Cordilleran Section - 113th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 40-4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM


TURNER, Nicolas R., Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, HOUGHTON, Bruce F., Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI and TADDEUCCI, J., Rome section, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome, 00194, Italy,

Accurate photogrammetric measurements of vent geometry at explosive volcanoes are important to improving our understanding of open-vent volcanism, but are difficult to constrain due to emissions of gas and large ejecta, which create a hazardous environment to human life. Low-altitude aerial imagery collected with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can help monitor explosive activity at Stromboli Volcano, Italy. Detailed maps of active vent locations and dimensions were obtained from multiple repeat flights over the NE and SW craters in 2016.

Due to high levels of gas emissions and frequent explosions, fine-scale measurements of vent geometry from single flights were challenging. However, the compilation of data acquired over 12 flights used with Structure from Motion software generated a very high-resolution 5 cm Digital Elevation Model (DEM) offering a non-obstructed view into the active craters. Such direct observations permits us to constrain the influence of parameters such as vent geometry and depth on eruptive style with an unprecedented precision, also potentially reducing the uncertainty entering into models that utilize such inputs (e.g. conduit and acoustic models). Furthermore, the low-cost and safety of UAS allows mapping changes at small temporal and spatial resolutions, making this technique complementary to geophysical monitoring efforts at active volcanoes.