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Global link between deformation and volcanic eruption quantified by satellite imagery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number3471
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
DatePublished - Apr 2014

Abstract

A key challenge for volcanological science and hazard management is that few of the world's volcanoes are effectively monitored. Satellite imagery covers volcanoes globally throughout their eruptive cycles, independent of ground-based monitoring, providing a multidecadal archive suitable for probabilistic analysis linking deformation with eruption. Here we show that, of the 198 volcanoes systematically observed for the past 18 years, 54 deformed, of which 25 also erupted. For assessing eruption potential, this high proportion of deforming volcanoes that also erupted (46%), together with the proportion of non-deforming volcanoes that did not erupt (94%), jointly represent indicators with 'strong' evidential worth. Using a larger catalogue of 540 volcanoes observed for 3 years, we demonstrate how this eruption-deformation relationship is influenced by tectonic, petrological and volcanic factors. Satellite technology is rapidly evolving and routine monitoring of the deformation status of all volcanoes from space is anticipated, meaning probabilistic approaches will increasingly inform hazard decisions and strategic development.

    Research areas

  • RADAR INTERFEROMETRY, CENTRAL ANDES, INSAR, ICELAND, ALASKA, SUBSIDENCE, CHILE, GALAPAGOS, KAMCHATKA, EVENTS

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