Novel 3D Drones Can Monitor Explosive Volcanoes

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 09:54

Scientists used a drone for a series of repeated survey flights with optical and thermal imaging cameras at the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala.

According to the Science Daily report, researchers around Edgar Zorn from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in Potsdam are now presenting the results of a series of repeated survey flights with optical and thermal imaging cameras at the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala.

Drones were used to observe the lava dome, a viscous plug of lava. The researchers were able to show that the lava dome shows movements on two different time scales: slow expansion and growth of the dome and fast extrusion of viscous lava. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We equipped a drone with different cameras," says Edgar Zorn from GFZ, the first author of the study. "We then flew the drone over the crater at various intervals, measuring the movements of lava flow and a lava dome using a specific type of stereo photography with a precision never seen before."

By comparing the data from the drone, the researchers were able to determine the flow velocity, movement patterns and surface temperature of the volcano. These parameters are important for predicting the danger of explosive volcanoes. The researchers also succeeded in deriving the flow properties of the lava from these data.

"We have shown that the use of drones can help to completely re-measure even the most dangerous and active volcanoes on Earth from a safe distance," says Edgar Zorn.

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News