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High-resolution and accurate topography reconstruction of Mount Etna from Pleiades satellite data

December 12, 2019

The areas characterized by dynamic and rapid morphological changes need accurate topography information with frequent updates, especially if these are populated and involve infrastructures. This is particularly true in active volcanic areas such as Mount (Mt.) Etna, located in the northeastern portion of Sicily, Italy. The Mt. Etna volcano is periodically characterized by explosive and effusive eruptions and represents a potential hazard for several thousands of local people and hundreds of tourists present on the volcano itself. In this work, a high-resolution, high vertical accuracy digital surface model (DSM) of Mt. Etna was derived from Pleiades satellite data using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP) tool set. We believe that this is the first time that the ASP using Pleiades imagery has been applied to Mt. Etna with sub-meter vertical root mean square error (RMSE) results. The model covers an area of about 400 km2 with a spatial resolution of 2 m and centers on the summit portion of the volcano. The model was validated by using a set of reference ground control points (GCP) obtaining a vertical RMSE of 0.78 m. The described procedure provides an avenue to obtain DSMs at high spatial resolution and elevation accuracy in a relatively short amount of processing time, making the procedure itself suitable to reproduce topographies often indispensable during the emergency management case of volcanic eruptions.

Publication Year 2019
Title High-resolution and accurate topography reconstruction of Mount Etna from Pleiades satellite data
DOI 10.3390/rs11242983
Authors Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy, Marina Bisson, Claudia Spinetti, Maria Fabrizia Buongiorno, Oleg Alexandrov, Thomas Cecere
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Remote Sensing
Index ID 70208062
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center