Lava Flow Hazard Assessment for the Idaho National Laboratory: A Probabilistic Approach to Modeling Lava Flow Inundation with MOLASSES

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Poster Session

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We present the results of a lava flow hazard assessment for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) using a new lava flow code, MOLASSES (MOdular LAva Simulation Software for Earth Science). INL is a nuclear research and development facility located on the eastern Snake River Plain with the potential for lava flow inundation from both monogenetic and polygenetic basaltic eruptions. Previously published inventories of observed surface vents and vents that are buried by younger lava flows and inferred from interpretation of borehole stratigraphy were used to created spatial density maps of vents within the INL region. Monte carlo simulations were run using the MOLASSES code to compare the difference between events initiated using only surface vents and events initiated using both the surface and the buried vents. We find that the inclusion of the buried vent locations drastically increases the number of site inundations and events initiating within INL boundaries. This highlights the need to seek out a more complete eruption record in an area of heavy prehistoric activity to better assess future hazard and associated risk.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Presented at AGU Fall Meeting on December 15, 2015 in San Francisco, CA