This website provides a near-real time database of global volcano deformation, measured using satellite-based radar (InSAR). This section of the site is in the development stage, and new results for specific volcanoes are being updated as they become available. Additionally, we detail past observations of deformation at all volcanoes in the world. You can find both of these records in the volcano database, or by searching for your favourite volcano in the top-right search-box.

The aim is to provide quick access to results for scientists, interested members of the public, and, importantly, international project partners at volcano observatories. Measurements of volcano deformation are vital as they can function as an eruption precursor, and constrain the character and status of the underlying magma reservoir. This information informs valuable research into volcano plumbing and assessments of volcanic hazard. Further benefits of volcanic deformation studies include research into the source of eruptions, intrusions of un-erupted material, structural stability and regional variations in magma storage, amongst many others.

Satellite data for volcano deformation 

The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched the first of a new family of satellites (‘Sentinel’) on April 3rd 2014, which provide observations of almost every volcano in the world every 6-12 days. Sentinel operational data is free and open access (see the ESA data policy here). As new data becomes available, it will be automatically processed via the LiCSAR processor. For each volcano in the database, our website provides in the Section “Latest Sentinel-1 Data” the three most recent interferograms and coherence maps, which can be used to track ongoing or new volcanic unrest.

Past deformation episodes

The database section also compiles past observations of volcano deformation, from a range of InSAR satellites and other ground-based methods (e.g., GPS, levelling or tilt). Results from key studies are summarised from the published literature for all volcanoes as listed in the Global Volcanism Program database. Entires highlight spatial and temporal deformation patterns, the method(s) of measurement, and inferred causes of deformation, amongst others.

The team

The University of Bristol is the lead institution for this database. Contributing researchers are members of the NERC Centre for the Observation and Modeling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Tectonics (COMET). We are also involved in NERC IRNH project ‘Strengthening Resilience in Volcanic Areas’ (STREVA) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). This website is further supported by a NERC Impact Acceleration Award from the University of Bristol.

Contributors: Susi Ebmeier, James Hickey, Fabien AlbinoJuliet Biggs, Elspeth Robertson, Amy Parker, David Arnold and Ryan Lloyd.