2018 News and Updates

June 5, 2018
VIIRS image of the Fuego eruption from June 3, 2018
Fuego in Guatemala is one of Central America’s most active volcanoes. For years, the towering Volcán de Fuego has puffed continuously, punctuated by occasional episodes of explosive activity, big ash plumes, lava flows, and avalanche-like debris slides known as pyroclastic flows. Just before noon on June 3, 2018, the volcano produced an explosive eruption that sent ash billowing thousands of meters into the air. A deadly mixture of ash, rock fragments, and hot gases rushed down ravines and stream channels on the sides of the volcano. Since these pyroclastic flows often move at speeds of greater than 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, they easily topple trees, homes, or anything else in their path. According to news reports, more than two dozen people were killed. As a precautionary measure, thousands of other people have been evacuated. Acquired June 3rd 2018 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP.


June 1, 2018
VIIRS I15 Band
The movement of the recent Lava channel from fissure 8 is now reaching far east near the Kapoho crater. on June 1st at 1:55 am (HST), A band of enhanced radiance from the I15 VIIRS channel was consistent with USGS thermal imagery. It shows the rapid progress of the lava front toward the Kapoho crater 6 hours after the USGS Thermal map and indicates that the Lava  intersected road 132 leaving the communities of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots without road access. USGS also reported significant convective clouds near the Leilani area which were thought to be influenced by hot lava creating convective instability through Pyroconvection. This is very interesting since it may provide a transport pathway for air enriched with SO2, sulfate and burning materials to reach the upper troposphere. 


May 18, 2018
Repeat flights during the current eruption are using GLISTIN to detect changes in Kilauea's topography associated with new lava flows, with the goal of measuring the erupted volume as a function of time and the total volume of the event. These observations prove extremely useful to model the evolution of these volcanic processes. Overpass Difference Dates: May 18, 2018 - May 19, 2018 This is a topography difference map captured by GLISTIN over the Lower East Rift Zone.  The difference in topography is caused by lava movement.  Overpass Difference Dates: May 21, 2018 - May 23, 2018 This is the same type of topography difference map showing the Kilauea Summit.  This series of difference maps highlights the enlargement of the Halem'aum'au crater.


May 26, 2018
ALOS-2 interferogram from June 23rd, 2018 acquisition relative to June 9th, 2018.
The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite, is a follow-on mission from the "DAICHI", which contributed to cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveys. ALOS-2 will succeed this mission with enhanced capabilities. Specifically, JAXA is conducting research and development activities to improve wide and high-resolution observation technologies developed for DAICHI in order to further fulfill social needs. Each interferometric synthetic aperature radar (InSAR) image, or interferogram, shows the amount of permanent surface movement caused almost entirely by the volcanic eruption that started on May 3, 2018 and the associated earthquakes, as viewed by satellite, between the two dates listed on each product.


May 22, 2018
lava flow dynamics slide 1
These images show lava observations from USGS helicopter thermal imagery and the NASA Landsat 8 and ESA Sentinel 2B satellites. The lava flow speed was calculated for the channel which opened on May 22nd from fissure 6 and 18 which reached the ocean sometime between May 23rd and May 24th. Using two satellite overpasses 12h 37min apart and the position of  the head of the lava flow from LandSat 8 and Sentinel 2B, the inferred mean flow was near 2.6 m/min.  


May 23, 2018
Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI)
Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI) Zoomed out image acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI. Though the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been erupting continuously since 1983, the eruption took a dangerous turn on May 3, 2018, when several new fissures emerged in a residential neighborhood.


May 18, 2018
Sentinel 2 data from June 2nd 2018
June 2nd, 2018: This Sentinel 2B Short Wave IR data shows the progress of the new lava channel toward the Kapoho Bay on June, 2nd around 9pm UTC (11 am HST). At that time, the flow head was around ~ 1500 yards (1.4 km) from the Kapoho Bay and the lastest USGS report (June 4th at 12 am HST) indicates that the Lava was only at 245 Yards (220 m) 37 hours later, giving an average speed of 34 yards/h. USGS indicates that Laze is likely to form at the entry point of the lava. May 23rd, 2018:


May 19, 2018
OMI S02 map
Total column amount of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) from Kilauea volcanic eruption on May 19 2018 in free troposphere measured by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on board NASA Aura satellite overlayed on SNPP/VIIRS True Color map. SO2 is criteria pollutant gas, which is harmful to people, plants and animals, causes acid rain and volcanic haze (vog). High resolution VIIRS true color map shows dense volcanic aerosol plume emitted from Kilauea main crater and advected in SW direction by trade winds and converted to vog downwind. OMI SO2 map reveals much larger geographical extent of volcanic SO2, which is important for volcanic plume dispersion forecasts for aviation avoidance and volcanic fog forecasts.


May 13, 2018
ISS Georeferenced Digital Camera Images of Kilauea Eruptive Activity 2018
This collection of visible-wavelength (RGB) digital camera images was taken by astronauts onboard the International Space Station at various times on May 6, 12, and 13 2018, then manually georeferenced by members of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center. The images provide regional context, and may be useful for visualization of the ongoing event. Higher spatial resolution images may be suitable for spatial analysis to support decision making or research applications.


May 15, 2018
OMPS SO2 map for the Kilauea eruption from May 22nd, 2018.
May 22nd 2018: OMPS SO2 map for the Kilauea eruption from May 22nd, 2018. The Ozone Mapping Profiling Suite (OMPS) Hyperspectral UV instrument onboard the Suomi NPP (SNPP) satellite observed large extent of the volcanic SO2 clouds emitted from Kilauea eruptions  on May 21-22 on Hawai'i Big island. The estimated SO2 emission rate is still elevated, at ~10-30,000 tons/day (2-6 times the long-term average flux for Kilauea) The SNPP orbit was not well-placed so pixels near the volcano are large. The SO2 life-time is longer in the free-troposphere than near the volcano, so OMPS tracks SO2 plume ~2000 km downwind of Hawai’i.  OMPS SO2 measurements help validate volcanic cloud dispersion and aerosol/chemistry models.    May 16th 2018: Total column amount of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) measured by Ozone Mapping Profiling Suite (OMPS) hyperspectal Ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer on board NASA-NOAA Suomi-NPP weather satellite from Kilauea volcanic eruption on May 16 2018, overlayed on VIIRS RGB data.