Early Analysis of Landsat-8 Thermal Infrared Sensor Imagery of Volcanic Activity

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    The Landsat-8 satellite of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in April 2013. Just weeks after it entered active service, its sensors observed activity at Paluweh Volcano, Indonesia. Given that the image acquired was in the daytime, its shortwave infrared observations were contaminated with reflected solar radiation; however, those of the satellite’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) show thermal emission from the volcano’s summit and flanks. These emissions detected in sensor’s band 10 (10.60–11.19 μm) have here been quantified in terms of radiant power, to confirm reports of the actual volcanic processes operating at the time of image acquisition, and to form an initial assessment of the TIRS in its volcanic observation capabilities. Data from band 11 have been neglected as its data have been shown to be unreliable at the time of writing. At the instant of image acquisition, the thermal emission of the volcano was found to be 345 MW. This value is shown to be on the same order of magnitude as similarly timed NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer thermal observations. Given its unique characteristics, the TIRS shows much potential for providing useful, detailed and accurate volcanic observations in the future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2282-2295
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This article has been released under the post-2008 Creative Commons Attribution License.


    • thermal remote sensing
    • volcanoes
    • Landsat
    • LCDM
    • Paluweh


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