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MINERVA: an INSAR monitoring service for volcanic hazard

Maria Lucia Tampellini(1) and Mark Van Persie(2)

(1) Carlo Gavazzi Space, Gallarate, 150, 20151 Mialno, Italy
(2) National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, P.O. Box 153, 8300 AD Emmeloord, Netherlands


MINERVA (Monitoring by Interferometric SAR of Environmental Risk in Volcanic Areas) is a small scale service demonstration project financed by ESA in the Data User Programme framework.

The objective of the project is the design, development and assessment of a demonstrative information service based on the interferometric processing of images from the ASAR instruments on board ERS1/2 and ENVISAT-I.

The system is based on a new approach for the processing of INSAR data, which allows to optimize the quality of interferograms spanning from 35 days up to several years, and to merge them to generate a single solution describing the temporal evolution of the ground deformations in the examined risk area. The system allows to update this solution each time a new SAR image is available, and constitutes therefore an innovative tool for monitoring of the ground displacements in risk areas. The system has been implemented and demonstrated at Osservatorio Vesuviano (Naples, Italy), which is the institution responsible for monitoring the volcanic phenomena in the Neapolitan volcanic district, and for alerting the italian civil authorities (''Protezione Civile'') in case such monitoring activity reveals signals of imminent earthquakes or eruptions. In particular, the MINERVA system has been used to monitor the ground deformations at the Phlegrean Fields, a densely populated, high-hazard zone in the proximity of the Vesuvius which is subject to alternate phases of uplift and subsidence, accompanied often by seismic activity.


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Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry