Study of Volcanic Activity at Different Time Scales Using Hypertemporal Land Surface Temperature Data

Efthymia Pavlidou*, Chris Hecker, Harald van der Werff, Mark van der Meijder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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We apply a method for detecting subtle spatiotemporal signal fluctuations to monitor volcanic activity. Whereas midwave infrared data are commonly used for volcanic hot spot detection, our approach utilizes hypertemporal longwave infrared-based land surface temperature (LST) data. Using LST data of the second-generation European Meteorological Satellites, we study (a) a paroxysmal, 1 day long eruption of Mount Etna (Italy); (b) a prolonged, 6 month period of effusive and lateral lava flows of the Nyamuragira volcano (Democratic Republic of Congo); and (c) intermittent activity in the permanent lava lake of Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of Congo) over a period of 2 years (2011-2012). We compare our analysis with published ground-based observations and satellite-based alert systems; results agree on the periods of increased volcanic activity and quiescence. We further apply our analysis on mid-infrared and long-infrared brightness temperatures and compare the results. We conclude that our study enables the use of LST data for monitoring volcanic dynamics at different time scales, can complement existing methodologies, and allows for use of long time series from older sensors that do not provide midwave infrared data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB014317
Pages (from-to)7613-7625
JournalJournal of geophysical research. Solid earth
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2017


  • Hotspot detection
  • Land Surface Temperatures
  • Volcanic activity


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