Utility of regional satellite volcano deformation monitoring in Latin America: The CEOS pilot project

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Francisco Delgado1, Matthew E. Pritchard1, Juliet Biggs2 and David Arnold2, (1)Cornell University, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Ithaca, NY, United States, (2)University of Bristol, School of Earth Sciences, Bristol, United Kingdom
Satellite observations are a cost effective tool for monitoring large numbers of volcanoes in areas with scarce instrumentation or difficult access. In the context of the 2012 Santorini Report on satellite Earth Observation and Geohazards, CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) has developed a pilot project to showcase remote sensing for volcano hazard mitigation and response. Specifically, the pilot aims to demonstrate the feasibility of global volcano monitoring of Holocene volcanoes by undertaking regional monitoring of volcanic arcs in Latin America, using satellite earth observations data to track deformation as well as gas, ash, and thermal emissions. Latin America was chosen because the volcanoes are situated in a diversity of environments, providing a good test of the capabilities of different types of satellite data under different conditions; volcanic activity is abundant, and monitoring agencies in Latin American countries would directly benefit from the resources that this pilot will make available. It is hoped that the regional study will demonstrate that Earth observation data can help to identify volcanoes that may become active in the future as well as track eruptive activity that may impact populations and infrastructure on the ground and in the air, ultimately leading to improved targeting for permanent satellite-based observations and in-situ volcanic monitoring efforts. The pilot project is posible thanks to data provided by the various space agencies (ESA, ASI, DLR, JAXA, NASA, CNES, CSA).

In this contribution, we focus on premilinary ground deformation results using SAR satellites for selected areas in the Northern and Southern Andes as well as the Caribbean with recent unrest. For example, in the Southern Andes we will present ALOS time series at Llaima (-38.7 S) and Peteroa (-35.2 S) volcanoes, both of which have had eruptions during the past ten years.