Geodetic Data Assimilation for Evaluating Volcanic Unrest

Patricia M. Gregg, John A. Albright, Yan Zhan, J. Cory Pettijohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Ensemble based data assimilation approaches, such as the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF), have been widely and successfully implemented to combine observations with dynamic forecast models. In this study the EnKF is adapted to assimilate ground deformation observations from interferometric synthetic-aperture radar (InSAR) and GPS into thermomechanical finite element models (FEM) to evaluate volcanic unrest. Two eruption hindcasts are investigated: the 2008 eruption of Okmok volcano, Alaska and the 2018 eruption of Sierra Negra volcano, Galápagos, Ecuador. At Okmok, EnKF forecasts tensile failure and the lateral movement of the magma from a central pressure source in the lead up to its 2008 eruption indicating potential for diking. Alternatively, at Sierra Negra, the EnKF forecasts significant shear failure coincident with a Mw 5.4 earthquake that preceded the 2018 eruption. These successful hindcasts highlight the flexibility and potential of the volcano EnKF approach for near real time monitoring and hazard assessment at active volcanoes worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728163741
StatePublished - Sep 26 2020
Event2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020 - Virtual, Waikoloa, United States
Duration: Sep 26 2020Oct 2 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


Conference2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Waikoloa


  • EnKF
  • FEM
  • GPS
  • InSAR
  • volcano data assimilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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