Integrating criticality concepts into road network disruption assessments for volcanic eruptions

Josh l. Hayes, Sébastien Biass, Susanna f. Jenkins, Elinor s. Meredith, George t. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Road networks in volcanically active regions can be exposed to various volcanic hazards from multiple volcanoes. Exposure assessments are often used in these environments to prioritise risk management and mitigation efforts towards volcanoes or hazards that present the greatest threat. Typically, road exposure has been assessed by quantifying the amount of road network affected by different hazards and/or hazard intensity. Whilst this approach is computationally efficient, it largely fails to consider the relative importance of road segments within the network (i.e., road criticality). However, road criticality is an important indicator of the disruption that may be caused by an eruption. In this work, we aim to integrate road criticality concepts to enhance typical volcanic eruption road exposure assessments into road disruption assessments. We use three key components to quantify disruption: a) road criticality, b) impact severity, and c) affected road quantity. Two case study eruptions: Merapi 2010 and Kelud 2014, both in Java, Indonesia, are used to demonstrate the usefulness of integrating road criticality into road disruption assessments from volcanic eruptions. We found that disruption of the road network from the Kelud 2014 case study was an order of magnitude greater than the Merapi 2010 case study. This is primarily driven by the more widely dispersed tephra fall from the Kelud 2014 event, which affected nearly 28% of Java’s road network length, compared to Merapi 2010, which affected 1.5%. We also identified potential disruption hotspots that were affected by both of these case study eruptions. At Merapi, roads that carry traffic directly away from the summit, those that cross major valleys, and the major Yogyakarta-Magelang highway were key disruption hotspots, which has implications for moving large volumes of traffic efficiently, such as in an evacuation. The Kelud case study highlighted the potential impacts of widespread tephra falls on socio-economic activity and connectivity of large urban centres. Our approach has been designed such that it can be applied entirely using open-sourced datasets. Therefore, the approach to integrating road criticality in this paper can be used, applied, and adapted to assess road network disruption at any volcano in the world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Volcanology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ITC-CV


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating criticality concepts into road network disruption assessments for volcanic eruptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this