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Book Chapter

Forecasting large explosions at Bezymianny Volcano using thermal satellite data

By
S. M. van Manen
S. M. van Manen
1
Volcano Dynamics Group, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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S. Blake
S. Blake
1
Volcano Dynamics Group, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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J. Dehn
J. Dehn
2
The Alaska Volcano Observatory, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
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L. Valcic
L. Valcic
2
The Alaska Volcano Observatory, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
3
Present address: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

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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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Remote Sensing of Volcanoes and Volcanic Processes: Integrating Observation and Modelling

D. M. Pyle
D. M. Pyle
University of Oxford, UK
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T. A. Mather
T. A. Mather
University of Oxford, UK
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J. Biggs
J. Biggs
University of Bristol, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
380
ISBN electronic:
9781862396456
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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