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Lava flow surface textures: SIR-B radar image texture, field observations, and terrain measurements

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
By: , and 

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Abstract

Space Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-8) images, field observations, and small-scale (cm) terrain measurements are used to study lava flow surface textures related to emplacement processes of a single hawaiian lava flow. Although smooth pahoehoe textures are poorly characterized on the SIR-B data, rougher pahoehoe types and the a'a flow portion show image textures attributed to spatial variations in surface roughness. Field observations of six distinct lava flow textural units are described and used to interpret modes of emplacement. Terrain measurements of these units show that surface roughness differs across and along the flow, apparently due to shear during flow emplacement. The radar smooth/rough boundary between pahoehoe and a'a occurs at a vertical relief of -10 cm on this lava flow. While direct observation and measurement most readily yield information related to lava eruption and emplacement processes, analyses of remote sensing data such as those acquired by imaging radars and altimeters can provide a means of quantifying surface texture, identifying the size and distribution of flow components, and delineating textural unit boundaries.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lava flow surface textures: SIR-B radar image texture, field observations, and terrain measurements
Series title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Volume 56
Issue 2
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 211
Last page 224
Country United States
State Hawaii