EOS Volcanology Logo University of Hawaii: EOS Volcanology Plume Studies

Sample Images
El Chichon remote sensing (149K image)
Using AVHRR weather satellite data, Steve Self and Rick Holasek are trying to develop numerical models which describe the dispersal of eruption plumes, as well as develop algorithms for the quantitative analysis of the plumes.

Here we see AVHRR data for the April 1982 eruption of El Chichon, Mexico, which demonstrates some of the interesting aspects of certain eruption plumes. The top image is a visible wavelength view of the plume, with the sun shining from the right. The brighter circular area on the left side of the plume is the highest point, based on the illuminated right-facing side of the plume. In the lower image is a temperature plot of the plume, also from AVHRR. The scale bar at the bottom goes from -31C (red) to -82C (blue). The coldest part of the plume is to the right of the highest point. This mismatch between temperature and height is believed to be due to super-adiabatic cooling of the plume, and shows that EOS algorithms developed around the assumption that plume height is correlated with temperature will not be valid. Image produced by Rick Holasek.

10 Remote Sensing Images of Pinatubo Eruption Cloud

Satellite images of the Mount St. Helens cloud can be found in: Holasek and Self (1995) GOES weather satellite observations and measurements of the May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption, J. Geophys. Res., 100: 8469-8487.

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