Detecting the source location of recent summit inflation via three-dimensional InSAR observation of Kilauea Volcano

Min Jeong Jo, Hyung Sup Jung, Joong Sun Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Starting on 21 April 2015, unusual activity on the summit of Kilauea was detected. Rapid summit inflation and a rising lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater were interpreted as early signs of imminent magma intrusion. We explored the three-dimensional (3D) surface motion accompanying this volcanic event using the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) stacking method. Multi-temporal COSMO-SkyMed X-band SAR data collected from ascending and descending orbits were processed for the time period encompassing the unrest behavior. The 3D displacement maps retrieved by integrating the stacked InSAR with Multiple-Aperture Interferometric SAR (MAI) measurements revealed the deformation patterns and areal coverage of this volcanic activity. The observed maximum displacements were approximately 8.2, -13.8, and 11.6 cm in the east, north, and up directions, respectively. The best-fit model for the mechanism causing the surface deformation was determined via ten thousand simulations using the 3D surface deformation as the input. When compared to the results of a previous study, the 3D-based modeling produced more precise model parameter estimates with markedly lower uncertainties. The optimal spheroid magma source was located southwest of the caldera, lying at a depth of approximately 2.8 km below the surface. Precise model parameter estimates produced using the 3D-based modeling will be helpful in understanding the magma behavior in Kilauea's complex volcanic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14386-14402
Number of pages17
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2015


  • 3D displacements
  • 3D-based modeling
  • InSAR
  • Kilauea Volcano
  • Magma intrusion


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