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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering (PhD)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Simon A. Carn
The integration of remote monitoring techniques at different scales is of crucial importance for monitoring of volcanoes and assessment of the associated hazard. In this optic, technological advancement and collaboration between research groups also play a key role. Vhub is a community cyberinfrastructure platform designed for collaboration in volcanology research. Within the Vhub framework, this dissertation focuses on two research themes, both representing novel applications of remotely sensed data in volcanology: advancement in the acquisition of topographic data via active techniques and application of passive multi-spectral satellite data to monitoring of vegetated volcanoes.
Measuring surface deformation is a critical issue in analogue modelling of Earth science phenomena. I present a novel application of the Microsoft Kinect sensor to measurement of vertical and horizontal displacements in analogue models. Specifically, I quantified vertical displacement in a scaled analogue model of Nisyros volcano, Greece, simulating magmatic deflation and inflation and related surface deformation, and included the horizontal component to reconstruct 3D models of pit crater formation. The detection of active faults around volcanoes is of importance for seismic and volcanic hazard assessment, but not a simple task to be achieved using analogue models. I present new evidence of neotectonic deformation along a north-south trending fault from the Mt Shasta debris avalanche deposit (DAD), northern California. The fault was identified on an airborne LiDAR campaign of part of the region interested by the DAD and then confirmed in the field. High resolution LiDAR can be utilized also for geomorphological assessment of DADs, and I describe a size-distance analysis to document geomorphological aspects of hummock in the Shasta DAD.
Relating the remote observations of volcanic passive degassing to conditions and impacts on the ground provides an increased understanding of volcanic degassing and how satellite-based monitoring can be used to inform hazard management strategies in nearreal time. Combining a variety of satellite-based spectral time series I aim to perform the first space-based assessment of the impacts of sulfur dioxide emissions from Turrialba volcano, Costa Rica, on vegetation in the surrounding environment, and establish whether vegetation indices could be used more broadly to detect volcanic unrest.
Tortini, Riccardo, "TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT IN REMOTE SENSING AND INNOVATIVE APPLICATION TO VOLCANOLOGY", Dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2015.