Linking space observations to volcano observatories in Latin America: Results from the CEOS DRM Volcano Pilot
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Within Latin American, about 315 volcanoes that have been active in the Holocene, but according to the United Nations Global Assessment of Risk 2015 report (GAR15) 202 of these volcanoes have no seismic, deformation or gas monitoring. Following the 2012 Santorini Report on satellite Earth Observation and Geohazards, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has developed a 3-year pilot project to demonstrate how satellite observations can be used to monitor large numbers of volcanoes cost-effectively, particularly in areas with scarce instrumentation and/or difficult access. The pilot aims to improve disaster risk management (DRM) by working directly with the volcano observatories that are governmentally responsible for volcano monitoring, and the project is possible thanks to data provided at no cost by international space agencies (ESA, CSA, ASI, DLR, JAXA, NASA, CNES). Here we highlight several examples of how satellite observations have been used by volcano observatories during the last 18 months to monitor volcanoes and respond to crises -- for example the 2013-2014 unrest episode at Cerro Negro/Chiles (Ecuador-Colombia border); the 2015 eruptions of Villarrica and Calbuco volcanoes, Chile; the 2013-present unrest and eruptions at Sabancaya and Ubinas volcanoes, Peru; the 2015 unrest at Guallatiri volcano, Chile; and the 2012-present rapid uplift at Cordon Caulle, Chile. Our primary tool is measurements of ground deformation made by Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) but thermal and outgassing data have been used in a few cases. InSAR data have helped to determine the alert level at these volcanoes, served as an independent check on ground sensors, guided the deployment of ground instruments, and aided situational awareness. We will describe several lessons learned about the type of data products and information that are most needed by the volcano observatories in different countries.