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Tephra Mass Eruption Rate From Ground-Based X-Band and L-Band Microwave Radars During the November 23, 2013, Etna Paroxysm

Abstract : The morning of November 23, 2013, a lava fountain formed from the New South-East Crater (NSEC) of Mt. Etna (Italy), one of the most active volcanoes in Europe. The explosive activity was observed from two ground-based radars, the X-band polarimetric scanning and the L-band Doppler fixed-pointing, as well as from a thermal-infrared camera. Taking advantage of the capability of the microwave radars to probe the volcanic plume and extending the volcanic ash radar retrieval (VARR) methodology, we estimate the mass eruption rate (MER) using three main techniques, namely surface-flux approach (SFA), mass continuity-based approach (MCA), and top-plume approach (TPA), as well as provide a quantitative evaluation of their uncertainty. Estimated exit velocities are between 160 and 230 m/s in the paroxysmal phase. The intercomparison between the SFA, MCA, and TPA methods, in terms of retrieved MER, shows a fairly good consistency with values up to 2.4 x 10⁶ kg/s. The estimated total erupted mass (TEM) is 3.8 x 10⁹, 3.9 x 10⁹, and 4.7 x 10⁹ kg for SFA with L-band, X-band, and thermal-infrared camera, respectively. Estimated TEM is between 1.7 x 10⁹ kg and 4.3 x 10⁹ for TPA methods and 3.9 x 10⁹ kg for the MCA technique. The SFA, MCA, and TPA results for TEM are in fairly good agreement with independent evaluations derived from ground collection of tephra deposit and estimated to be between 1.3 ± 1.1 x 10⁹ and 5.7 x 10⁹ kg. This article shows that complementary strategies of ground-based remote sensing systems can provide an accurate real-time monitoring of a volcanic explosive activity.
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Contributor : Sylvaine Jouhannel <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 9:33:30 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 11:32:34 AM
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Frank Marzano, Luigi Mereu, Simona Scollo, Franck Donnadieu, Costanza Bonadonna. Tephra Mass Eruption Rate From Ground-Based X-Band and L-Band Microwave Radars During the November 23, 2013, Etna Paroxysm. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2020, 58 (5), pp.1-14. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2019.2953167⟩. ⟨hal-02534691⟩



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