Volcanology Remote Sensing

Ash

The remote sensing branch of the volcanology group analyzes satellite data from Kamchatka all the way to Yellowstone.

Infrared satellite data from polar orbiting and geostationary spaceborne sensors are analyzed, viewed, and evaluated to locate thermal anomalies, which may indicate possible volcanic activity, or new ash plumes and clouds. Over time, these data can be used to observe an increase in the size of a lava dome, new strombolian activity, a growing lava flow, or the gradual increase in activity of a specific volcano across the region.

The faculty, staff and students work together to locate and track volcanic ash plumes and clouds, which may threaten the 20,000 airline passengers and millions of pounds of cargo that fly over the North Pacific region every day. These analyses lead to and are a part of student thesis research and new exciting projects that have included tasking additional higher spatial resolution data and the calibration and validation of volcanic ash cloud modeling.

Group Contact: Peter Webley