Satellite observations played an important role in monitoring the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano. It represented the first opportunity for observers to use, in an operational setting, new Web-based tools and techniques developed by the Alaska Volcano Observatory remote sensing group. The 'Okmok Algorithm' was used to analyze thermal infrared satellite data and highlight changes in the style and phases of activity. Temperature measurements were used to estimate ash cloud heights, which compared favorably to radar and ground-based observations, although larger discrepancies were seen when compared to pilot reports. Brightness temperature difference techniques were used to locate and track the 14 ash clouds produced during the explosive phase of the eruption. Stacking of these analyses allowed the creation of composite maps showing the distribution of airborne ash. The data from these maps were further combined with information from local reports and samples of ashfall to create a prototype of a concentration map that could be used to assess the potential hazard an eruption represents to aircraft, infrastructure and human health.
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USGS Numbered Series
Integrated Satellite Observations of the 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano