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European Space Agency's Envisat captures breath of volcano

tectable changes occurring between image acquisitions.

Combined radar and optical data acquired from space are also very useful when an eruption begins. The synoptic view taken from optical and radar instruments aboard Envisat can simultaneously show the ash plume, the ash falling area, the lava streams and the volcanic cone shrinkage or expansion. Atmospheric sensors are used to identify the gases and aerosols released by the eruption, and quantify their wider environmental impact.

Having access to these data over long periods of time is important for scientists to identify and analyse long-term trends and changes. ESA now has a 16-year archive of homogenous data thanks to the continuity of satellites ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat. Envisat and ERS-2, with a difference in overpass time of 30 minutes, are continually adding to the archive.


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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
11-Jul-2007


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