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Proceedings Paper

High-Altitude Radar Assessment Of The Damage Caused By The Volcanic Eruption Of Mount St. Helens
Author(s): R. D. Dillman; R. E. Hinkle; R. L. Kerr
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Paper Abstract

Following the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, the surrounding area was obscured by varying amounts of clouds and ash for 30 days. A total view of the damaged area was needed immediately. This need was met within 3 days by acquiring high-altitude side-looking airborne radar imagery. This imagery was analyzed using only the char-acteristics of the radar returns in conjunction with preeruption high-altitude photography. The analyst was able to establish the areal extent of the changes in lakes, topography, and damage to timber caused by the eruption. The three radar condi-tion maps were compared to posteruption photography collected on June 19, 1980, and other damage condition maps. These comparisons show good agreement for both the boundaries between classes of damage and the types of damage defined by the radar imagery. A major factor in the total exploitation of the radar imagery was the availability of image analysts trained and experienced in interpreting the characteristics of radar returns from natural vegetation. This study shows that high-resolution radar data can provide important information on the damage to large areas when obscuration prevents the use of other types of imagery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 November 1981
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0278, Electro-Optical Instrumentation for Resources Evaluation, (6 November 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.931920
Show Author Affiliations
R. D. Dillman, Lockheed Engineering and Management Services Company, Inc. (United States)
R. E. Hinkle, Lockheed Engineering and Management Services Company, Inc. (United States)
R. L. Kerr, U.S. Air Force (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0278:
Electro-Optical Instrumentation for Resources Evaluation
Frederick J. Doyle, Editor(s)

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