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Remote monitoring of Indonesian volcanoes using satellite data from the Internet

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The Internet now harbours vast amounts of cheap and potentially useful remote sensing data. Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data are being increasingly used for volcano surveillance, and the provision of AVHRR Global Area Coverage (GAC) imagery at no cost over the Internet offers the possibility of cheap volcano monitoring on a global scale. Herein we use an extensive, 690-scene AVHRR GAC dataset to observe volcanic activity in the Indonesian island arc between January 1996 and November 1997. Indonesia contains over 70 active volcanoes, with styles of activity during the observation period including active lava domes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows and hot crater lakes, many in close proximity to major centres of population. The detection potential of these and other phenomena in GAC data is assessed. Thermal anomalies were identified at ~18 volcanoes during the observation period, including lava flows at Anak Krakatau, persistent open-vent activity at Semeru and a previously unreported eruption at Sangeang Api volcano. Using these results, a classification scheme for night-time Indonesian GAC data is presented. Routine use of freely available high temporal resolution data such as AVHRR GAC could help elucidate cyclic activity at active volcanoes, which would contribute significantly to hazard mitigation in affected areas. Browse images of higher resolution data (e.g. SPOT) from the daily updated archives of the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) in Singapore also show potential as an aid to volcano monitoring in the region.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-03-20

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