S1.6: The application of drones in volcano monitoring, volcanological research and volcanic emergency management


Karen Strehlow

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs” or “drones”) provide the opportunity to safely enter so-far inaccessible areas on active volcanoes. The last years have seen a rapid development of drone technology and they are now increasingly utilized as an essential tool for monitoring and scientific purposes. Initially mostly used for visual observation, applications now range from photogrammetric and thermal mapping, to sampling and gas measurements. These allow us to obtain unique and novel data sets that help to better understand volcanic systems and eruption processes and thereby support hazard assessments. Drones have proved especially advantageous during volcanic crises. They can be used to assess the state of volcanic activity and update the ever-changing topography of the volcano in a cheap, quick and safe way. This is crucial for hazard propagation models and decision-making in a volcanic crisis and thereby directly supports risk mitigation efforts. This session is supposed to offer a forum for researchers, pilots, developers and those who manage volcanic crises to present and discuss recent advances, new approaches and best strategies in this young discipline. This exchange will be helpful to determine the optimal way to exploit drone technology for hazard assessment and management in volcanic areas. We invite all contributions presenting drone applications for scientific, monitoring and/or crisis management purposes, ranging from individual case studies to developments of systematic strategies.

Core connection between the proposed session and societal risk mitigation: The use of drones for volcano monitoring and especially during volcanic crises as a tool to easily assess the current state of volcanic activity is directly supporting decision-making and risk mitigation at active volcanoes.

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