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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Volcanic eruptions pose an ever-present threat to human populations around the globe, but many active volcanoes remain poorly monitored. In regions where ground-based monitoring is present the effects of volcanic eruptions can be moderated through observational alerts to both local populations and service providers such as air traffic control. However, in regions where volcano monitoring is limited satellite-based remote sensing provides a global data source that can be utilized to provide near real time identification of volcanic activity. This paper details the development of an automated volcanic plume detection method utilizing daily, global observations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite. Following identification and classification of known volcanic eruptions in 2005-2009, the OMI SO2 data are analysed using a logistic regression analysis which permits the identification of volcanic events with an overall accuracy of over 80%, and consistent plume identification when the volcanic plume SO2 loading exceeds ~400 tons. The accuracy and minimal user input requirements of the developed procedure provide a basis for the creation of an automated SO2 alert system providing volcanic alerts in regions where ground based volcano monitoring capabilities are limited. The technique could easily be adapted for use with satellite measurements of volcanic SO2 emissions from other platforms.

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© Author(s). 2016.CC-BY 3.0 License.

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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


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