NASA radar to study Hawaii's most active volcano

Jan 10, 2012 By Alan Buis
Color-enhanced UAVSAR interferogram images of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, taken between January 2010 and May 2011. The images show the east rift zone of Kilauea, about 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) from the summit caldera. Lava has been flowing from the east rift zone, the most active part of Kilauea, since 1983. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- An airborne radar developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has returned to Hawaii to continue its study of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii's current most active volcano.

The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle , or UAVSAR, mounted in a pod under NASA's G-III from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., returned to Hawaii's Big Island on Jan. 7. The one-week airborne campaign will help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth's surface at Kilauea.

UAVSAR uses a technique called interferometry that sends pulses of from the sensor on the aircraft to the ground to detect and measure very subtle deformations in Earth's surface.

The radar will collect data over Kilauea from an altitude of about 41,000 feet (12,500 meters). UAVSAR previously studied the region in January 2010 and May 2011. Those two sets of observations successfully imaged the caused by the March 2011 fissure eruption in Kilauea's east rift zone.

Flights this month will trace the same path as the two previous years to measure deformation of the volcano since the March 2011 eruption and as part of future studies of the volcano's changing deformation patterns due to volcanic activity.

Explore further: Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate

More information: For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/feat… es/kilauea_2012.html . For more on UAVSAR, visit: uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA airborne radar set to image Hawaiian volcanoes

Apr 04, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Kilauea volcano that recently erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii will be the target for a NASA study to help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth's surface.

NASA Airborne Radar Studies Haiti Earthquake Faults

Jan 27, 2010

In response to the disaster in Haiti on Jan. 12, NASA has added a series of science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to a previously scheduled ...

Recommended for you

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

11 hours ago

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse ...

New discovery in Arctic is a very old clam

11 hours ago

The rapidly thawing Arctic Ocean may be a new frontier but some of the latest news from there concerns a clam that is believed to date back more than a million years.

Barren deserts can host complex ecosystems in their soils

11 hours ago

"Biological soil crusts" don't look like much. In fact, people often trample right over these dark, or green-tinted, sometimes raised patches in the desert soil. But these scruffy stretches can house delicate ...

Researchers on expedition to solve 'small island problem'

12 hours ago

Researchers from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering are starting their new year with an expedition to the island of South Georgia to carry out research into improving weather forecasting. You can follow the team's progress on their blog. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.