Geophysikalisches Institut (GPI)

Analysis of Volume Changes at Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala, Using TanDEM-X Data

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    Ann-Kathrin Edrich

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The Santiaguito dome complex in Guatemala consists of four volcanic domes which have formed inside an explosion crater at Santa Maria volcano’s south-western flank since 1922. Only the oldest one of these domes, Caliente, is currently active. Santiaguito’s, or more precisely, Caliente’s eruptive behavior is characterized by several eruptions a day with varying frequency as well as rockfalls, pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

In this talk, the changes in elevation and volume at the volcano between September 2011 and April 2019 are presented. The analysis of these changes was conducted using 24 digital elevation models (DEMs) of Santiaguito with a resolution of about 6.5m in North-South direction and 4m in East-West direction. They were generated from TanDEM-X data using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry (InSAR). As the TanDEM-X mission consists of two almost identical satellites which acquire data simultaneously (bistatic, single-pass acquisition geometry), its data is very well suited for investigating volcanic areas, which are prone to strong deformations over a short period of time.

For the analysis, Santiaguito’s crater region and southern flank are investigated separately. The southern flank is furthermore subdivided in several sections in which changes in elevation and volume are determined independently. This allows a more spatially differentiated investigation of the lava flows which were emplaced on the southern flank especially during the early years of the observation period. In the crater region, especially the strong lava dome growth between 2016 and 2019 is of interest. Based on the results of the volume change analysis, the discharge rates and the mean output rate were determined as well.

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