EOS Volcanology Logo JPL: TIMS and ASTER EOS Volcanology Studies

Sample Images
Mount St. Helens Dome Thermal Map (298K image)
Since 1988, researchers at JPL have been monitoring several Cascade volcanoes via airborne remote sensing surveys. This image depicts the lava dome of Mount St. Helens as it appeared on 1 September, 1988. The perspective view, which simulates a view of the dome from the north, was created by registering the image data to a 1:4000 scale digital elevation model (DEM). The image data was acquired with the Thermal Infrared Multspectral Scanner (TIMS), which measures thermal radiance in six spectral channels between 8 and 12 micrometers. The construction of the DEM was a joint effort between JPL and the USGS. Data sets such as the one depicted here are used to monitor changes changes in the size or pattern of hot spots on the dome. The hot spots, which appear as bright blue spots in the image, are typically the result of fumarolic activity on the dome. JPL has recently initiated TOPSAR surveys of Mount St. Helens (as well as other Cascade volcanoes) in an effort to monitor changes in morphology.

Etna SO2 plume (310K image)
This image depicts the summit crater complex of Mount Etna on 29 July 1986. As with the Mount St. Helens image, these image data were acquired with TIMS. The two orange features furthest to the the left of the image are summit craters, which are approximately 700 to 1000m in diameter. The tephra deposits surrounding the craters appear blue in this color-composite image, while the majority of the lava flows in the image are displayed in purple. The sulfur dioxide (SO2) plume that eminated from the volcano appears in shades of yellow, due to the strong absorption of ground radiance near 8.5 micrometers. These TIMS data, together with radiative transfer modeling, allowed us to estimate the SO2 flux from Mount Etna at the time of the TIMS overflight. Our estimate of 6700 metric tons per day compares favorably with the reported quiescent flux level of 5000 tons/day. For more information on the estimation procedure, see Realmuto et al. (1994) (reference listed below).

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