Analysis of volcanic activity patterns using MODIS thermal alerts

Rothery, Dave A.; Coppola, Diego and Saunders, Charlotte (2005). Analysis of volcanic activity patterns using MODIS thermal alerts. Bulletin of Volcanology, 67(6) pp. 539–556.



We investigate eruptive activity by analysis of thermal-alert data from the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) thermal infrared satellite instrument, detected by the MODVOLC (MODIS Volcano alert) algorithm. These data are openly available on a website, and easy to use. We show how such data can plug major gaps in the conventional monitoring record of volcanoes in an otherwise generally poorly-documented region (Melanesia), including: characterising the mechanism of lava effusion at Pago; demonstrating an earlier-than-realised onset of lava effusion at Lopevi; extending the known period of lava lake activity at Ambrym; and confirming on-going activity at Bagana, Langila and Tinakula. We also add to the record of activity even at some generally better-monitored volcanoes in Indonesia, but point out that care must be taken to recognise and exclude fires.

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