Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques are used to calculate the volume of extrusion at Okmok volcano, Alaska by constructing precise digital elevation models (DEMs) that represent volcano topography before and after the 1997 eruption. The posteruption DEM is generated using airborne topographic synthetic aperture radar (TOPSAR) data where a three-dimensional affine transformation is used to account for the misalignments between different DEM patches. The preeruption DEM is produced using repeat-pass European Remote Sensing satellite data; multiple interferograms are combined to reduce errors due to atmospheric variations, and deformation rates are estimated independently and removed from the interferograms used for DEM generation. The extrusive flow volume associated with the 1997 eruption of Okmok volcano is 0.154 ?? 0.025 km3. The thickest portion is approximately 50 m, although field measurements of the flow margin's height do not exceed 20 m. The in situ measurements at lava edges are not representative of the total thickness, and precise DEM data are absolutely essential to calculate eruption volume based on lava thickness estimations. This study is an example that demonstrates how InSAR will play a significant role in studying volcanoes in remote areas.
Additional publication details
Estimating lava volume by precision combination of multiple baseline spaceborne and airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar: The 1997 eruption of Okmok Volcano, Alaska
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center