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REMOTE SENSING and GEODESY

Faculty: Wauthier and LaFemina

This group focuses on the study of natural hazards by means of remote-sensing and geophysical techniques.

One of the goals is to define how the "volcano factory" works in diverse geodynamic settings. The sub-surface dynamics of volcanic systems can be characterized using geodetic data such as GPS and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), a geodesy remote-sensing method that maps surface deformation, and then model the sub-surface sources inducing the identified deformation. Models range from simple analytical approaches to more advanced and complex numerical models able to take into account topography, source interactions, mechanical heterogeneities etc. The volume of magma stored or transported can then be estimated and give insights on future eruption behavior and size. There are strong feedbacks between tectonic and magmatic processes. By studying the interactions between those processes, it is possible to solve for their causality and, even more broadly, better understands what triggers magma intrusions, volcano-tectonic earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. A thorough study and modeling of ground deformation, together with a stress analysis, can provide clues on most likely magma transport pathways and storage areas. This research has deep societal impacts given that the geophysical signals recorded can be used to assess and mitigate volcanic and seismic hazards.

More information: http://personal.psu.edu/cuw25/website/index.html#/People