Infrared Surveys of Hawaiian Volcanoes

Science  06 Nov 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3645, pp. 733-742
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3645.733


Aerial infrared-sensor surveys of Kilauea volcano have depicted the areal extent and the relative intensity of abnormal thermal features in the caldera area of the volcano and along its associated rift zones. Many of these anomalies show correlation with visible steaming and reflect convective transfer of heat to the surface from subterranean sources. Structural details of the volcano, some not evident from surface observation, are also delineated by their thermal abnormalities. Several changes were observed in the patterns of infrared emission during the period of study; two such changes show correlation in location with subsequent eruptions, but the cause-and-effect relationship is uncertain.

Thermal anomalies were also observed on the southwest flank of Mauna Loa; images of other volcanoes on the island of Hawaii, and of Haleakala on the island of Maui, revealed no thermal abnormalities.

Approximately 25 large springs issuing into the ocean around the periphery of Hawaii have been detected.

Infrared emission varies widely with surface texture and composition, suggesting that similar observations may have value for estimating surface conditions on the moon or planets.