Building global capacity for the observation of volcanic and atmospheric change
Research Project, 2020 – 2024

The emission of volcanic gases and ash to the atmosphere is a common feature of volcanic activity in at least 150 volcanoes on Earth’s surface. These volcanic plumes have direct effects on humans and the environment, from local to global, depending on their magnitude and location. A timely and correct interpretation of observations of volcanic plumes can be the key for timely prediction and for assessing the large-scale impact of volcanic eruptions. During the past 15 years, a global collaboration for the observation of volcanic plumes called NOVAC has been established between volcanologists and remote sensing experts on nearly 50 volcanoes of the world, located mostly in developing countries.

Although observations are performed routinely and automatically, there is a need to build local capacities for the interpretation of the data on its own and in relation to other observations, particularly during periods of volcanic unrest. With this project we aim at supporting a collaboration between experts of different disciplines to exploit NOVAC data and decipher the meaning of volcanic plume signals for eruption prediction and impact. This will be the most efficient way to build local capacity within a global collaboration.


Santiago Arellano (contact)

Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing


Colombian Geological Survey

Bogota, Colombia

Geophysical Institute EPN


USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Vancouver, United States


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2024

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces

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