Volcanic Eruptions Predicted With Satellite Imagery

November 5, 2012

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

In a new report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, two scientists showed they may now be able to detect signs of an impending volcanic eruption by analyzing satellite imagery.

Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) over the active volcanoes in Indonesia’s west Sunda arc, the vulcanologists from University of Miami uncovered evidence that showed the ‘inflation’ of several volcanoes prior to their eruption, likely the result of rising magma.

“Surveying entire volcanic regions using satellite data is of primary importance to the detection of ground deformation prior to the onset of eruptions,” said study co-author Estelle Chaussard, a geophysicist at the university. “If volcanic inflation is observed, it can help us to predict where the next eruption may occur. Moreover, in regions like Indonesia, where volcanoes are prevalent and pose a threat to millions of people, and where ground-based monitoring is sparse, remote sensing via satellite could become a major forecasting tool.”

Read more: Satellites Predict Volcanic Eruptions – Science News – redOrbit.

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