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Stavros Meletlidis (Geólogo y doctor en Vulcanología)

How to monitor a volcano. Cumbre vieja 2021: an eruption announced

Humanities Conference Thursday, 7 April 2022, 19:00 hours Madrid

General information:

It belongs to cycle: The planet in eruption. Geography lessons from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces - salón de actos. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity. 

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces and Sociedad Geográfica Española


Lola EscuderoSecretaria General de la Sociedad Geográfica Española

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Volcanoes have not only witnessed a planet in formation, but have also participated in it. They were the source of life and have been part of the history of men since their origin. Today almost 10% of the world's population (800 million people) lives within a radius of 100 kilometers around an active volcano or in a volcanically active zone. With the advancement of our society, the vulnerability to volcanic hazards, and as a consequence the risk derived from them, has increased. To mitigate this risk for the population, a combination of actions is necessary, including volcanic surveillance, land use planning, the existence of action plans, education of the population and knowledge of the area.

In Spain, the most active volcanic area is the Canary archipelago, where there have been 14 eruptions in the last 500 years. The last eruption took place off the island of El Hierro (2011) and the last subaerial in La Palma (1971). The National Geographic Institute is the national institution responsible for the observation, surveillance and communication of volcanic activity in Spain (RD 1476/2004) and since 2007 it has developed a complete volcanic surveillance system on all the islands. On September 11, 2021, the IGN surveillance network in La Palma began to record anomalous activity that has culminated in the eruption that began on September 19, which has lasted 85 days.

The ashes and, above all, the lava flows destroyed more than 1,500 buildings, infrastructures, communication networks and extensive cultivation areas and greenhouses, directly affecting the local economy. Various evacuations and lockdowns were ordered, and the eruption ended with no casualties reported. The Special Plan for Civil Protection against volcanic risk (PEVOLCA) activated by the Government of the Canary Islands has successfully managed the crisis through the Scientific Committee and the Management Committee. This plan is still active.

Thursday,  7 April

18:30 h.

Attendees check-in

19:00 h.


Lola Escudero 
Secretaria General de la Sociedad Geográfica Española.

 19:10 h.

How to monitor a volcano. Cumbre vieja 2021: an eruption announced

Stavros Meletlidis
Geólogo, doctor en Vulcanología, investigador del Instituto Geográfico Nacional en la red de alerta vulcanológica de La Palma.

  Stavros Meletlidis

 Stavros Meletlidis belongs to the Volcanic Surveillance Group of the National Geographic Institute and develops his activity at the Geophysical Center of the Canary Islands (Tenerife). He has a degree in Geological Sciences from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Barcelona. He was responsible for the Volcanological Observatory of the island of Santorini for 3 years and in 2007 he joined the Volcanic Surveillance Group of the IGN.

He is a researcher in regional, national and European projects related to Volcanology. He has contributed to the deployment and maintenance of the multiparameter networks of the IGN in the Canary Islands, and to the analysis, interpretation and publication of the results obtained with the installed instrumentation. He has participated in monitoring the eruptions of El Hierro (2011-2012) and the recent one on the island of La Palma (2021). During the latter, he has been a member of the Scientific Committee within the framework of PEVOLCA. 



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