Vicari, A; Ganci, G; Behncke, B; Cappello, A; Neri, M; Del Negro, C (2011). Near-real-time forecasting of lava flow hazards during the 12-13 January 2011 Etna eruption. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 38, L13317.
Forecasting the lava flow invasion hazard in near-real time is a primary challenge for volcano monitoring systems. The paroxysmal episode at Mount Etna on 12-13 January 2011 produced in similar to 4 hours lava fountains and fast-moving lava flows 4.3 km long. We produced timely predictions of the areas likely to be inundated by lava flows while the eruption was still ongoing. We employed infrared satellite data (MODIS, AVHRR, SEVIRI) to estimate in near-real-time lava eruption rates (peak value of 60 m(3) s(-1)). These time-varying discharge rates were then used to drive MAGFLOW simulations to chart the spread of lava as a function of time. Based on a classification on durations and lava volumes of similar to 130 paroxysms at Etna in the past 13 years, and on lava flow path simulations of expected eruptions, we constructed a lava flow invasion hazard map for summit eruptions, providing a rapid response to the impending hazard. This allowed key at-risk areas to be rapidly and appropriately identified. Citation: Vicari, A., G. Ganci, B. Behncke, A. Cappello, M. Neri, and C. Del Negro (2011), Near-real-time forecasting of lava flow hazards during the 12-13 January 2011 Etna eruption, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L13317, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047545.