Backup mandate Research Council: Unravelling magma crustal dynamics through the study of lava lake systems

Project Details


Our understanding of magmatic processes and movements in Earth’s crust remains incomplete, although this knowledge is essential for proper volcano monitoring and eruption forecasting. The few persistent lava lake systems existing on our planet offer the
possibility to directly measure the related pressure variations beneath volcanoes. Lava lakes can indeed be seen as shallow magma chambers at ground surface or open conduits directly connected to the underlying magma plumbing system. In this project, we propose
to exploit space-, air- and ground-based remote sensing to derive information on lava lake dynamics and, together with geophysical data, interpret the crustal magmatic processes at play in these open volcanic systems. More specifically, radar remote sensing techniques will be used to study ground deformation, lava lake level changes
and lava accumulation. Photogrammetry, combined with drone and time-lapse camera acquisitions, will provide very high spatial or temporal resolution of the lava lake activity. Thanks to an on-going parallel project, the proposed research will benefit from additional remote sensing and geophysical measurements. This diversity of data that will be available offers a unique opportunity to discriminate common patterns of evolution in lava lakes and propose a model explaining the dynamics of crustal magma movements associated with volcanic systems.
Effective start/end date1/01/221/01/22

Flemish discipline codes

  • Volcanology
  • Cartography
  • Geodesy
  • Geospatial information systems
  • Photogrammetry and remote sensing


  • (in)SAR
  • photogrammetry
  • volcano