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Detailed Mapping of Pyroclastic Flow Deposits by SAR Data Processing for an Active Volcano in the Torrid Zone

Authors: Asep Saepuloh, Katsuaki Koike


Field mapping activity for an active volcano mainly in the Torrid Zone is usually hampered by several problems such as steep terrain and bad atmosphere conditions. In this paper we present a simple solution for such problem by a combination Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and geostatistical methods. By this combination, we could reduce the speckle effect from the SAR data and then estimate roughness distribution of the pyroclastic flow deposits. The main purpose of this study is to detect spatial distribution of new pyroclastic flow deposits termed as P-zone accurately using the ╬▓┬░data from two RADARSAT-1 SAR level-0 data. Single scene of Hyperion data and field observation were used for cross-validation of the SAR results. Mt. Merapi in central Java, Indonesia, was chosen as a study site and the eruptions in May-June 2006 were examined. The P-zones were found in the western and southern flanks. The area size and the longest flow distance were calculated as 2.3 km2 and 6.8 km, respectively. The grain size variation of the P-zone was mapped in detail from fine to coarse deposits regarding the C-band wavelength of 5.6 cm.

Keywords: Geostatistical Method, Mt. Merapi, Pyroclastic, RADARSAT-1.

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