Operational monitoring on GEP of volcanic eruptions and their impact on agriculture and vegetation


Since January 2017, operational monitoring of 22 worldwide volcanoes has been available on the Geohazards Exploitation Platform of ESA (GEP), thanks to the work conducted in the VEGAN project and in collaboration with the GEP consortium, as part of an activity originated by ESA concerning hosted processing for risk management.

The VEGAN project, led by NOVELTIS in partnership with the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) has been supported by ESA under the Value Adding Element (VAE) program. VEGAN offers operational decision-making services to monitor the volcanic eruptions and study their impact on agriculture and vegetation. All eruption stages are considered: early detection, crisis, and post-crisis. For each stage, innovative products derived from satellite data are available.

VEGAN services benefits from the GEP pre-operational facilities: high IT capacities and state-of-the-art Cloud platform allowing massive and automatic data processing, as well as useful visualisation and download functionalities. GEP is part of the Thematic Exploitation Platforms offered by ESA to bring the user closer to new EO-based products and services.

The VEGAN products that are available on GEP are as follows:

Hot Spots Detection Maps for monitoring active eruptions and burnt areas as lava flow, lava lakes or fires during and after the eruptions. This product is continuously available at high resolution (20 meters) and relies on the use of Sentinel-2 data during and after a crisis. With Hot Spots Detection Maps, one can highlight the creation of lava lakes in areas very difficult to access and poorly monitored, as in Turrialba (Costa Rica) in January 2017, and hence prevent major events. One could also follow lava flows and burnt areas evolutions.

Vegetation Vigor Maps systematically derived from Sentinel-2 at high resolution (10 meters) over the monitored regions. The service offers also the possibility to perform multi-temporal comparisons of vegetation vigor maps to evaluate the impact of lava or volcanic ash on surrounding vegetation and agriculture production. The figure below shows the impact of the eruption of Turrialba volcano in January 2017 on the vegetation at the West. Two months later, the vegetation is partially back.

On top of this, the STEMP products are available on GEP as follows:

Surface Temperature Maps (STEMP) before, during and after a crisis. This product is also available continuously by using Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3 and Landsat-8 data, which offers a high spatio-temporal coverage of the regions of interest, namely during the crisis.

All VEGAN products have been successfully validated with several end-users in different countries and landscapes, i.e. tropical forests, islands, temperate areas, deserts, boreal regions…
The VEGAN services are suitable for operational deployment worldwide and can be provided on demand; for further information please contact:

The STEMP service is also suitable for operational deployment worldwide and can be provided on demand; for further information please contact:

  • Mr. Massimo Musacchio (INGV) - massimo.musacchio@ingv.it

Infrastructure independence and auto-scaling capabilities for GEP
GEP v2 successfully passed Acceptance Review with ESA, now ready for pre-operations!