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The synoptic perspective and rapid mode of data acquisition provided by remote sensing are well suited for the study of volcanic SO2 plumes. In this paper we describe a plume-mapping procedure that is based on image data acquired with NASA's airborne thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS) and apply the procedure to TIMS data collected over the East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, on September 30, 1988. These image data covered the Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha vents and a skylight in the lava tube that was draining the Kupaianaha lava pond. Our estimate of the SO2 emission rate from Pu'u 'O'o (17 - 20 kg s-1) is roughly twice the average of estimates derived from correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) measurements collected 10 days prior to the TIMS overflight (10 kg s-1). The agreement between the TIMS and COSPEC results improves when we compare SO2 burden estimates, which are relatively independent of wind speed. We demonstrate the feasibility of mapping Pu'u 'O'o - scale SO2 plumes from space in anticipation of the 1998 launch of the advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflectance radiometer (ASTER). Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Multispectral thermal infrared mapping of sulfur dioxide plumes: A case study from the East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii