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Pilot reports in January 1995 and geologic field observations from the summer of 1996 indicate that a relatively small explosive eruption of Makushin, one of the more frequently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc of Alaska, occured on 30 January 1995. Several independent radar interferograms that each span the time period from October 1993 to September 1995 show evidence of ???7 cm of uplift centered on the volcano's east flank, which we interpret as preeruptive inflation of a ???7-km-deep magma source (??V = 0.022 km3). Subsequent interferograms for 1995-2000, a period that included no reported eruptive activity, show no evidence of additional ground deformation. Interferometric coherence at C band is found to persist for 3 years or more on lava flow and other rocky surfaces covered with short grass and sparsely distributed tall grass and for at least 1 year on most pyroclastic deposits. On lava flow and rocky surfaces with dense tall grass and on alluvium, coherence lasts for a few months. Snow and ice surfaces lose coherence within a few days. This extended timeframe of coherence over a variety of surface materials makes C band radar interferometry an effective tool for studying volcano deformation in Alaska and other similar high-latitude regions.
Additional Publication Details
Preeruptive inflation and surface interferometric coherence characteristics revealed by satellite radar interferometry at Makushin Volcano, Alaska: 1993-2000