Review article: Volcanological applications of meteorological satellites
A substantial body of research has been directed towards the development of remote sensing techniques for volcanology, including applications relevant to eruption hazard assessment. Several of these studies exploit multi-spectral and high (100 m) spatial resolution spaceborne imagery; others focus on the application of lower spatial resolution (but high temporal resolution) meteorological satellite data. Although the latter have much to offer hazards research on account of their low cost, frequent acquisition, and operational availability, there has been comparatively little exploitation of the datastream by the volcano monitoring community. As the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction reaches its maturity, it is appropriate to review the state of play concerning volcanological remote sensing, and to stimulate the much wider use of technological developments. This contribution critically examines the utility of a variety of remotely sensed data notably acquired from the NOAA-series and geostationary meteorological satellites for surveillance of volcanic thermal phenomena and eruption plumes, and mapping of areas affected by ashfall.