The Pulse of the Volcano: Discovery of Episodic Activity at Prometheus on IoThe temporal behaviour of thermal output from a volcano yields valuable clues to the processes taking place at and beneath the surface. Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) data show that the ionian volcanoes Prometheus and Amirani have significant thermal emission in excess of nonvolcanic background emission in every geometrically appropriate NIMS observation. The 5 micron brightness of these volcanoes shows considerable variation from orbit to orbit. Prometheus in particular exhibits an episodicity that yields valuable constraints to the mechanisms of magma supply and eruption. This work is part of an on-going study to chart and quantify the thermal emission of Io's volcanoes, determine mass eruption rates, and note eruption style.
Davies, A. G. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)