A project is underway to study aspects of lahars (mudflows) in the Belham Valley. The project will involve the installation of a video camera overlooking the Belham Valley. The project is part of the PhD studies of Melanie Froude, from the University of East Anglia. The videos will be sent by radio signal to MVO allowing lahars to be observed close-up in the observatory as they happen in the Belham Valley. They will later be available for public viewing on MVO’s website.
The videos will be used for measuring the velocities of the lahars’ top surfaces using a process called particle image velocimetry. This method involves selecting boulders in the flow and tracking their distance over time. Ms. Froude will analyze lahars’ occurrences and velocities alongside rainfall, seismic and topographical data to study how ongoing changes in the Belham Valley may change lahar behaviour.
Pictured above is a lahar in the Belham Valley from 10 August 2011.