Q-LavHA: a plugin to simulate lava flows

Q-LavHA (Quantum-Lava Hazard Assessment) is a QGIS (Quantum Geographic Information System) freeware plugin which simulates ʻaʻā lava flow invasion probability from one or regularly distributed eruptive vents on a Digital Elevation Model. It combines existing probabilistic and deterministic models (Felpeto et al., 2001; Harris and Rowland, 2001) and proposes some improvements to calculate the probability of lava flow spatial propagation and terminal length. The spatial spread is constrained by the probabilistic steepest slope following the approach of Felpeto et al. (2001). Corrective factors are included to allow the lava flow simulation to overcome small topographical obstacles and fill pits. The terminal length of the lava flow simulation can be determined based on fixed length values, a statistical length probability function or based on the thermo-rheological properties of an open-channel lava flow following the approach of the FLOWGO model (Harris and Rowland 2001).

Q-LavHA is designed for scientists and stakeholders confronted with imminent or long-term lava flow hazard from basaltic volcanoes. Q-LavHA can improve their understanding of the spatial distribution of lava flow hazard, influence their land use decisions and support evacuation planning during a volcanic crisis.

Because of the diversity of its uses, Q-LavHA has been developed in Python in order to allow users to adapt the code to their needs. Its availability as a Quantum GIS plugin with a user friendly interface facilitates its distribution and its use by the community.

If you want to know more about Q-LavHA, you are kindly invited to read the manual



A new version of the plugin is now available (version 3.0). What is new in Q-LavHA 3.0?

  • Q-LavHA runs in the last released version of QGIS (v3.0).
  • It is easy to install. The user must download the zip file after registration on the Q-LavHA website and install the plugin through the QGIS interface.
  • An additional lava flow length constraint is available in this new release: the Euclidean length. When the Euclidean option is selected, the simulation stops when the lava flow line reaches a distance calculated as the crow flies’ distance between the point where the simulation starts and the front of the flowline. The previous maximum length lava flow length constraint is now renamed the Manhattan length which represents the travel distance covered by the lava flow line.
  • The lava flow inundation probability parameter accepts float numbers.
  • To help the users to select the best parameters for their simulations, additional fitness indexes have been integrated into the plugin.
  • Moreover, the users can straight away realize a sensitivity test.
  • If requested, a table and a graph summarizing the fitness indexes calculated at each stage of the sensitivity test can be produced. This enables users to quickly interpret their results.
  • The input parameters have been reorganized in the interface to provide a more user-friendly interface.
  • New keyboard short cut to start the simulations: Ctrl+R.
  • YouTube videos are available to help you to realize your first simulations.