Abstract

Precise eruption rates of active pahoehoe lava flows on Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, have been determined using spaceborne radar data acquired by the Space Shuttle Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C). A coastal site downslope from the Pu'u O'o vent was imaged once per day, on each of the four days of October 7–10, 1994. Day-to-day decorrelation due to resurfacing was determined by interferometric combination of the data at 15 m resolution over a wide area. On successive days, new lava resurfaced 335700 m2, 368775 m2, and 356625 m2. Assuming an average pahoehoe flow thickness of 50 cm, a mean effusion rate for this period is approximately 2 m3/s. The radar observations show persistent surface activity at each site, rather than downslope migration of coherent lava flows.

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