Natural Hazards

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 539–550 | Cite as

Lava flow simulations using discharge rates from thermal infrared satellite imagery during the 2006 Etna eruption

  • Annamaria Vicari
  • Alessia Ciraudo
  • Ciro Del Negro
  • Alexis Herault
  • Luigi Fortuna
Original Paper

Abstract

Techniques capable of measuring lava discharge rates during an eruption are important for hazard prediction, warning, and mitigation. To this end, we developed an automated system that uses thermal infrared satellite MODIS data to estimate time-averaged discharge rate. MODIS-derived time-varying discharge rates were used to drive lava flow simulations calculated using the MAGFLOW cellular automata model, allowing us to simulate the discharge rate-dependent spread of lava as a function of time. During the July 2006 eruption of Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy), discharge rates were estimated at regular intervals (i.e., up to 2 times/day) using the MODIS data. The eruption lasted 10 days and produced a ~3-km-long lava flow field. Time-averaged discharge rates extracted from 13 MODIS images were utilized to produce a detailed chronology of lava flow emplacement, demonstrating how infrared satellite data can be used to drive numerical simulations of lava flow paths during an ongoing eruptive event. The good agreement between simulated and mapped flow areas indicates that model-based inundation predictions, driven by time-varying discharge rate data, provide an excellent means for assessing the hazard posed by ongoing effusive eruptions.

Keywords

MAGFLOW model Lava flow simulation Etna volcano 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We are grateful to NASA for the infrared satellite imagery acquired by MODIS sensors onboard Terra and Aqua satellites. We are indebted to all personal of UFVG of INGV-CT who ensure the regular mapping of the lava flow field. Thanks are due to Maria Marsella (University of Rome “La Sapienza”) for making the Digital Elevation Model of Etna available. We are grateful to Andrew Harris and two anonymous reviewers for constructive and helpful comments that greatly improved the manuscript. This study was performed with financial support from the ETNA project (DPC-INGV 2004–2006 contract) to the TecnoLab organized by DIEES-UNICT and INGV-CT.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annamaria Vicari
    • 1
  • Alessia Ciraudo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ciro Del Negro
    • 1
  • Alexis Herault
    • 1
    • 3
  • Luigi Fortuna
    • 4
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaSezione di CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Matematica e InformaticaUniversità di CataniaCataniaItaly
  3. 3.Université Paris-Est, S3ISChamps-sur-MarneFrance
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Elettronica e dei SistemiUniversità di Catania CataniaItaly

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