Sébastien Valade

Sébastien Valade

Full Professor - Volcanology/Geophysics

Department of Volcanology (Institute of Geophysics, UNAM)

Sébastien Valade is Full Professor (Investigador Titular A) in the Department of Volcanology in the Institute of Geophysics at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City). He is the founder and developer of the volcano monitoring system MOUNTS (Monitoring Unrest from Space, www.mounts-project.com).

  • volcanic eruption dynamics
  • ground- & satellite-based observation of volcanic activity
  • computer vision
  • machine- & deep-learning applied to volcanology
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All Publications:
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Featured Publications (top 5):

(2023). Lava dome cycles reveal rise and fall of magma column at Popocatépetl volcano. Nature Communications.

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(2019). Towards Global Volcano Monitoring Using Multisensor Sentinel Missions and Artificial Intelligence: The MOUNTS Monitoring System. Remote Sensing.

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(2018). Dynamics of Mount Nyiragongo lava lake inferred from thermal imaging and infrasound array. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.


(2016). Tracking dynamics of magma migration in open-conduit systems. Bulletin of Volcanology.


(2012). Explosion mechanisms at Arenal volcano, Costa Rica: An interpretation from integration of seismic and Doppler radar data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

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Latest Publications (last 5):

(2023). Lava dome cycles reveal rise and fall of magma column at Popocatépetl volcano. Nature Communications.

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(2023). Automatic retrieval of volcanic SO2 emission source from TROPOMI products. Frontiers in Earth Science.

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(2022). Sangay volcano (Ecuador): the opening of two new vents, a drumbeat seismic sequence and a new lava flow in late 2021. Volcanica.


(2022). CNES-ESA satellite contribution to the operational monitoring of volcanic activity: The 2021 Icelandic eruption of Mt. Fagradalsfjall. Journal of Applied Volcanology.


(2022). Modulation of Popocatépetl's activity by regional and worldwide earthquakes. Bulletin of Volcanology.



All Talks:
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Latest Talks:

[talk] (2021) "Volcanic hazard monitoring from space using MOUNTS", 90° Congresso della Società Geologica Italiana, Trieste (Italy), Sep 14, 2021 — Sep 16, 2021

[invited keynote] (2021) "Satellite monitoring assisted by Deep Learning: a tool to help anticipate eruptions?", Workshop Novel Instrumentation to Anticipate Volcanic Eruptions, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, online (United States), Feb 1, 2021 — Feb 2, 2021

[invited talk] (2020) "Detección y vigilancia de domos de lava desde el espacio mediante el sistema MOUNTS", International Conference "Erupciones Volcánica - Estrategias para la prevención y mitigación del riesgo volcánico", IGP (Instituto Geofísico del Perú), online (Perú), Nov 4, 2020 — Nov 6, 2020

[invited seminar] (2020) "Detección de procesos eruptivos a escala mundial mediante observaciones satelitales multiparamétricas y inteligencia artificial", Institute Seminar, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Institute of Geophysics), Mexico City (Mexico), Sep 22, 2020 12:00 AM

[invited talk] (2020) "Gestión del riesgo de desastre y nuevas herramientas para la vulcanología", Ciclo de Conversaciones CIGIDEN - Re-pensando la Gestión del Riesgo de Desastre y la Resiliencia, CIGIDEN (Centro Nacional de Investigación para la Gestión Integrada de Desastres Naturales), online (Chile), Sep 10, 2020 12:00 AM

Funded projects

Classification and formation processes of lava lakes
Study of active lava lake formation and potential drainage processes.
Linking space and ground-based observations for better understanding and prediction of eruptive crises
Study of eruptive processes through the combined quantification of topographic changes in active craters using satellite-based SAR amplitude imagery, and the evolution of degassing rates using ground-based infrasonic arrays.
MOUNTS-AI: artificial intelligence for volcano monitoring
Deep Learning strategies in support of operational volcano monitoring.
MOUNTS: Monitoring Unrest from Space
Space-based volcano monitoring platorm powered by Sentinel (-1, -2, -5P) and Deep Learning.
MODAPLUMES: Models and Data for Plumes
Retrieval of volcanic ash plume source parameters by coupling infrared imagery with fluid-dynamic models.