Analysis of thermally emissive volcanic features using satellite infrared remote sensing has been conducted over recent decades, primarily using shortwave and thermal infrared (SWIR; TIR) radiance data. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), mounted on the Earth Observation System (EOS) Terra satellite, offers an advance on earlier instruments, having more bands covering the SWIR atmospheric window and offering a wider dynamic range. This paper compares methods used to analyse ASTER SWIR imagery of active volcanoes, using both simulated cases and actual ASTER imagery of Lascar Volcano, and focuses on radiative power estimates. Those based on the Oppenheimer approach are found to be most reliable for simulated surfaces, with the Lombardo and Buongiorno and Dozier retrievals having larger uncertainties in most cases. However, the Dozier Method results in the highest proportion of successful retrievals, the reliability of which is influenced by factors including band combination, gain setting and saturation. The radiative power metric is shown as a more reliable measure than sub-pixel characterisations of hotspot temperature and area, as retrieved by these methods. We conclude with an assessment of ASTER in terms of its utility for providing quantitative observations of active volcanic surfaces.
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in Geomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk, 2(1), 51-78. Geomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19475705.2010.541501
- shortwave infrared
- thermal infrared
- radiative power