We present satellite measurements of the thermal flux observed from 95 active volcanoes, based on observations made daily over the past 15 years by NASA's Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer sensors. Excursions from an apparent baseline level of thermal emission are attributable to episodic lava-flow-forming eruptions. Highest average intensity was associated with the July 2001 eruption of Etna, Italy, which radiated an average of 2.5 × 109 W over 23 days. However, recent fissure eruptions in the Afar Rift have attained higher average intensities of 2.4–4.4 × 109 W, albeit for days, not weeks. The largest magnitude eruption was the ongoing eruption of Bardarbunga, Iceland, which radiated 2.6 × 1016 J. Kīlauea, Hawai'i, has radiated the most energy since 2000, although the lava lake at Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo, comes a close second. Time series analysis reveals evidence for periodicity in radiant flux at some volcanoes but not at others.
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- remote sensing