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Automated, high temporal resolution, thermal analysis of Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i, using GOES satellite data

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Thermal data are directly available from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) every 15 minutes at existing or inexpensively installed receiving stations. This data stream is ideal for monitoring high temperature features such as active lava flows and fires. To provide a near-real-time hot spot monitoring tool, we have developed, tested and installed software to analyse GOES data on-reception and then make results available in a timely fashion via the web. Our software automatically: (1) produces hot spot images and movies; (2) uses a thresholding procedure to generate a hot spot map; (3) updates hot spot radiance and cloud index time series; and (4) issues a threshold-based e-mail alert. Results are added to within ~12 minutes of image acquisition and are updated every 15 minutes. Analysis of GOES data acquired for effusive activity at Kilauea volcano (Hawai'i) during 1997-98 show that short (<1 hour long) events producing 100m long (102 to 103 m2) lava flows are detectable. This means that time constraints can be placed on sudden, rapidly evolving efflusive events with an accuracy of 7.5 minutes. Changes in activity style and extent can also be documented using hot spot size, intensity and shape. From radiance time series we distinguish (1) tube-fed activity (low radiance, <10 MW m2 m-1); (2) activity pauses (no radiance); (3) lava lake activity (low radiance, <5 MW m2 m-1); (4) short (<3 km long) flow extension (moderate radiance, 10-20 MW m2 m 1 ); and (5) 12 km long flow extension (high radiance, 15-30 MW m2 m-1). The ability of GOES to detect short-lived effusive events, coupled with the speed with which GOES-based hot spot information can be processed and disseminated, means that GOES offers a valuable additional volcano monitoring tool.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: HIGP/SOEST, University of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA 2: U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawai'i National Park, Hawai'i, HI 96718, USA

Publication date: April 20, 2001

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