The Spatial and Spectral Resolution of ASTER Infrared Image Data: A Paradigm...

Ramsey, M., and I. T. W. Flynn (2020), The Spatial and Spectral Resolution of ASTER Infrared Image Data: A Paradigm Shift in Volcanological Remote Sensing, Rem. Sens., 12, 738, doi:10.3390/rs12040738.

During the past two decades, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on the Terra satellite has acquired nearly 320,000 scenes of the world’s volcanoes. This is ~10% of the data in the global ASTER archive. Many of these scenes captured volcanic activity at never before seen spatial and spectral scales, particularly in the thermal infrared (TIR) region. Despite this large archive of data, the temporal resolution of ASTER is simply not adequate to understand ongoing eruptions and assess the hazards to local populations in near real time. However, programs designed to integrate ASTER into a volcanic data sensor web have greatly improved the cadence of the data (in some cases, to as many as 3 scenes in 48 h). This frequency can inform our understanding of what is possible with future systems collecting similar data on the daily or hourly time scales. Here, we present the history of ASTER’s contributions to volcanology, highlighting unique aspects of the instrument and its data. The ASTER archive was mined to provide statistics including the number of observations with volcanic activity, its type, and the average cloud cover. These were noted for more than 2000 scenes over periods of 1, 5 and 20 years.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)