Related Research Areas
Earth Surface & Interior

This proposed research is linked to three key science questions relating to monitoring global volcanic hazards identified in the HyspIRI Mission Study as related to the recommendations of the NRC decadal survey: 1) How can we help predict and mitigate volcanic hazards through detection of transient thermal phenomena? 2) How do volcanoes signal impending eruptions through changes in surface temperature and thermal flux? 3) How do variations in volcanic thermal features, such as the temperature and composition of crater lakes and hot spring pools, relate to volcanic processes? The first two questions can be studied by using data from both the visible-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength regions for volcanic features hotter than ~150 oC, and by using TIR data for cooler thermal features. The third question relates to cooler volcanic thermal features (<150 oC) that only emit measurable radiance in the TIR region. However, important information about the composition and acidity of crater lakes and hot spring pools based on visible color and spectral characteristics of the water and surrounding mineral deposits can be retrieved from hyperspectral VSWIR data.

Using examples of different types of volcanic thermal features with a wide range of temperatures (e.g., from lava lakes to crater lakes), this study will simulate HyspIRI data using existing MASTER, AVIRIS, ASTER and Hyperion data to model future HyspIRI measurements of these features, including visible color, spectral characteristics relating to composition, temperature, thermal flux, and sub-pixel thermal components. More specifically, this work will 1) study how future HyspIRI measurements of thermal features will compare to current remote sensing temperature and thermal flux measurements to continue time-series studies of volcanic thermal areas for monitoring applications, 2) study how HyspIRI VSWIR data will resolve visible color and spectral characteristics of volcanic crater lakes and hot springs, and 3) study how sub-pixel scale thermal features, of different temperatures, may be resolved by HyspIRI data with 60-m pixels and co-registered VSWIR and TIR data. Key questions regarding the use of such data for sub-pixel thermal feature analysis include: 1) How large does a hot sub-pixel feature, of a certain temperature, need to be for the data to resolve a thermally mixed pixel? 2) How large does a hot sub-pixel feature, of a certain temperature, need to be to saturate a pixel? 3) What assumptions and sources of error have the greatest effect on the results of sub-pixel thermal feature analysis? The answers to these questions are, in part, unique to each instrument and part of the proposed work will estimate these parameters for the HyspIRI instrument.

This proposed research is critical to defining the capabilities and role that HyspIRI and similar future satellite instruments will have in global volcano monitoring, because it will help determine the necessary requirements for instrument parameters - such as spatial and spectral resolution, temperature sensitivity, and radiometric resolution and accuracy - specifically for global volcano monitoring and studies.

Project PI: Richard Greg Vaughan/USGS

U.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Team 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, AZ, 86001

Phone: 928-556-7006



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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 17, 2011


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