Synthetic Aperture Radar Using ‘Inflation’ Monitoring could Predict Volcanic Eruptions

InSAR map of the west Sunda volcanic arc, Indonesia. Red colors represent uplift and blue colors represent subsidence. Locations of volcanoes are marked by black triangles, historically active volcanoes by red triangles.

The world’s deadliest and largest volcanic eruptions happen in Indonesia. Future eruptions in this jungle-filled region could be better predicted by using satellite radar to detect swelling magma near the summit of those volcanoes, a new study suggests.

To search for evidence of imminent eruptions, scientists monitored surface changes at 79 volcanoes with technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR). The data were gathered between 2006 and 2009 by the Japanese Space Exploration Agency’s ALOS satellite.

The researchers found that six volcanoes in Indonesia “inflated” during the study period — and three of these later erupted. One was the thought to be dormant: Mount Sinabung, which inflated 3 inches in 2007 and 2008 before erupting in 2010. More than 17,500 people were evacuated.

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in GIS, opinions, Remote Sensing 101, Satellites, Volcanoes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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