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IAVCEI Commission on Statistics in Volcanology

A Commission of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior

The IAVCEI Commission on Statistics in Volcanology (COSIV) was established in 2007 to foster statistical analysis of volcanological data. We promote the application of statistics to all aspects of analysis of volcanological data, but with particular regard to the forecasting of future volcanic activity and its potential effects. COSIV accomplishes this through workshops, special sessions at regularly scheduled meetings, and publications.

Background to COSIV

A key aim of volcanology is the accurate, quantitative forecasting of volcanic hazards. To this end, volcanic processes have long been subject to intense scrutiny, both in the field and the laboratory. The result is a wealth of data, not all of which is well-constrained or complete, and a wide range of sophisticated numerical models that can successfully replicate the primary features of many volcanic flows. Thus, we can legitimately claim that physical volcanologists today have achieved an understanding and quantitative description of the principal, underlying mechanisms that drive volcanic eruptions. This provides a strong foundation, but is not in itself sufficient for accurate forecasting. The focus of this past modelling has been almost exclusively process-oriented and deterministic. The stochastic nature of much volcanological data has rarely been exploited and the models do not generally produce the type of probabilistic outputs needed for forecasting. This is now changing.

Until recently, researchers in this emergent field of 'Statistics in Volcanology' worked in isolation or in small groups with no formalised, administrative structure to provide support or coordinate activities. That a critical mass of researchers now are active in this field was amply demonstrated by the international workshop on 'Statistics in Volcanology' that was attended by 70 people at the University of Bristol in March 2004 The workshop led directly to the publication of the first research-level textbook on 'Statistics in Volcanology' and the first volume of the new IAVCEI book series (SIV Book Details).

Thanks to the following people for supporting COSIV: Dr Hasanuddin Z Abidin, Dr William Aspinall, Dr Louise Burt, Dr Roberto Carniel, Mr Gustavo Cordoba, Mr Alexander Gerst, Dr Peggy Hellweg, Dr Olivier Jaquet, Dr Christopher Kilburn, Dr Christina Magill, Dr Warner Marzocchi.

The current Chair of COSIV is Patrick Whelley ( The Past-Chair is ‚ÄéMark Bebbington (
Previous Chairs: Henry Odbert, Warner Marzocchi, Heidy Mader, Chuck Connor

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