An Autonomous Thermal Camera System for Monitoring Fumarole Activity

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The Kenyan part of the East African Rift System hosts several geothermal fields for energy production. Changes in the extraction rate of geothermal fluids and the amount of water re-injected into the system affect reservoir pressure and production capacity over time. Understanding the balance of production, natural processes and the response of the geothermal system requires long-term monitoring. The presence of a geothermal system at depth is often accompanied by surface manifestations, such as hot water springs and fumaroles, which have the potential for monitoring subsurface activity. Two thermal camera timelapse systems were developed and installed as part of a multi-sensor observatory in Kenya to capture fumarole activity over time. These cameras are an aggregation of a camera unit, a control unit, and a battery charged by a solar panel, and they monitor fumarole activity on an hourly basis, with a deep sleep of the system in between recordings. The article describes the choice of hardware and software, presents the data that the cameras acquire, and discusses the system’s performance and possible improvement points.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1999
Pages (from-to)1-12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024




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