2018 News and Updates

May 16, 2018
VIIRS thermal hotspots from May 22
May 22nd, 2018: VIIRS thermal anomalies continues to locate lava fountains from fissure 6, 19 and 22 flowing toward the ocean though several channels consistent with thermal maps from the USGS on May, 22nd. VIIRS suggests hot spots along the coast consistent with Lava flow entries warming up the ocean in the proximity of the coast. VIIRS nighttime imagery shows the light coming from the lava and reaching saturation levels.  May 21st, 2018: The latest VIIRS day/night band imagery shows thermal anomolies from the lava flows as well as lava entry points to the ocean.  May 20th, 2018: Updated VIIRS Thermal and Optical Imagery for May 20th 2018.. An unusual feature is now visible -  thermal anomalies are now observed near and over water. Recent news has confirmed that the lava flows have reached the ocean crossing the 137 road (http://m.hawaiinewsnow.com/hawaiinewsnow/db_330510/contentdetail.htm?con...).  


May 15, 2018
Demographics of the population within the mandatory evacuation zone of the Kilauea eruption.
These two map provide some socioeconomic information on age, structure, and economic status of the population affected by the recent Killauea Volcano eruption. Demographics of the population within the mandatory evacuation zone of the Kilauea eruption. Location of persons living below the poverty level on Hawai'i Island.


May 7, 2018
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows.
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. Credits: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team The eruption of Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii triggered a number of gas- and lava-oozing fissures in the East Rift Zone of the volcano. The fissures and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas prompted evacuations in the area. Images taken from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) onboard NASA’s Terra satellite picked up these new fissures. In the first image, the red areas are vegetation, and the black and gray areas are old lava flows. The yellow areas superimposed over the image show hot spots that were detected by ASTER’s thermal infrared bands. These hot spots are the newly formed fissures and new lava flow as of May 6. In the second photo, also acquired on May 6, the long yellow and green streaks are plumes of sulfur dioxide gas.


May 6, 2018
MISR highlights June 23rd 2018
June 23rd, 2018 Volcanic eruptions can generate significant amounts of atmospheric aerosols that often 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. We can also distinguish eruptive plumes from metrological clouds and remobilized ash with these data.  Kilauea volcano, Hawaii in the central Pacific, began displaying heightened activity on April 17, 2018. On June 23, 2018 MISR observed a plume generated in the Leilani Estates Rift region dispersing southwest around the south of the island. The plume initially injected to an altitude of ~2.5 km descending to a downwind dispersion altitude of ~1 km. A primary plume displays consistent southwest dispersion. However, a diffuse aerosol plume persists immediately west of the island. The visual characteristics of the plume indicate little or no ash components. Activity remains high at Kilauea currently, with the potential for ongoing eruptions causing significant regional hazards to populations and aviation.  The plume is visible to the west-southwest of Hawaii (Fig. A), and is comprised of smaller particles than those identified in background regions (denoted by a higher Angstrom Exponent: Fig B). 


May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018 Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, but in late April and early May 2018 the volcanic eruption took a dangerous new turn. During the last week of April, the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u Overlook crater overflowed several times and then began to drain rapidly after the crater floor partially collapsed. Soon after, a swarm of earthquakes spread across Kilauea’s East Rift Zone as magma moved underground. On May 3, 2018, several new fissures cracked open the land surface in the Leilani Estates subdivision, leaking gases and spewing fountains of lava. As of May 7, 2018, slow-moving lava flows had consumed 35 homes in that community of 1,500 people.


May 6, 2018
SO2 plumes and Thermal Anomalies from Hawaii Eruption; May, 6th 2018
The slide shows a composite of satellite products to highlight plumes of Sulfur Dioxide and Hot spots from Lava erupting from Mt Kilauea and the new Fissures observed since May 3rd and May 4th in the Leilani areas.  The top panel shows a map of SO2 from the Tropomi sensor on the ESA Satellite Sentinel 5P for May 6th. Two main SO2 plumes are seen on the map emerging from the Kilauea crater ( Red triangle) and another source to the East is also visible. They eventually join further south to form only one big plume. Thermal Anomalies from NASA’s ASTER and VIIRS sensors on Terra and SNPP Satellites show the position of hot spots visible through Infrared sensors from both instruments. The so-called Lava Hot Spots are visible near the Kilauea crater, the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and the new fissures which have appeared on May, 3rd and May, 4th near the Leilani location, south of Pahoa. The ASTER yellowish color indicates the presence of SO2 in the atmosphere and confirm the presence of two main sources venting out from Kilauea and Leilani areas. Altogether, those  information can provide a view of the complex volcanic activities occurring in the Hawaii big Island and shed light on Lava spots and SO2 emissions venting out in the atmosphere which is affecting population on the ground. Those information can be used to highlight areas affected by dangerous levels of sulfur Dioxide which can have serious health impacts for people on the ground. Thermal Anomaly maps are used to locate hot spots where Lava is erupting. The relative high resolution from ASTER and VIIRS (300-400m) are really unique to locate the new fissures which occurred in Leilani areas on May 3rd and May 4th and forced the evacuation of more than 1000 people. 


May 4, 2018
Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC
Sentinel 1B image from May 5th, 2018. Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC The ESA Sentinal 1 mission has produced a series of interferograms for the recent volcanic eruption and earthquake that have occurred at the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island. The eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano that began in late afternoon ended by about 6:30 p.m. HST. Lava spatter and gas bursts erupted from the fissure for about two hours, and lava spread a short distance from the fissure, less than about 10 m (33 ft).


May 2, 2018
Ash Deposition on Ambae Island from March-April 2018 Aoba eruptions
Multiple eruptions from the locally named “Manaro” volcano on the Ambae (Aoba) Island in Vanuatu have led the evacuations of thousands of people affected by the disposition of thick volcanic ash layers on the Ground leading to widespread destructions of Farm lands. Satellite imageries from ESA/Sentinel 2B using wavelength bands sensitive to monitor crops show the extension of the devastation since March, 10th. The quasi-continous eruptions (see ash plume, image on March, 15th) have led to new larger dark patches of ash in the Northern, Eastern and Southern Parts of the Island (see image on  April,24th). More than 70% of the island seems to be recovered by volcanic ash as shown by a satellite image a few days ago (April, 24th). The island has become quasi inhabitable and thousands of people are now searching to new places to live.


April 24, 2018
Brightness Temperature Difference-based detection of sulfur dioxide (SO2).  The larger (absolute value) differences suggest larger quantities of SO2.
Examples of Ambae data products from the AIRS Rapid Response Website at JPL.  This site, currently under development, contains data products generated automatically for AIRS granules, or scenes.   The AIRS Rapid Response products may be used to track the dispersion of SO2 (Image 1) and ash clouds (Image 2) following an explosive volcanic eruption. The cloud cover product (Image 3) is an aid to interpreting the SO2 and ash detection products. The cloud cover was dense, with a tropical cyclone developing off the coast of Australia. The apparent lack of ash, relative to the presence of SO2, suggests that much of the ash produced by the eruption was  below the altitude of the cloud deck.   Brightness Temperature Difference-based detection of sulfur dioxide (SO2).  The larger (absolute value) differences suggest larger quantities of SO2.


April 20, 2018
Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on EOS Aura satellite measures ~0.12 Tg  SO2 emission from Aoba (Vanuatu) volcanic eruption
This volcanic SO2 plume data from the Aoba volcano (Vanuatu) explosive eruption on April 5 2018 was retrieved using the Ozone monitoring Instrument (OMI) operational Principal Component Analysis (PCA) algorithm (OMSO2) on April 6. Volcanic SO2 measured by satellite UV sensors allows tracking fast movements of volcanic ash clouds , which present hazard to aviation. In large explosive eruptions volcanic SO2 can be injected directly into lower stratosphere where it converts to long-lived sulfate aerosols, which have climate and chemistry effects.