Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tracking A Volcanic Hot Spot: Satellite Imagery Detects Location Of Seismic Unrest At Mauna Loa

Date:
May 24, 2007
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
Using a state-of-the-art satellite imagery technique, researchers can more precisely predict volcanic activity, bringing them closer to understanding where eruptions may occur. A new study in Science examines Mauna Loa's volcanic activity. With this new technique, researchers can more precisely forecast locations of volcanic activity -- providing critical information to improve warning systems and hazard assessment of populated areas surrounding one of the world's most naturally dangerous ecosystems, volcanoes.

Researchers used interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from 2002 to 2005 to obtain images of the ground deformation associated with volcanic activity on Mauna Loa.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Using a state-of-the-art satellite imagery technique, researchers are able to more precisely predict volcanic activity, bringing them steps closer to understanding where an eruption may occur.

A new research study, titled "Stress Control of Deep Rift Intrusion at Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii," being published in the May 18 issue of the journal Science uses satellite imagery to study volcanic activity at Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. With this new technique, researchers can more precisely forecast locations of volcanic activity -- providing critical information to improve warning systems and hazard assessment of populated areas surrounding one of the world's most naturally dangerous ecosystems, volcanoes.

A team of researchers, lead by Dr. Falk Amelung, a geology and geophysics assistant professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, used interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from 2002 to 2005 to obtain images of the ground deformation associated with volcanic activity. Researchers were able to see distinct patterns of magma activity associated with rift zones, long narrow fractures in the earth's crust from which lava flows out. Magma pathways were unclamped by past eruptions and earthquakes, leaving a place for the magma to enter. Magma accumulates in the rift zones, pushed the flanks apart, creating stress in the area that ultimately erupts.

"We are able to infer very precisely where magma accumulation occurred and we have an explanation why it occurred in this particular location," Amelung said. "We now have a good idea where the next eruption is most likely to occur. This technique can be employed on other large volcanoes to better forecast eruption locations."

Researchers are studying Mauna Loa because it's the largest and one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The main volcanic hazards, lava flows and flank collapse, can pose a significant hazard to populated areas. Flank collapse, which can trigger tsunamis, creates an additional hazard to these increasingly populated areas of volcano flanks, like Mauna Loa volcano. This research technique can be applied to other active volcanoes, Mt. Etna in Italy, Piton de la Fournaise on Reunion Island, Kilauea in Hawaii, and many others, including in Central America.

NASA's Earth Science program and the National Science Foundation Geophysics program provided funding for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Tracking A Volcanic Hot Spot: Satellite Imagery Detects Location Of Seismic Unrest At Mauna Loa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517142549.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2007, May 24). Tracking A Volcanic Hot Spot: Satellite Imagery Detects Location Of Seismic Unrest At Mauna Loa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517142549.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Tracking A Volcanic Hot Spot: Satellite Imagery Detects Location Of Seismic Unrest At Mauna Loa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517142549.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins