AVTIS observations of lava dome growth at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat: 2004 to 2011
Published:January 01, 2014
G. Wadge, D. G. Macfarlane, H. M. Odbert, A. Stinton, D. A. Robertson, M. R. James, H. Pinkerton, 2014. "AVTIS observations of lava dome growth at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat: 2004 to 2011", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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To solve the problem of lava dome growth at Soufrière Hills Volcano (SHV) being invisible and unmeasured owing to cloud, we have designed, built and deployed a ground-based millimetre-wave radar/radiometer: the All-weather Volcano Topography Imaging Sensor (AVTIS). In this chapter, after an outline technical sketch of the instruments, we describe the campaigns between 2004 and 2011 used to test their capabilities. We then present results from the campaigns to illustrate how signals of volcanological interest can be retrieved. The primary measurements of AVTIS are range (to within, at best, about 1 m), and, from that, topography, topographical change and effusion rates, and surface temperature (to within a few degrees Celsius). Changes in radar reflectivity can indicate surface processes (e.g. mass wasting). Surface motion within the instantaneous field of view produces a Doppler signal that allows detection of rockfall. Attenuation of the signal by rain along the path can, when stacked temporally, give an image of rain cloud structure and, by calibration, a rate of rainfall. We regard a strategy of two radars – one permanantly mounted (at Windy Hill) autonomous instrument, and the other used as a rover – as being best for capturing dome growth.
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The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
The 1995 to present eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat is one of the most important and best-studied eruptions of an explosive andesitic volcano. This volume presents scientific findings from the period between 2000 and 2010; it follows on from Memoir 21, which focused on the early years of activity between 1995 and 1999. In addition to descriptions and analysis of the growth, collapse and explosions associated with lava domes, there are papers on the deformation of the volcano caused by the deep magma, the petrology and geochemistry of the lavas and associated gases. Of particular note are: an overview of the insights into the deep structure of the volcano that resulted from a major international seismic tomography experiment; and an analysis of the quantitative risk assessment process that has run now for most of the eruption, the longest such continuous assessment in the world.