Powell Center Working Group Project Information
Optimizing satellite resources for the global assessment and mitigation of volcanic hazards
Matthew Pritchard (Cornell University)
Michael P Poland (USGS Volcano Science Center)
Award Date: 2017
A vast number of the world’s volcanoes are unmonitored by ground-based sensors, yet constitute an important hazard to nearby residents and infrastructure, as well as air travel and the global economy. Satellite data provide a cost-effective means of tracking activity at such volcanoes. Unfortunately, satellite acquisitions are not optimized for application to volcano hazards, in part because clear relations between satellite-monitored unrest and eruptive activity are lacking. We aim to bridge this gap by developing linked global databases of satellite observations of volcanic activity, with the goal of relating surface change and volcanic emissions to eruption style and impact. This database (or databases) will be used to design an acquisition strategy that can be shared with international space agencies to optimize the use of satellite data in volcanic hazards assessment and mitigation. While there are several international efforts to address this problem, our Powell Center Working Group is uniquely able to bring these programs together to work synergistically.