Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space

Date:
June 6, 2014
Source:
European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
Summary:
Data from the Meteosat satellite 36,000 km from Earth, has been used to measure the temperature of lava at the Nyiragongo lava lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An international team compared data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board Meteosat with data collected at the lava lake with thermal cameras. Researchers say the technique could be used to help monitor volcanoes in remote places all over the world, and may help with the difficult task of anticipating eruptions.

The Nyiragongo lava lake at night.
Credit: INVOLCAN

Data from the Meteosat satellite 36,000 km from Earth, has been used to measure the temperature of lava at the Nyiragongo lava lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An international team compared data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board Meteosat with data collected at the lava lake with thermal cameras. Researchers say the technique could be used to help monitor volcanoes in remote places all over the world, and may help with the difficult task of anticipating eruptions.

Related Articles


Data from the Meteosat satellite has been used to measure the temperature of lava at a remote volcano in Africa.

The scientists compared data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board Meteosat with ground data from a thermal camera, to show the temperature of the lava lake at Nyiragongo, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The technique was pioneered in Europe, and the researchers say it could be used to help monitor volcanoes in remote places all over the world.

"I first used the technique during a lava fountain at Mt Etna in August 2011," says Dr. Gaetana Ganci, who worked on the study with colleagues Letizia Spampinato, Sonia Calvari and Ciro Del Negro from the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in Italy.

"The first time I saw both signals I was really surprised. We found a very similar radiant heat flux curve -- that's the measurement of heat energy being given out -- from the ground-based thermal camera placed a few kilometres from Etna and from SEVIRI at 36,000km above the Earth."

Transferring the technique to Nyiragongo was important -- partly because the exposed lava lake can yield data important for modelling shallow volcanic systems in general, but more importantly because advance warning of eruptions is necessary for the rapidly expanding city of Goma nearby.

The research, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth is the first time in which Nyiragongo's lake has been studied using ground-based thermal images in addition to satellite data to monitor the volcano's radiative power record.

Dr. Ganci and her colleagues developed an algorithm they call HOTSAT to detect thermal anomalies in the Earth's surface temperature linked to volcanoes. They calculate the amount of heat energy being given out in a target area based on analysis of SEVIRI images.

Combining the frequent SEVIRI images with the more detailed but less frequent images from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), they showed that temperature anomalies could be observed from space before an eruption is underway. They believe that space-based observations can be a significant help in the difficult task of predicting volcanic eruptions, but that providing advance warning will never be easy.

"Satellite data are a precious means to improve the understanding of volcanic processes. There are cases of thermal anomalies being observed in volcanic areas just before an eruption," says Ganci. "Combining different kinds of data from the ground and from space would be the optimal condition -- including infra-red, radar interferometry, seismic measurements etc. But even in well-monitored volcanoes like Mt. Etna, predicting eruptions is not a trivial thing."

The team developed HOTSAT with a view to making an automatic system for monitoring volcanic activity. They are now developing a new version of HOTSAT. This should allow the processing of all the volcanic areas that can be monitored by SEVIRI in near-real time.Continuing ground-based observations will be needed for validation.

"For remote volcanoes, such as Nyiragongo, providing reliability to satellite data analysis is even more important than in Europe. Thanks to ground-based measurements made by Pedro Hernández, David Calvo, Nemesio Pérez (ITER, INVOLCAN Spain), Dario Tedesco (University of Naples, Italy) and Mathieu Yalire (Goma Volcanological Observatory), we could make a step in this direction," says Ganci.

"This study shows the range of science that can be done with Meteosat," says Dr. Marianne Koenig, EUMETSAT's atmospheric and imagery applications manager for the Meteosat Second Generation satellites, "And opens up the possibility of monitoring isolated volcanoes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Spampinato, G. Ganci, P. A. Hernández, D. Calvo, D. Tedesco, N. M. Pérez, S. Calvari, C. Del Negro, M. M. Yalire. Thermal insights into the dynamics of Nyiragongo lava lake from ground and satellite measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2013; 118 (11): 5771 DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010520

Cite This Page:

European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). "Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606091537.htm>.
European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). (2014, June 6). Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606091537.htm
European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). "Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606091537.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins