Satellite-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) measurements have the potential to make a unique contribution to volcano monitoring. We can use the change in phase between radar images acquired on different days to measure small displacements of the Earth’s surface, which can sometimes provide critical information about a volcano’s level of activity and the movement of magma in the Earth’s crust.
InSAR can be especially valuable for volcano monitoring where ground-based instrumentation is limited or where volcanoes are far away from the observatory. There is now much more satellite imagery routinely acquired and freely available than ever before, increasing its potential for identifying new volcanic unrest and understanding magma movement. However, there are major obstacles to routinely using satellite radar at most volcano observatories, including limited computing resources and staff time to process and analyse very large volumes of imagery.
This portal aims to address these challenges by providing tools for the online analysis of automatically processed LiCSAR Sentinel-1 interferograms. The analysis tools available here are designed to allow observatory volcanologists to (1) search quickly through processed imagery for deformation and (2) to make a critical assessment of whether any apparent signals are likely to be noise or true displacements. The tools currently available include calculation of displacement timeseries profile plotting and probability maps for volcanic deformation predicted by machine learning methods.
Interpreting an observation of new deformation at a volcano is aided by understanding its deformation history. This site also archives records of past measurements of volcanic deformation, including measurements of a lack of deformation (‘null’ results) and some unpublished observations.
You can navigate to any volcano using the interactive map below or from the Volcano Index, where you can also search by volcano name. There is guidance on how to us the online analysis tools to interrogate Sentinel-1 imagery available here, and about the design of the deformation catalogue here.