Detecting the development of active lava flow fields with a very-long-range terrestrial laser scanner and thermal imagery
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 22, November 2009
How to Cite
2009), Detecting the development of active lava flow fields with a very-long-range terrestrial laser scanner and thermal imagery, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L22305, doi:10.1029/2009GL040701., , and (
- Issue published online: 25 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 OCT 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 21 OCT 2009
- Manuscript Received: 26 AUG 2009
- terrestrial laser scanning;
- lava flow;
- Mount Etna
 Regular topographic surveys of active lava flows could provide significant insight into the development of flow fields, but data of sufficient accuracy, spatial extent and repeat frequency to quantify the processes involved have yet to be acquired. Here, we report results from the use of a new very-long-range terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) on active lavas at Mount Etna, Sicily. The scanner proved capable of providing useful topographic data from volcanic terrain at ranges up to ∼3500 m, with laser returns from ash-covered slopes as well as from lava. Despite very low effusion rates (<1 m3s−1), topographic changes associated with the emplacement and inflation of new flows and the inflation of a tumulus were detected. Irregular data spacing resulting from oblique views makes the interpretation of laser-derived digital elevation models alone difficult, but fusing topographic data with thermal images allows active flow features to be clearly visualized.