Satellite Radar Captures Eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano
On March 5, 2011, a large fissure eruption began on the east rift zone of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. This satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar image was created by Paul Lundgren of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using data acquired from the Italian Space Agency's (ASI) constellation of COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites. The image depicts the relative deformation of Earth's surface at Kilauea between Feb. 11, 2011 and March 7, 2011 two days following the start of the recent eruption. Surface displacements are seen as contours (or 'fringes'), where each color cycle represents 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inches) of surface motion. The circular pattern of concentric fringes toward the left represent deflation of the magma source beneath Kilauea caldera. The complex pattern toward the right represents the deformation caused by the volcanic dike intrusion and subsequent fissure eruption taking place along the east rift zone. The upcoming NASA UAVSAR flights over Kilauea will use similar technology to study surface deformation at the volcano.
Image credit: ASI/NASA/JPL-Caltech