Davies, AG, Calkins, J, Scharenbroich, L, Vaughan, RG, Wright, R, Kyle, P, Castano, R, Chien, S, Tran, D (2008). Multi-instrument remote and in situ observations of the Erebus Volcano (Antarctica) lava lake in 2005: A comparison with the Pele lava lake on the jovian moon Io. JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, 177(3), 705-724.
The stable, persistent, active lava lake at Erebus volcano (Ross Island, Antarctica) provides an excellent thermal target for analysis of spacecraft observations, and for testing new technology. In the austral summer of 2005 visible and infrared observations of the Erebus lava lake were obtained with sensors on three space vehicles Terra (ASTER, MODIS), Aqua (MODIS) and EO-1 (Hyperion, ALI). Contemporaneous ground-based observations were obtained with hand-held infrared cameras. This allowed a quantitative comparison of the thermal data obtained from different instruments, and of the analytical techniques used to analyze the data, both with and without the constraints imposed by ground-truth. From the thermal camera data, in December 2005 the main Erebus lava lake (Ray Lake) had an area of approximate to 820 m(2). Surface colour temperatures ranged from 575 K to 1090 K, with a broad peak in the distribution from 730 K to 850 K. Total heat loss was estimated at 23.5 MW. The flux density was approximate to 29 kW m(-2). Mass flux was estimated at 64 to 93 kg s(-1). The best correlation between thermal emission and emitting area was obtained with ASTER, which has the best combination of spatial resolution and wavelength coverage, especially in the thermal infrared. The high surface temperature of the lava lake means that Hyperion data are for the most part saturated. Uncertainties, introduced by the need to remove incident sunlight cause the thermal emission from the Hyperion data to be a factor of about two greater than that measured by hand-held thermal camera. MODIS also over-estimated thermal output from the lava lake by the same factor of two because it was detecting reflected sunlight from the rest of the pixel area. The measurement of the detailed temperature distribution on the surface of an active terrestrial lava lake will allow testing of thermal emission models used to interpret remote-sensing data of volcanism on lo, where no such ground-truth exists. Although the Erebus lava lake is four orders of magnitude smaller than the lava lake at Pele on lo, the shape of the integrated thermal emission spectra are similar. Thermal emission from this style of effusive volcanism appears to be invariant. Excess thermal emission in most Pele spectra (compared to Erebus) at short wavelengths (<3 mu m) is most likely due to disruption of the surface on the lava lake by escaping volatiles. (c) 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V.