sunset_kauai (c) Bridget Smith-Konter

2018 Kīlauea eruption

The 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption and earthquake sequence provided an unprecedented opportunity to geodetically image volcanic and tectonic deformation in near-real time. Observed every three days from May-August 2018 by the Sentinel-1 SAR-equipped satellite, the 2018 Kilauea event was a exceptional chance to rapidly obtain, process, and deliver interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data and products to the scientific community for improved hazard forecasting and rapid assessment of remote regions to help direct emergency response and recovery efforts. Additionally, these data provided critical insights into the evolving deformation of the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption from several sources: (1) the April 30th collapse of Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater (2) the May 1st dike intrusion, propagation, and subsequent contraction of the lower East Rift Zone that extended from Puʻu ʻŌʻō to the Leilani Estates region (3) the continuous deflation of Kīlaueaʻs summit region as large volumes of magma were withdrawn (4) the sprawling deformation from the May 4th Mw6.9 Leilani Estates thrust earthquake along the south flank region.

Website and Data:

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Above: Near-real time line-of-sight deformation data of the 2018 Kilauea eruption from Sentinel-1. InSAR data were rapidly processed with open source software GMTSAR. (Top) Wrapped interferogram map, where each fringe represents 2.8 cm of ground displacement toward (or away) from the satellite. (Bottom) Ascending unwrapped line-of-sight deformation maps, where red colors (positive) indicate motion toward the satellite (up or west) and blue colors (negative) indicate motion away from the satellite (down or east).

Related Publications:

  • Smith-Konter, B., L.Ward, L. Burkhard, X. Xu, and D.T. Sandwell, 2018 Kilauea eruption and Mw 6.9 Leilani Estates earthquake: Line of sight displacement revealed by Sentinel-1 interferometry,
  • Smith-Konter, B., L.Ward, L. Burkhard, X. Xu, S. Slead, J. Foster, and D.T. Sandwell (2020), Geodetic imaging and hazard analysis of the 2018 Kilauea eruption, 2020 Goldschmidt Conference, invited plenary speaker.

  • Manuscript in preparation.