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Satellite-based remote sensing measurements of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) provide critical information for reducing volcanic hazards. This paper describes the use of SO2 measurements from the thermal infrared sounder IASI and the UV-VIS instrument GOME-2 in services related to aviation hazard and early warning of volcanic unrest. The high sensitivity of both instruments to SO2 allows the detection and global tracking of volcanic eruption plumes and makes them a valuable tool for volcanic aviation hazard mitigation. The GOME-2 and IASI SO2 data are produced in near-real time and distributed to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAACS) to assist them in issuing alerts to airlines and air traffic control organizations. Examples of recent eruptions affecting air traffic are presented including Jebel al Tair (Yemen, September 2007), Mount Okmok (Alaska, July 2008), and Mount Kasatochi (Alaska, August 2008). In addition, GOME-2 can detect changes in the SO2 emissions from passively degassing volcanoes and, therefore, provide critical information for hazard assessment. The monitoring of pre-eruptive degassing by GOME-2 is used in early warning of volcanic activity by a mobile volcano fast response system in combination with numerous other parameters, such as seismicity, deformation, and thermal anomalies.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:2 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2009