Assessing Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia

Authors


Abstract

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has numerous large monogenetic volcanic fields, known locally as “harrats.” The largest of these, Harrat Rahat (Figure 1), produced a basaltic fissure eruption in 1256 C.E. with lava flows traveling within 20 kilometers of the city Al-Madinah, which currently has a population of 1.5 million plus an additional 3 million pilgrims annually. With more than 950 visible vents and periodic seismic swarms, an understanding of the risk of future eruptions in this volcanic field is vital.