Abstract

The surface temperatures of active lavas relate to cooling rates, chemistry, and eruption style. We analyzed 61 hyperspectral satellite images acquired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Observing–1 (EO-1) Hyperion imaging spectrometer to document the surface temperature distributions of active lavas erupted at 13 volcanoes. Images were selected to encompass the range of common lava eruption styles, specifically, lava fountains, flows, lakes, and domes. Our results reveal temperature distributions for terrestrial lavas that correlate with composition (i.e., a statistically significant difference in the highest temperatures retrieved for mafic lavas and intermediate and felsic lavas) and eruption style. Maximum temperatures observed for mafic lavas are ∼200 °C higher than for intermediate and felsic lavas. All eruption styles exhibit a low-temperature mode at ∼300 °C; lava fountains and ‘a‘ ā flows also exhibit a higher-temperature mode at ∼700 °C. The observed differences between the temperatures are consistent with the contrasting rates at which the lava surfaces are thermally renewed. Eruption styles that allow persistent and pervasive thermal renewal of the lava surface (e.g., fractured crusts on channel-fed ‘a‘ ā flows) exhibit a bimodal temperature distribution; eruption styles that do not (e.g., the continuous skin of pāhoehoe lavas) exhibit a single mode. We conclude that insights into composition and eruption style can only be gained remotely by analyzing a large spatio-temporal sample of data. This has implications for determining composition and eruption style at the Jovian moon Io, for which no in situ validation is available.

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