Remote sensing of volcano surface and internal processes using radar interferometry

Howard A. Zebker, Falk Amelung, Sjonni Jonsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

83 Scopus citations


We describe here the use of imaging radar interferometry for remote sensing studies of volcanoes. Interferometric radars measure topography precisely, map surface cover changes such as active lava flows, and resolve extremely small deformations of the surface over large areas. First we present a tutorial on the radar interferometry technique. We then describe how these detailed measurements of surface processes may be further analyzed to infer volume or other changes at depth and thus provide a window through which to view subsurface activity. Because the subsurface transport of magma within a volcano is an important indicator of potential (or ongoing) activity, the ability to monitor deformations when they are slow or small, and often aseismic, could provide advance warning of future activity. Because radar measurements are not affected by clouds, radar is a valuable means to gather information in challenging, and even dangerous, environments spread over the entire Earth. In this chapter we present the technique of radar interferometry in a tutorial manner, give several example analyses of active volcanoes, and discuss its usefulness for the study of volcanoes in a variety of environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing of Active Volcanism, 2000
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664513
ISBN (Print)9780875900995
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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