ASTER and field observations of the 24 December 2006 eruption of Bezymianny...

Carter, A. J., O. Girina, M. Ramsey, and Y. V. Demyanchuk (2008), ASTER and field observations of the 24 December 2006 eruption of Bezymianny Volcano, Russia, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112, 2569-2577, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2007.12.001.

An explosive eruption occurred at Bezymianny Volcano (Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia) on 24 December 2006 at 09:17 (UTC). Seismicity increased three weeks prior to the large eruption, which produced a 12–15 km above sea level (ASL) ash column. We present field observations from 27 December 2006 and 2 March 2007, combined with satellite data collected from 8 October 2006 to 11 April 2007 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), as part of the instrument's rapid-response program to volcanic eruptions. Pixel-integrated brightness temperatures were calculated from both ASTER 90 m/pixel thermal infrared (TIR) data as well as 30 m/pixel shortwave infrared (SWIR) data. Four days prior to the eruption, the maximum TIR temperature was 45 °C above the average background temperature (−33 °C) at the dome, which we interpret was a precursory signal, and had dropped to 8 °C above background by 18 March 2007. On 20 December 2006, there was also a clear thermal signal in the SWIR data of 128 °C using ASTER Band 7 (2.26 μm). The maximum SWIR temperature was 181 °C on the lava dome on 4 January 2007, decreasing below the detection limit of the SWIR data by 11 April 2007. On 4 January 2007 a hot linear feature was observed at the dome in the SWIR data, which produced a maximum temperature of 700 °C for the hot fraction of the pixel using the dual band technique. This suggests that magmatic temperatures were present at the dome at this time, consistent with the emplacement of a new lava lobe following the eruption. The eruption also produced a large, 6.5 km long by up to 425 m wide pyroclastic flow (PF) deposit that was channelled into a valley to the south–southeast. The PF deposit cooled over the following three months but remained elevated above the average background temperature. A second field investigation in March 2007 revealed a still-warm PF deposit that contained fumaroles. It was also observed that the upper dome morphology had changed in the past year, with a new lava lobe having in-filled the crater that formed following the 9 May 2006 eruption. These data provide further information on effusive and explosive activity at Bezymianny using quantitative remote sensing data and reinforced by field observations to assist in pre-eruption detection as well as post-eruption monitoring.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)