Forecasting large explosions at Bezymianny Volcano using thermal satellite data
Published:January 01, 2013
S. M. van Manen, S. Blake, J. Dehn, L. Valcic, 2013. "Forecasting large explosions at Bezymianny Volcano using thermal satellite data", Remote Sensing of Volcanoes and Volcanic Processes: Integrating Observation and Modelling, D. M. Pyle, T. A. Mather, J. Biggs
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Large volcanic explosions pose a severe risk to life and cargo by injecting ash into local and international air traffic routes. Prior to exploding, Bezymianny (Kamchatka) commonly shows an increase in lava extrusion rate, which can be detected by satellites as an increase in thermal radiance. Here we present the first method of forecasting explosive eruptions based solely on satellite data. A pattern recognition algorithm using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data has been developed based on known precursory trends of increasing radiance prior to 19 explosions at Bezymianny Volcano in 1993–2008. The algorithm retrospectively forecasts 89% of the explosions (100% of the explosions that show precursory increases in thermal radiance), with 71% of alerts issued in the 30 days beforehand. The method also provides the probability of an explosion occurring within a given number of days after an alert is triggered by the algorithm. When applied to independent data, the algorithm correctly provided alerts before the 16 December 2009, 31 May 2010 and 13 April 2011 explosions.
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Remote Sensing of Volcanoes and Volcanic Processes: Integrating Observation and Modelling
Volcanoes have played a profound role in shaping our planet, and volcanic activity is a major hazard locally, regionally and globally. Many volcanoes are, however, poorly accessible and sparsely monitored. Consequently, remote sensing is playing an increasingly important role in tracking volcano behaviour, while synoptic remote sensing techniques have begun to make major contributions to volcanological science. Volcanology is driven in part by the operational concerns of volcano monitoring and hazard management, but the goal of volcanological science is to understand the processes that underlie volcanic activity. This volume shows how we may reach a deeper understanding by integrating remote sensing measurements with modelling approaches and, if available, ground-based observations. It includes reviews and papers that report technical advances and document key case studies. They span a range of remote sensing applications to volcanoes, from volcano deformation, thermal anomalies and gas fluxes, to the tracking of eruptive ash and gas plumes. The result is a state-of-the-art overview of the ever-growing importance of remote sensing to volcanology.