Structured elicitation of expert judgement in real-time eruption scenarios an exercise for Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion island

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Alessandro Tadini
Andrew Harris
Julie Morin
Andrea Bevilacqua
Aline Peltier
Willy Aspinall
Stefano Ciolli
Patrick Bachèlery
Benjamin Bernard
Jonas Biren
Antonio Brum da Silveira
Valéry Cayol
Oryaëlle Chevrel
Diego Coppola
Hannah Dietterich
Amy Donovan
Olaya Dorado
Stéphane Drenne
Olivier Dupéré
Lucia Gurioli
Stephan Kolzenburg
Jean-Christophe Komorowski
Philippe Labazuy
Domenico Mangione
Stefano Mannini
François Martel-Asselin
Etienne Médard
Sophie Pailot-Bonnétat
Victoria Rafflin
Michael Ramsey
Nicole Richter
Silvia Vallejo
Nicolas Villeneuve
Silvia Zafrilla


Formalised elicitation of expert judgements has been used to help tackle several problematic societal issues, including volcanic crises and pandemic threats. We present an expert elicitation exercise for Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion island, held remotely in April 2021. This involved 28 experts from nine countries who considered a hypothetical effusive eruption crisis involving a new vent opening in a high-risk area. The tele-elicitation presented several challenges, but is a promising and workable option for application to future volcanic crises. Our exercise considered an “uncommon” eruptive scenario with a vent outside the present caldera and within inhabited areas, and provided uncertainty ranges for several hazard-related questions for such a scenario (e.g. probability of eruption within a defined timeframe; elapsed time until lava flow reaches a critical location, and other hazard management issues). Our exercise indicated that such a scenario would probably present very different characteristics compared to recent eruptions, and that it is fundamental to include well-prepared expert elicitations in updated civil protection evacuation plans to improve disaster response procedures.


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Tadini, A., Harris, A., Morin, J., Bevilacqua, A., Peltier, A., Aspinall, W., Ciolli, S., Bachèlery, P., Bernard, B., Biren, J., Brum da Silveira, A., Cayol, V., Chevrel, O., Coppola, D., Dietterich, H., Donovan, A., Dorado, O., Drenne, S., Dupéré, O., Gurioli, L., Kolzenburg, S., Komorowski, J.-C., Labazuy, P., Mangione, D., Mannini, S., Martel-Asselin, F., Médard, E., Pailot-Bonnétat, S., Rafflin, V., Ramsey, M., Richter, N., Vallejo, S., Villeneuve, N. and Zafrilla, S. (2022) “Structured elicitation of expert judgement in real-time eruption scenarios: an exercise for Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion island”, Volcanica, 5(1), pp. 105–131. doi: 10.30909/vol.05.01.105131.
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Received 2021-08-13
Accepted 2022-03-17
Published 2022-05-05
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