Coffee Hour with Christelle Wauthier: Volcanic and tectonic processes revealed by radar remote sensing

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 3:30pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

This three-dimensional image of the volcano Kilauea was generated based on interferometric fringes derived from two X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar data takes on April 13, 1994 and October 4, 1994. The altitude lines are based on quantitative interpolation of the topographic fringes. The level difference between neighboring altitude lines is 20 meters (66 feet). The ground area covers 12 kilometers by 4 kilometers (7.5 miles by 2.5 miles). The altitude difference in the image is about 500 meters (1,640 feet). The volcano is located around 19.58 degrees north latitude and 155.55 degrees west longitude. Photo credit: NASA

About the talk

Knowledge of the location and volume of intruded magma is key for both eruption forecasting and the interpretation of volcano structure and dynamics. Volume change and source location of magma reservoirs and pathways may be assessed through modeling of geodetically-imaged deformation sources. Modeling tools and techniques are evolving rapidly to provide much greater spatio-temporal resolution of surface deformation, as well as better insights into sub-surface processes through more mechanically robust numerical models. Volcano geodetic data are particularly valuable when combined with other independent geophysical and geochemical datasets. Here, we will show example of synergistic volcano geodetic studies at Kilauea Volcano, HI, Nyiragongo Volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as at Central America Volcanoes.

About the speaker

Christelle WauthierChristelle Wauthier is an assistant professor of Geosciences in the Department of Geosciences and the Institute for CyberScience at Penn State. She earned her B.S. in engineering and M.S. in geological engineering at the University of Liege, Belgium. She earned a second M.S. in volcanology at the University of Blaise-Pascal, France. And then completed her Ph.D. in engineering sciences at the University of Liege. Her research interests include subsurface dynamic characteristics of a volcanic system, tectonic processes, and the interactions between those two processes. Her research has deep impacts on societal issues as the geophysical signals registered can be used to assess and mitigate volcanic hazards. Her research efforts are concentrated on three main active volcanic and tectonic areas, located in diverse geodynamic settings: Big Island (Hawaii), Central America and the East African Rift.

Contact us

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Angela Rogers in advance of your participation or visit.

Angela Rogers  office: 814-865-2493 email:

Coffee Hour