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Ground-Based Remote Sensing and Uncertainty Analysis of the Mass Eruption Rate Associated With the 3–5 December 2015 Paroxysms of Mt. Etna

Abstract : During explosive eruptions, the real-time estimation of the mass eruption rate (MER) is challenging although crucial to mitigate the impact of erupted tephra. Microwave radar techniques at L- and/or X-bands, as well as thermal infrared imagery, can provide a reliableMER estimation in real time. Using lava fountains of 3–5 December 2015 atMt. Etna (Italy) as test cases, we investigate the differences among all these remote sensing methods and introduce a new approach, called the near source approach (NSA) using only X-band radar data. We also extend the volcanic advanced radar retrieval methodology to estimate the gas-tephra mixture density near the volcanic crater. The analysis of uncertainty is carried out comparing the NSA with the mass continuity approach (MCA), top plume approach (TPA) and surface flux approach (SFA), already used to estimate the MER of other Etna explosive events. The analysis allows us to identify the optimal real-time MER retrieval strategy, showing the potential and limitations of each method. We show that the MCA method, entirely based on the X-band radar data processing, is the best strategy with a percentage uncertainty in the MER estimation of 22.3%, whereas other approaches exhibit a higher uncertainty (26.4% for NSA, 30% for TPA, and 31.6% for SFA).
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https://hal.uca.fr/hal-03516636
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Submitted on : Friday, January 7, 2022 - 12:07:59 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 8:47:19 AM

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Luigi Mereu, Simona Scollo, Costanza Bonadonna, Franck Donnadieu, Valentin Freret-Lorgeril, et al.. Ground-Based Remote Sensing and Uncertainty Analysis of the Mass Eruption Rate Associated With the 3–5 December 2015 Paroxysms of Mt. Etna. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE, 2022, 15, pp.504-518. ⟨10.1109/JSTARS.2021.3133946⟩. ⟨hal-03516636⟩

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