and also in many instances of everyday insurance, such as car accidents (millions of cases).

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