MISR Aerosol Plume Height Measurements from the Kilauea Volcano Eruption

May 6, 2018
May 24, 2018

MISR Aerosol Plume Height Measurements from the Kilauea Volcano Eruption

May 22nd, 2018:

MISR Plume height measurements

Volcanic eruptions can generate significant amounts of atmospheric aerosols that can have regional to global impacts. To determine the influence of volcanic eruptions, accurate plume heights are needed, but are difficult to obtain  due to the hazardous nature of such eruptions. Stereo images from NASA’s Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) make it possible to map plume heights in ongoing eruptions using parallax in the stereo imagery. Multi-angle images make it possible to distinguish eruptive plumes from metrological clouds and remobilized ash. 

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii in the central Pacific, began displaying heightened activity on April 17, 2018. On May 22, 2018 MISR observed a plume reaching ~1 km above the ocean surface. The plume appears well contained within the lower troposphere. The plume was transported to the southwest parallel to the coastline, before shifting west as it moved past the southernmost point of the island. The visual characteristics of the plume indicate little or no ash components. At this altitude, the direct (ash fall) and indirect (surface temperature) effects are likely to remain local-regional. Activity remains high at Kilauea on subsequent days, with the potential for ongoing eruptions to cause significant regional hazards to populations and aviation. 

MISR Plume height measurements

The diffuse plume region displays a similar suspension altitude to the core plume. Lateral spreading of the plume is evident to the west of the island.

A small summit plume is present at the Kilauea summit. This plume is suspended ~1 km above the terrain. This plume does not extend over the ocean.

MISR Plume height measurements

The plume is visible among significant meteorological cloud cover (Fig. A). The plume is comprised of smaller particles than those identified in background regions (denoted by a higher Angstrom Exponent: Fig B). 

The plume indicates no evidence of non-spherical particles (Fig. C) or light-absorbing (dark) particles (Fig. D) that would be present if the plume were dominated by  ash components. 

The output of the MISR Research Aerosol (RA) retrieval algorithm indicates a plume of small, spherical, non-absorbing particles characteristic of  a sulfate/water-rich plume particles, likely produced by the oxidation of emitted volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2)

 

May 6th, 2018:

MISR Active Plume Measurements from the Kilauea Volcano Eruption

Volcanic eruptions can generate significant amounts of atmospheric aerosols that can have regional to global impacts. To determine the influence of volcanic eruptions, accurate plume heights are needed, but are difficult to obtain  due to the hazardous nature of such eruptions. Stereo images from NASA’s Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) make it possible to map plume heights in ongoing eruptions using parallax in the stereo imagery. Multi-angle images make it possible to distinguish eruptive plumes from metrological clouds and remobilized ash.    

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii in the central Pacific, began displaying heightened activity on 30 August 2017. On May 6, 2018 MISR observed a plume reaching ~1.5 km above the ocean surface. The plume appears diffuse  and well contained within the lower troposphere. The plume was transported to the southwest parallel to the coastline, before shifting as it moved past the southernmost point of the island. The visual characteristics of the plume indicate little or no ash components. At this altitude, the direct (ash fall) and indirect (surface temperature) effects are likely to remain local-regional. Activity remains high at Kilauea on subsequent days, with the potential for ongoing eruptions to cause significant regional hazards to populations and aviation. MI

  

Volcanic eruption plume from Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii MISR Active Aerosol Plume-Height (AAP) Project 6 May 2018

The plume is visible among significant meteorological cloud cover (purple: Fig. A). The plume is comprised of smaller particles than those identified in background regions (denoted by a higher Angstrom Exponent: Fig B). 

The plume indicates no evidence of non-spherical particles (Fig. C) or light-absorbing (dark) particles (Fig. D) that would be present if the plume were dominated by  ash components. 

The output of the MISR Research Aerosol (RA) retrieval algorithm indicates a plume of small, spherical, non-absorbing particles characteristic of  a sulfate/water-rich plume particles, likely produced by the oxidation of emitted volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2): https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/pix/daily/0518/hawaii_0518p.html