Scientists from the UK and Norway under the guidance of John Howell of Aberdeen University were the first to create a three-dimensional thermal map of the volcano.
To make observations of the eruption of Stromboli volcano in the Tyrrhenian sea near Sicily, the scientists were able with the help of special drones with sensitive sensors, which are moved along a predetermined route using GPS. To analyze the images helped scientists specially developed technique of the analysis of heat maps and aerial photos.
According to volcanologists, the main objective when carrying out measurements of the eruption – the right to direct the drone, avoiding contact with dangerous flows of ash and gas high temperature. They are able to disable the sensors or even destroy the drone.
Scientists believe that their system allows the monitoring of volcanic activity with greater accuracy and lower cost than previously known methods. Using drones to detect heat changes in the volcanoes that are imperceptible visually. This allows you to effectively predict the eruption of volcanoes, especially those in developing countries.
An even more difficult task is mapping the surface of underwater volcanoes and study their activity. After all, to get to the volcano in time is not always possible. With the new method, scientists were able to obtain three-dimensional image of the underwater volcano right after the eruption when the plume of ash and gas was still going.