Marapi Lab Volcano

Marapi is a complex stratovolcano that is the most active in Sumatra, located near the large city of Padang (with ~ 1 million inhabitants), and the closest volcano to Singapore (430 km). Since the end of the 18th century, there have been more than 50 eruptions recorded, typically consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity. The latest explosion occurred in Nov 2015. Marapi’s high level of activity offers a unique opportunity to record unrest and eruptive signals. 

Marapi Volcano (c) CA.McCallum

Using high-resolution digital elevation models (DEM) in this project

Due to the tropical climate and nearly constant cloud cover, the laboratory volcanoes are not covered by commercially available high-resolution digital elevation models (DEM). Such high-resolution DEM are of paramount importance in many different applications: (i) Close range high-frequency waveform inversion is controlled by the topography; (ii) deformation patterns obtained from InSAR and structure from motion are controlled by the topography; (iii) the final footprint of lahar and pyroclastic flow simulations are controlled by the topography; and (iv) the quality of the inversion of the density structure from MUON tomographic data is controlled by the topography. Finally, being able to get time series of high-resolution DEM will allow us to detect small scale deformations that could remain invisible when using only cGPS and InSAR. An example of a DEM can be seen below.

(a) Picture and (b) derived Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Bongsu crater, the youngest crater of Marapi volcano. Comparing DEMs through time will allow to assess deformation at the volcano, which is one of the objectives of the Lab Volcanoes project. (Source: Laboratory volcanoes team)