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A fuzzy logic methodology for assessing the resilience of past communities to tephra fall: a Laacher See eruption 13,000 year BP case

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  • Russell Blong, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • Felix Riede
  • Qianyang Chen, Aon Benfield, Australia
While volcanologists are experienced in assessing present and past volcanism, and while archaeologists are experts in understanding past societies, the study of how ancient volcanic activity has impacted contemporaneous communities remains little systematised. We here present a fuzzy logic-based methodology for bringing together expert assessments in evaluating the vulnerability and, by extension, the resilience of a group of late Pleistocene foragers to the Laacher See eruption 13,000 years ago. Based on attributes assessing human health, shelter, food supply, and water supply our analyses suggest community resilience falls as tephra fall thickness increases. Our explicit assessment of di↵erent experts’ evaluation of the different attributes’ relative importance facilitates a rigour in formulating such impact scenarios. The methodology can be readily transferred between case studies and, in principle, between hazards, and could contribute significantly to the design of realistic disaster scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2018

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