A team of geologists has used data from two orbiting satellites to detect the build up of heat underneath a Guatemalan volcano seven days before it erupted on 20 May sending ash over Guatemala City.
During the week before the eruption a computer monitoring the satellite data alerted scientists from the University of Hawaii to rising levels of heat radiation from the Pacaya volcano, about 20 miles from the city.
Luke Flynn, a volcanologist from the university, said it was the first time satellites had been used to watch the events leading up to a volcanic eruption. "We've never had a way to remotely monitor volcanoes for impending eruptions," he said.
Dr Flynn said the system can also be used to monitor forest fires. "We are simply providing a widely accessible tool to view eruptions and fires in real time."Reuse content