Stromboli (Aeolian Archipelago, Italy) is an active volcano that is frequently affected by moderate to large mass wasting, which has occasionally triggered tsunamis. With the aim of understanding the relationship between the geomorphologic evolution and slope instability of Stromboli, remote sensing information from space-born Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) change detection and interferometry (InSAR) () and Ground Based InSAR (GBInSAR) was compared with field observations and morphological analyses.Ground reflectivity and SqueeSAR™ (an InSAR algorithm for surface deformation monitoring) displacement measurements from X-band COSMO-SkyMed satellites (CSK) were analysed together with displacement measurements from a permanent-sited, Ku-band GBInSAR system.Remote sensing results were compared with a preliminary morphological analysis of the Sciara del Fuoco (SdF) steep volcanic flank, which was carried out using a high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Finally, field observations, supported by infrared thermographic surveys (IRT), allowed the interpretation and validation of remote sensing data. The analysis of the entire dataset (collected between January 2010 and December 2014) covers a period characterized by a low intensity of Strombolian activity. This period was punctuated by the occurrence of lava overflows, occurring from the crater terrace evolving downslope toward SdF, and flank eruptions, such as the 2014 event.The amplitude of the CSK images collected between February 22nd, 2010, and December 18th, 2014, highlights that during periods characterized by low-intensity Strombolian activity, the production of materials ejected from the crater terrace towards the SdF is generally low, and erosion is the prevailing process mainly affecting the central sector of the SdF. CSK-SqueeSAR™ and GBInSAR data allowed the identification of low displacements in the SdF, except for high displacement rates (up to 1.5mm/h) that were measured following both lava delta formation after the 2007 eruption and the lava overflows of 2010 and 2011. After the emplacement of the 2014 lava field, high displacements in the central and northern portions of the SdF were recorded by the GBInSAR device, whereas the spaceborne data were unable to detect these rapid movements. A comparison between IRT images and GBInSAR-derived displacement maps acquired during the same time interval revealed that the observed displacements along the SdF were related to the crumbling of newly emplaced 2014 lava and of its external breccia. Detected slope instability after the 2014 flank eruption was related to lava accumulation on the SdF and to the difference in the material underlying the 2014 lava flow: i) lava flows and breccia layers related to the 2002–03 and 2007 lava flow fields in the northern SdF sector and ii) loose volcaniclastic deposits in the central part of the SdF. This work emphasizes the importance of smart integration of spaceborne, SAR-derived hazard information with permanent-sited, operational monitoring by GBInSAR devices to detect areas impacted by mass wasting and volcanic activity.
Geomorphology – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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