Figure 1. Location map of Eastern Aleutian
Figure 2. Location map of Western Aleutian
Table 1. Selected Aleutian targets.
Figure 3. Location map of Kamchatkan targets.
Table 2. Selected Kamchatkan targets.
Figure 4. Field Work on Unimak Island.
I. Project Overview
The purpose of this STAR is to provide a dedicated ASTER observation strategy for the
Aleutian (Fig 1 - Fig 2) and
Kamchatkan Arc (Fig 3) volcanoes. The data acquired
will become an integral part of the ongoing Alaska Volcano Observatory's monitoring
program using AVHRR [Dean et al., 1998; Harris et al., 2000]. In addition, volcano
targets for the Northern Pacific will be integrated into the larger Global Volcanism
STAR so as not to result in any duplicated effort from the numerous volcanic investigations
The need for a dedicated monitoring and mapping strategy for the Aleutians is critical for several reasons.
Most importantly is the mitigation of volcanic plume hazards for airline passenger safety. The northern
trans-Pacific corridor is the most heavily traveled airline route in the world. The use of ASTER to detect
thermal anomalies and monitor volcanic plumes will greatly improve current efforts using the lower resolution
AVHRR instrument. ASTER will also provide high spatial and moderate spectral resolution data of the numerous
remote volcanoes that form the Aleutian Arc. Many of these sites have only been sampled in the past with no
geologic or hazard mapping done. Finally, eruption detection and monitoring will greatly benefit the the
peoples of Alaska as well as populations living in the path of the future plumes.
This observational strategy seeks to acquire ASTER data over the entire volcanic chain as well as Kamchatka
as many times as possible during the lifetime of the mission (see, Table 1 and
Table 2). Realizing that this is a large request for 117 sites, we have
prioritized the locations and chose 22 of the recently active volcanoes for the most intensive study (as
often as possible with both day and night observations). In addition, sites will be more actively imaged
in the summer months, when snow melt will allow many to be geologically mapped. To this end, two of the sites,
Mt. Augustine and Shishaldin have already been approved for ICO observations. Mt. Augustine is one of the
top 22 sites and poses immediate tsunami hazards to Anchorage and surrounding towns in the Cook Inlet if a
large eruption takes place.
II. Ongoing Research
We are currently developing new multi-frequency, multi-temporal satellite remote sensing tools,
using data from ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer), SRTM (Shuttle
Radar Topography Mission), and SAR, for use in investigating the types of volcanic eruptions and
associated hazards that occur in the Aleutian Volcanic Arc [Ramsey and Fink, 1999, 2000; Wessels and
Ramsey, 2000]. To develop such tools, we are focusing
an integrated geologic and remote sensing survey of the volcanic deposits and hazards on three Unimak
Island volcanoes: Shishaldin, Fisher, and Westdahl (Fig 4). Unimak
Island is the most active volcanic center in the Aleutians, and these volcanoes are typical of those in
the Aleutians, thus serving as type examples for Aleutian volcanic hazards. In addition, Fisher Volcano
collapsed as a caldera, sending large volume pyroclastic flows into the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.
Many such caldera eruptions have occurred in the Aleutains, and their hazards would be devastating to the
entire North Pacific Rim.
Our integrated study of the Unimak Island volcanoes will also serve to calibrate data from ASTER and
SRTM for wide range of volcanic deposits, rock types, landforms, and hazards. This will allow the use
of these invaluable techniques for mapping and identifying volcanic deposits and hazards on more remote
Aleutian Island volcanoes, where the benefit of field calibration will not be available. It is critical
to understand and mitigate the types of volcanic hazards that occur in the Aleutians, as they directly
influence activity in the North Pacific air routes, which carry 20,000 passengers per day and most of the
air cargo between eastern Asia and North America, as well as the major international fishery in the North
Pacific and Bering Sea and one of the busiest seafood ports in the United States, Dutch Harbor [Casadevall,
III. Future Work
Collected data will initially be examined at the University of Pittsburgh, JPL, and AVO. Plans are underway
to form a direct link to the Alaska Volcano Observatory now. In this way, data can be placed into the hands
of the scientists most directly involved with Aleutian volcano monitoring.
Ramsey, M.S. and Dehn, J., Spaceborne observations of the 2000
Bezymianny, Kamchatka eruption: The integration of high-resolution
ASTER data into near real-time monitoring using AVHRR, J. Volc.
Geotherm. Res., (in review), 2003.
Ramsey, M.S. and J. Dehn, The 2000 eruption of Bezymianny Volcano
captured with ASTER: A proposal to integrate high-resolution remote
sensing data into real-time eruption monitoring at AVO, in Proc. of
the 3rd Ann. Subduction Processes in the Kurile-Kamchatka-Aleutian
Arcs, p. 44-45, 2002.
Ramsey, M.S., and D.C. Pieri, INVITED: Monitoring, Assessment and
Mitigation of Volcanic Hazards Using the Spaceborne ASTER Instrument,
Geol. Soc. Am. Abs. with Programs, v. 34, p. 242, 2002.
Casadevall, T.J., The 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska:
Impacts on aircraft operations, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. v. 62,
pp. 301-316, 1994.
Dehn, K.G., Servilla, M., Roach, A., Foster, B., Engle, K., Satellite
Monitoring of Remote Volcanoes Improves Study Efforts in Alaska,
EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, v. 79, n. 35, p. 413 &
Harris, A. J., et al., Real-time Satellite Monitoring of Volcanic Hot
Spots, in Mouginis-Mark, P.J., Crisp, J.A. and Fink, J.H. (Eds),
Remote Sensing of Active Volcanism, Geophysical Monograph Series,
Vol. 116, 274 pp., 2000.
Ramsey, M.S., and Fink, J.H., Hazard Mitigation Associated with Silicic
Dome Emplacement: Monitoring Surface Textural Variations Using Remote
Sensing, in Abstr. of the Gen. Assembly
IAVCEI, p. 234, 2000.
Ramsey, M.S., and Fink, J.H., Estimating Silicic Lava Vesicularity with
Thermal Remote Sensing: A new Technique for Volcanic Mapping and
Monitoring, Bull. Volc. 61, pp. 32-39, 1999.
Wessels, R. and Ramsey, M.S. Multi-sensor/Multi-wavelength Data Fusion
Over Steep Volcanic Terrain: Analysis Challenges in the Next Era of
Remote Sensing, Am. Geophys. Union EOS Transactions, 81:48,
p. F1255, 2000.
V. Other Links