GOES provides thermal data for all of the Hawaiian volcanoes once every 15 min. We show how volcanic radiance time series produced from this data stream can be used as a simple measure of effusive activity. Two types of radiance trends in these time series can be used to monitor effusive activity: (a) Gradual variations in radiance reveal steady flow-field extension and tube development. (b) Discrete spikes correlate with short bursts of activity, such as lava fountaining or lava-lake overflows. We are confident that any effusive event covering more than 10,000 m2 of ground in less than 60 min will be unambiguously detectable using this approach. We demonstrate this capability using GOES, video camera and ground-based observational data for the current eruption of Kilauea volcano (Hawai'i). A GOES radiance time series was constructed from 3987 images between 19 June and 12 August 1997. This time series displayed 24 radiance spikes elevated more than two standard deviations above the mean; 19 of these are correlated with video-recorded short-burst effusive events. Less ambiguous events are interpreted, assessed and related to specific volcanic events by simultaneous use of permanently recording video camera data and ground-observer reports. The GOES radiance time series are automatically processed on data reception and made available in near-real-time, so such time series can contribute to three main monitoring functions: (a) automatically alerting major effusive events; (b) event confirmation and assessment; and (c) establishing effusive event chronology.
Additional publication details
Complex effusive events at Kilauea as documented by the GOES satellite and remote video cameras