The main objective of my work here at RSMAS is to detect and describe volcanic deformation over volcanoes in the Northernmost Andes and the Philippines using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), and to evaluate the sources and implications of deformation. Understanding the characteristics of deformation at individual volcanoes is crucial to potentially identify eruption precursors and for improving volcano hazard assessments. The regions of interest were chosen due to their high frequency of eruptions and high vulnerability to volcanic disasters due to high population centers in proximity to the volcanoes.
The secondary objective of my thesis is to incorporate thermo-mechanical modeling methods over the targeted deforming volcanoes using local/regional data and seismic tomography. This enables us to have a better understanding of the sources of deformation and the physical properties of the surrounding subsurface.
Figure to the right: (Above) Example of interferogram over Tungurahua volcano showing line-of-sight (LOS) displacement. (Below) Example of a simple model built to determine preliminary estimates of the deformation source.