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Infrared (IR) satellite-based sensors allow the detection and quantification of volcanic hot spots. Sensors flown on geostationary satellites are particularly helpful in the early warning and continuous tracking of effusive activity. Development of operational monitoring and dissemination systems is essential to achieve the real-time ingestion and processing of IR data for a timely response during volcanic crises. HOTVOLC is a web-based satellite-data-driven monitoring system developed at the Observatoire de Physique du Globe de Clermont-Ferrand (Clermont-Ferrand), designed to achieve near-real-time monitoring of volcanic activity using on-site ingestion of geostationary satellite data (e.g. MSG-SEVIRI, MTSAT, GOES-Imager). Here we present the characteristics of the HOTVOLC system for the monitoring of effusive activity. The system comprises two acquisition stations and secure databases (i.e. mirrored archives). The detection of volcanic hot spots uses a contextual algorithm that is based on a modified form of the Normalized Thermal Index (NTI*) and VAST. Raster images and numerical data are available to open-access on a Web-GIS interface. Tests are carried out and presented here, particularly for the 12–13 January 2011 eruption of Mount Etna, to show the capability of the system to provide quantitative information such as lava volume and time-averaged discharge rate. Examples of operational application reveal the ability of the HOTVOLC system to provide timely thermal information about volcanic hot spot activity.

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