LAV@HAZARD: a Web-GIS Framework for Real-Time Forecasting of Lava Flow Hazards

Monday, 15 December 2014
Ciro Del Negro1, Giuseppe Bilotta1, Annalisa Cappello1, Gaetana Ganci1 and Alexis Herault1,2, (1)Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Catania, Italy, (2)Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Département Ingénierie Mathématique, Paris, France
Crucial to lava flow hazard assessment is the development of tools for real-time prediction of flow paths, flow advance rates, and final flow lengths. Accurate prediction of flow paths and advance rates requires not only rapid assessment of eruption conditions (especially effusion rate) but also improved models of lava flow emplacement. Here we present the LAV@HAZARD web-GIS framework, which combines spaceborne remote sensing techniques and numerical simulations for real-time forecasting of lava flow hazards. By using satellite-derived discharge rates to drive a lava flow emplacement model, LAV@HAZARD allows timely definition of parameters and maps essential for hazard assessment, including the propagation time of lava flows and the maximum run-out distance. We take advantage of the flexibility of the HOTSAT thermal monitoring system to process satellite images coming from sensors with different spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions. HOTSAT was designed to ingest infrared satellite data acquired by the MODIS and SEVIRI sensors to output hot spot location, lava thermal flux and discharge rate. We use LAV@HAZARD to merge this output with the MAGFLOW physics-based model to simulate lava flow paths and to update, in a timely manner, flow simulations. Thus, any significant changes in lava discharge rate are included in the predictions. A significant benefit in terms of computational speed was obtained thanks to the parallel implementation of MAGFLOW on graphic processing units (GPUs). All this useful information has been gathered into the LAV@HAZARD platform which, due to the high degree of interactivity, allows generation of easily readable maps and a fast way to explore alternative scenarios. We will describe and demonstrate the operation of this framework using a variety of case studies pertaining to Mt Etna, Sicily. Although this study was conducted on Mt Etna, the approach used is designed to be applicable to other volcanic areas around the world.