Volcán de Colima is a highly active stratovolcano in western Mexico which presents a significant hazard to over 300,000 people who live within ca 40 km of the volcano. Due to its persistent activity, the volcano is actively monitored and researched, and understanding the patterns of behaviour is vital to accurate hazard assessment.

Sentinel-1 SAR images from ascending and descending orbits allow 1D and 2D ground motions to be retrieved using multi-interferogram techniques. SqueeSAR®’s unique processing allows a better characterisation of subtle ground movements in remote, rural mountainous areas compared to many other multi-interferogram techniques. A dataset of 147 SAR scenes (2017-2019) has been processed to show patterns of lava subsidence (<150 mm of downward vertical deformation over 2 years), as well as volcano deflation and apparent westward lateral movement. These data indicate that viscous andesitic lava flows may remain mobile for years following eruption and emplacement, and that the entire volcanic edifice is subsiding.

Despite the apparent quiescence, volcanic edifices can remain highly dynamic after the termination of explosive or effusive activity. We interpret that the western flank of Volcán de Colima may become steeper with time and may be of long-term concern for hazard assessment activities.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Remote sensing for site investigations on Earth and other planets collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/topic/collections/remote-sensing-for-site-investigations-on-earth-and-other-planets

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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