Project VORiSA

The Project VORiSA - VOlcanic Risks in Saudi Arabia is a multi stage project financially supported by King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The first stage of the project was completed in 2014 and the planning for the second stage of the project is underway. The first stage was a collaborative project between KAU, Saudi Arabia, and the University of Auckland (UoA), New Zealand, with the aim of evaluating volcanic geohazards in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the Harrat Al-Madinah region. The newly established Geohazards Research Center, GRC (formerly Geological Hazards Research Unit, GHRU), Faculty of Earth Sciences, represents King Abdulaziz University as first party and the Institute of Earth Science and Engineering, IESE, represents the University of Auckland as second party. This book represents the final report of the 3-year VORiSA project.

VORiSA integrates geological, geophysical, hazard and risk studies. We have carried out detailed mapping and geochemical studies and combined these with new and existing age determinations to determine the style and sequence of events during past basaltic and trachytic eruptions. Data from new gravity and magnetotelluric surveys have been integrated with microearthquake data from an 8-station borehole and 5-station surface seismic research network to geophysically characterise the structure and nature of the crust, and thus constrain possible physical controls on magma propagation. All available data have been synthesised in hazard models to determine patterns in eruption frequency, magnitude, and style of past activity, as well as the probable location of a future event. Combined with geospatial vulnerability data, these hazard models, which include a reconstruction of the most-recent (1256 AD) eruption, have enabled us to calculate the possible volcanic impacts faced by the city of Al-Medina

The VORiSA contract was signed on 14 March, 2011 in Auckland. The President of KAU, Professor Osama S. Tayeb, and Vice Chancellor of the UoA, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, signed the agreement. The official launch of the project was held in the Senate hall, at KAU in Jeddah, on 25 May 2011. At this time there was significant positive publicity in both New Zealand and Saudi Arabia about VORiSA and the project launch. The first VORiSA workshop and project management meeting involving representatives from both New Zealand and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was held after the launch at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, 24 –29 May 2011.



Last Update
8/23/2020 1:30:35 PM