Thickness distribution of a cooling pyroclastic flow deposit on Augustine Volcano, Alaska: Optimization using InSAR, FEMs, and an adaptive mesh algorithm
Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) imagery documents the consistent subsidence, during the interval 1992–1999, of a pyroclastic flow deposit (PFD) emplaced during the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska. We construct finite element models (FEMs) that simulate thermoelastic contraction of the PFD to account for the observed subsidence. Three-dimensional problem domains of the FEMs include a thermoelastic PFD embedded in an elastic substrate. The thickness of the PFD is initially determined from the difference between post- and pre-eruption digital elevation models (DEMs). The initial excess temperature of the PFD at the time of deposition, 640 °C, is estimated from FEM predictions and an InSAR image via standard least-squares inverse methods. Although the FEM predicts the major features of the observed transient deformation, systematic prediction errors (RMSE = 2.2 cm) are most likely associated with errors in the a priori PFD thickness distribution estimated from the DEM differences. We combine an InSAR image, FEMs, and an adaptive mesh algorithm to iteratively optimize the geometry of the PFD with respect to a minimized misfit between the predicted thermoelastic deformation and observed deformation. Prediction errors from an FEM, which includes an optimized PFD geometry and the initial excess PFD temperature estimated from the least-squares analysis, are sub-millimeter (RMSE = 0.3 mm). The average thickness (9.3 m), maximum thickness (126 m), and volume (2.1 × 107m3) of the PFD, estimated using the adaptive mesh algorithm, are about twice as large as the respective estimations for the a priori PFD geometry. Sensitivity analyses suggest unrealistic PFD thickness distributions are required for initial excess PFD temperatures outside of the range 500–800 °C.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Thickness distribution of a cooling pyroclastic flow deposit on Augustine Volcano, Alaska: Optimization using InSAR, FEMs, and an adaptive mesh algorithm|
|Series title||Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research|
|Contributing office(s)||Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Volcano Hazards Program|
|Other Geospatial||Augustine Volcano|