Credibility of Volcanic Ash Thicknesses Reported by the Media and Local Residents Following the 2014 Eruption of Kelud Volcano, Indonesia
Setsuya Nakada*, Akhmad Zaennudin**, Fukashi Maeno*, Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto***, and Natsumi Hokanishi*
*Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
**Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Badan Geologi, Indonesia
***Mount Fuji Research Institute, Yamanashi Prefectural Government, Japan
Ash thicknesses reported by the media and witnessed by local residents may be exaggerated. A good example of such exaggeration is ash thicknesses reported following the Plinian eruption on February 13, 2014 at Kelud volcano, East Java, Indonesia. Volcanic ash thicknesses reported by the media and local residents were generally by 2–7 times larger than the actual values measured by volcanologists. Sensational news reports and strong fresh impressions may cause such exaggeration, or these exaggerated values may simply represent abnormal concentrations of volcanic ash. It is important to pay careful attention to the parameters that are being documented by the media and by people who do not have scientific backgrounds when utilizing such reports in scientific analyses.
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