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Volcanic hotspots of the central and southern Andes as seen from space by ASTER and MODVOLC between the years 2000 and 2010

By
J. A. Jay
J. A. Jay
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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M. Welch
M. Welch
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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M. E. Pritchard
M. E. Pritchard
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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P. J. Mares
P. J. Mares
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Present address: 170 Buck Road, Lansing, NY 14882, USA
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M. E. Mnich
M. E. Mnich
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
Present address: Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9297, USA
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A. K. Melkonian
A. K. Melkonian
1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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F. Aguilera
F. Aguilera
4
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Atacama, Copayapu 485, Copiapó, Chile
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J. A. Naranjo
J. A. Naranjo
5
Servicio Nacional de Geología y Mineria, Av. Santa Maria 0104, Santiago, Chile
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M. Sunagua
M. Sunagua
6
Calle Heroínas No. 904, La Paz, Bolivia
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J. Clavero
J. Clavero
7
Energía Andina, Cerro El Plomo 5630, Piso 14, Santiago, Chile
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

We examine 150 volcanoes and geothermal areas in the central, southern and austral Andes for thermal anomalies between the years 2000 and 2010 from two different spaceborne sensors: (1) those automatically detected by the MODVOLC algorithm from MODIS; and (2) manually identified hotspots in night-time images from ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer). Based on previous work, we expected to find eight volcanoes displaying thermal anomalies (Ubinas, Villarrica, Copahue, Láscar, Llaima, Chaitén, Lonquimay and Chiliques). We document 35 volcanic areas with pixel-integrated temperatures of 4 up to more than 100 K above background in at least two images, and another 16 areas that have questionable hotspots with either smaller anomalies or a hotspot identified in only one image. Most of the thermal anomalies are related to known activity (i.e. lava and pyroclastic flows, growing lava domes, fumaroles, and lakes) while others are of unknown origin or reflect activity at volcanoes that were not thought to have surface activity. A handful of volcanoes exhibit temporal variations in the magnitude and location of their temperature anomalies that can be related to both documented and undocumented pulses of activity. Our survey reveals that low-amplitude volcanic hotspots detectable from space are more common than expected, based on lower spatial resolution data, and that these features could be more widely used to monitor changes in the activity of remote volcanoes. We find no evidence from ASTER or MODVOLC that the thermal anomalies were affected by six earthquakes with Mw above 7 in our study area from 2000 to 2010, although the observations may not have been optimal to detect such anomalies.

Supplementary material: Supplementary tables of data and figures for the volcanoes studied are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18581.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Remote Sensing of Volcanoes and Volcanic Processes: Integrating Observation and Modelling

D. M. Pyle
D. M. Pyle
University of Oxford, UK
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T. A. Mather
T. A. Mather
University of Oxford, UK
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J. Biggs
J. Biggs
University of Bristol, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
380
ISBN electronic:
9781862396456
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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