Combining thermal imaging with photogrammetry of an active volcano using UAV: an example from Stromboli, Italy

Zoë E. Wakeford*, Magda Chmielewska, Malcolm J. Hole, John A. Howell, Dougal A. Jerram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Volcanoes are a potential hazard to over 750 million people worldwide. Accessing them to install monitoring equipment can be logistically challenging and dangerous. Traditional monitoring equipment is expensive and not available to many local communities. A new, low-cost method is proposed to address these challenges using a unique 3D thermal photogrammetric modelling workflow. The data acquisition and processing part of this workflow has been tested on Stromboli, a volcano in the Aeolian Islands of Italy. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were deployed at the volcano to acquire both visible and thermal infrared imagery. Both datasets were then digitally processed to produce 3D virtual outcrop models. Finally, the two datasets and models were integrated to produce the first 3D thermal photogrammetric model of an active volcano. The result is an easy-to-use workflow applicable to any volcano. This low-cost monitoring system could be deployed in developing countries and remote areas otherwise hindered by limited budgets and poor access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-466
Number of pages22
JournalPhotogrammetric Record
Issue number168
Early online date23 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia – Sezione di Catania (INGV‐CT) for granting permission to conduct the UAV surveys over the Stromboli volcano. This work was supported by the School for Early Career Researchers at the University of Aberdeen, UK. Dougal Jerram is partly funded through a Norwegian Research Council Centres of Excellence project (project number 223272, CEED). The team would like to thank Angelo Cristaudo for logistical help during the fieldwork efforts on Stromboli.


  • 3D modelling
  • photogrammetry
  • Stromboli
  • thermal
  • unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  • volcanic hazard


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