Synopsis and Position
Arequipa (Peru) is a highly vulnerable city in the face of volcanic hazards, exposed to potential devastating explosive activity of Misti volcano. Yet risk awareness is extremely low, as nobody has in mind a recent eruption.
During its past activity, Misti volcano has deposited layers of volcanic products that can be partially found in different parts of the territory. In 2022, the construction of a road uncovered an incredible and unique ~5-meters high outcrop with 21 layers of deposits, which represent the last 30.000 last years of Misti activity.
Presented to the public, this outcrop will be a unique opportunity to raise risk awareness on both the magnitude and the frequency of the Misti explosive eruptions, and thus to better engage with disaster reduction measures.
Objectives and Methods
Our goal has been to archive this outcrop to preserve it after its discovery in 2022 and before it may be severely degraded by the rainy season from January 2023, as it is made of very loose material that may not have survived heavy rains.
To do this, we have impregnated the stratigraphic deposits by “painting” the outcrop with an epoxy resin. Once dried, the epoxy formed hard plates that could be removed for relocation.
We will produce audio-visual contents describing the archival process and the outcrop itself, with different levels of understanding (from very basic description to high jargon for students and geology specialists). The audiovisual content will be an interactive reading guide to the epoxy outcrop on display in the museum, available on a screen located near the outcrop and online through a QR code. It will allow the scientist and risk managers to better communicate with the public to raise risk awareness, which is essential to be better prepared to deal with a future eruption in Arequipa.
Workshops and Events
- Inauguration with stakeholders and the public, with realisation of a survey to understand how the information is received and could be improved (by February 2024, INDECI museum and INGEMMET in Arequipa)
- We are thinking about a transfer of skills between Peruvian and Nicaraguan colleagues who wish to develop this method in their country. This should take the form of a field visit, the terms of which are under discussion.
- We stored the epoxy plates in a hangar of the Civil Protection of Arequipa (INDECI), where work is in progress to harmonize their format in order to fix them on the exhibition supports.
- The exhibition at the INGEMMET observatory is to be inaugurated in December 2023. The INDECI Museum exhibition will be ready only later in 2024 (as the entire showroom is modified to accommodate the sections, and the whole scientific information updated at the same time).
- In parallel, more tests are ongoing with various epoxy resins to see which the best allows to ‘capture’ stratigraphic deposits.
- Audio-visual contents have been created during the November-December 2022 fieldwork. Their editing and formatting is in progress (it will be ready by December 2023 to be displayed alongside the outcrop).