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Monitoring volcanic eruptions using bistatic SAR-interferometry

Monitoring volcanic eruptions using bistatic SAR-interferometry



Dr. Malte Westerhaus (KIT-GIK)


Topographic data are of high value in various disciplines like glaciology, geology, or volcanology, and can be used in a variety of applications such as volcanic flow modelling or hazard assessment. However, topographic data acquisition and provision is a challenge. Very often, high-resolution data only exists within a small spatial extension, or the available data is already outdated when the final product is provided. This is especially true for very dynamic landscapes, such as volcanoes. The bistatic TanDEM-X radar satellite mission enables for the first time to generate up-to-date and high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) repeatedly using the interferometric phase. The regular acquisition of TanDEMX data facilitates the generation of time-series of DEMs with a sampling interval of 11 days. Differencing DEM time series enables monitoring topographic changes at active volcanoes, and can help to estimate (average) magmatic ascent rates. In the talk, an overview of the various facets of volcanic activity is given that have been studied so far using bistatic TanDEM-X imagery. The six target sites (Merapi, Volcan de Colima, Etna, Shiveluch, Talbachik, Puyuhue-Cordon Caulle) are located in different locations around the globe. The variety of test sites enabled the study of different styles of eruptive activity ranging from small and very large explosions to pyroclastic flows and extensive basaltic lava flow fields.