Lava Flow Mapping and Volume Calculations for the 2012–2013 Tolbachik, Kamchatka, Fissure Eruption using Bistatic TanDEM-X InSAR

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Tolbachik 2012–2013 fissure eruption, Kamchatka, InSAR, TanDEM-X, Lava flows, Numerical modeling

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The bistatic acquisition mode of the German TanDEM-X radar satellite mission provides a reliable source for measuring morphological changes associated with volcanic activity. We present the use of this system to measure key lava flow parameters including thickness, volume, runout, and flow extent by using two TanDEM-X data pairs to generate digital elevation models (DEMs) prior to and immediately following the 2012–2013 eruption of Tolbachik Volcano, Kamchatka. Morphometric parameters and areal distribution of the new lava flow field are determined using a cell-by-cell elevation difference between the two DEMs. A total flow volume of 0.53 ± 0.07 km3, a mean flow thickness of 14.5 m, and a modal thickness of 7.8 m are calculated. We use these calculated flow parameters as input to a volume-limited lava flow emplacement model. Model simulations are able to reproduce the SW portion of the 2012–2013 Tolbachik lava flow using a 75-m Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEM and the 15-m TanDEM-X derived DEM, with goodness-of-fit measures of 56.3 and 59.6 %, respectively, based on the Jaccard similarity coefficient. The flow simulation done using SRTM data underestimates the observed 14.4 km flow runout by over 3 km, while the simulation with TanDEM-X data overestimates flow runout by about 1.5 km. Performance of the lava flow modeling algorithm is highly dependent on the modal lava thickness, highlighting the importance of using TanDEM-X DEMs to provide precise lava flow measurements in order to constrain input parameters for numerical modeling of lava flows.

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Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 77, issue 12, art. 106