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Using the Landsat Thematic Mapper to detect and monitor active volcanoes - An example from Lascar volcano, northern ChileThe Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) offers a means of detecting and monitoring thermal features of active volcanoes. Using the TM, a prominent thermal anomaly has been discovered on Lascar volcano, northern Chile. Data from two short-wavelength infrared channels of the TM show that material within a 300-m-diameter pit crater was at a temperature of at least 380 C on two dates in 1985. The thermal anomaly closely resembles in size and radiant temperature the anomaly over the active lava lake at Erta'ale in Ethiopia. An eruption took place at Lascar on Sept. 16, 1986. TM data acquired on Oct. 27, 1986, revealed significant changes within the crater area. Lascar is in a much more active state than any other volcano in the central Andes, and for this reason it merits further careful monitoring. Studies show that the TM is capable of confidently identifying thermal anomalies less than 100 m in size, at temperatures of above 150 C, and thus it offers a valuable means of monitoring the conditions of active or potentially active volcanoes, particularly those in remote regions.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Francis, P. W.
(Lunar and Planetary Institute Houston, TX, United States)
Rothery, D. A.
(Open University Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1987
Publication Information
Publication: Geology
Volume: 15
ISSN: 0091-7613
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
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