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Accurate and fast delivery of information about recent lava flows is important for near-real-time monitoring of eruptions. Here, we have characterized the October 2010 lava flow at Piton de la Fournaise using various InSAR datasets. We first produced a map of the area covered by the lava flow (i.e. Arealava=0.71–0.75 km2) using the coherence of two syn-eruptive interferograms. Then we analysed two post-eruptive InSAR datasets (i.e. monostatic and bistatic data). The monostatic database provided us simultaneously with the displacement rates, lava thickness, volume and volume flux. We found that the lava flow was subsiding and moving eastward at maximum rates of 13±0.3 and 4±0.2 cm a−1, respectively. Also, it had a mean thickness of Zmean=5.85 m, VolDRE=1.77±0.75×106 m3 (1σ) and MOR=1.25±0.53 m3 s−1. The bistatic database provided us only with the thickness and volume information (i.e. Zmean=6.00 m, VolDRE=1.83±0.65×106 m3 and MOR=1.29±0.46 m3 s−1). Finally, we used a thermal remote sensing technique to verify the InSAR-derived measurements. Results show that the monostatic and bistatic datasets were both well within the range for the DRE volume obtained from MODIS data (2.44–4.40×106 m3).

Supplementary material:

Tables A1 and A2 give satellite images used in this study. Table A3 gives the parameters used for the calculation of the effusion rates. The figures give the data processing of the post-eruptive radar images. These are available at

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