Separating the thermal fingerprints of lava flows and simultaneous lava fountaining using ground-based thermal camera and SEVIRI measurements

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Abstract

[1] During effusive eruptions, thermal satellite monitoring has proved well suited to map the thermal flux from lava flows. However, during lava fountaining events, thermal contributions from active flows and from the fountain itself cannot be separated in low resolution satellite data. Here using photogrammetry and atmospheric modeling techniques, we compare radiance estimates from long-range ground-based thermal camera data (from which the fountain can be excluded) with those from SEVIRI satellite images for a fountaining event at Mount Etna (12 August 2011). The radiant heat flux determined from the ground-based camera showed similar behavior to values retrieved from Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI); thus the SEVIRI signal is interpreted to be dominated by the lava flows, with minimal contribution from the fountain. Furthermore, by modeling the cooling phase of each pixel inundated by lava, the mean thickness and lava volume (~2.4 × 106 m3) derived from camera images are comparable with those calculated from SEVIRI (~2.8 × 106 m3).

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