Thermal infrared (TIR) images provided a timely pre- and syn-eruption record of summit changes, lava flow emplacement, and pyroclastic-flow-deposit distribution during the Alaska Volcano Observatory's (AVO) response to the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano. A series of images from both handheld and helicopter mounted forward looking infrared radiometers (FLIR) captured detailed views during a series of 13 overflights from December 2005 through August 2006. In conjunction with these images, data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) provided frequent multispectral synoptic views of the eruption's emissions and deposits. The ASTER Urgent Request Protocol system also facilitated more frequent scheduling and faster data availability during the eruption. Airborne and satellite imaging provided 20 different days of TIR coverage over the 5-month eruptive period, with 4 of those days covered by both FLIR and ASTER. The high-resolution TIR images documented gradual pre-eruption heating of the summit, emplacement of pyroclastic-flow deposits, rapid temperature increase as the lava dome and flows formed, and slow cooling of the volcanic deposits that followed. The high-resolution data uniquely documented segmentation of the lava flows into hot areas of increased flow deformation and cooler, more stable crust on the active flows. In contrast, the satellite TIR data provided synoptic views of the areal distribution of volcanic products at Augustine including the extent and composition of the plumes.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
High-Resolution Satellite and Airborne Thermal Infrared Imaging of the 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano