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Publication - Dr Matthew Watson

    On the use of UAVs at active volcanoes: a case study from Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala

    Citation

    Watson, M, Chigna, G, Wood, K, Richardson, T, Liu, E, Schellenberg, B, Thomas, H & Naismith, A, 2017, ‘On the use of UAVs at active volcanoes: a case study from Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala’.

    Abstract

    Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala, is one of Central America's most active
    systems. More than one hundred thousand people live within ten
    kilometres of the summit, many of them in profound poverty. Both the
    summit region and the volcano's steep sided valleys present significant
    access challenges, mostly associated with unacceptably high risk.
    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer the opportunity to observe, map
    and quantify emissions of tephra, gas, lava and heat flux and, using
    structure from motion algorithms, model dynamic topography. During
    recent campaigns, the team have completed observations of changes in the
    summit morphology immediately prior a paroxysmal eruption, mapped the
    key drainage systems after the fifth of May 2017 eruption and sampled
    the plume for tephra and gases using a range of onboard instruments. I
    will present the group's findings within a broader context of hazard
    mitigation and physical volcanology, and discuss the future of UAVs in
    volcano monitoring and research.

    Full details in the University publications repository