Pāhoehoe flow cooling, discharge, and coverage rates from thermal image chronometry

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

Theoretically- and empirically-derived cooling rates for active pāhoehoe lava flows show that surface cooling is controlled by conductive heat loss through a crust that is thickening with the square root of time. The model is based on a linear relationship that links log(time) with surface cooling. This predictable cooling behavior can be used assess the age of recently emplaced sheet flows from their surface temperatures. Using a single thermal image, or image mosaic, this allows quantification of the variation in areal coverage rates and lava discharge rates over 48 hour periods prior to image capture. For pāhoehoe sheet flow at Kīlauea (Hawai`i) this gives coverage rates of 1–5 m2/min at discharge rates of 0.01–0.05 m3/s, increasing to ∼40 m2/min at 0.4–0.5 m3/s. Our thermal chronometry approach represents a quick and easy method of tracking flow advance over a three-day period using a single, thermal snap-shot.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pāhoehoe flow cooling, discharge, and coverage rates from thermal image chronometry
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2007GL030791
Volume 34
Issue 19
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 6 p.
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kilauea volcano
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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