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Lava Flow Hazard Prediction And Monitoring With Unmanned Aerial Systems: Case Studies From The 2014-2015 Pāhoa Lava Flow Crisis, Hawai‘i

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Title:Lava Flow Hazard Prediction And Monitoring With Unmanned Aerial Systems: Case Studies From The 2014-2015 Pāhoa Lava Flow Crisis, Hawai‘i
Authors:Turner, Andrew
Contributors:Geology & Geophysics (department)
unmanned aerial systems
lava flow
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:During the 2014–2015 Pāhoa lava flow crisis on the island of Hawai‘i, we used a lowaltitude
unmanned aerial system (UAS) to quickly and repeatedly image the active front of a
slowly advancing pāhoehoe lava flow dubbed the June 27th flow. This imagery was used to
generate a series of 1 m spatial resolution bare-earth digital elevation models (DEMs) and
associated paths of steepest descent over the study area. Our updated DEM models show that
future flows in this area will likely be deflected by these 2014-2015 flows, possibly threatening
communities not directly impacted by the original 2014–2015 lava flow. Over a 4-week period,
a series of very high spatial resolution orthomosaics (0.05 m) and digital elevation models
(DEM) (0.3 m) provided new insights into the processes that control flow inflation, lava tube
growth, flow-front supply rates and subsequent breakouts. Repeated measurements of volume
showed a cumulative increase by 1.9 million m3, new supply that was partitioned between
inflation (56.5%), surface breakouts (1.4%) and lateral breakouts (42.1%). Detailed
measurements of stress cracks and overall growth rates define precursors to locate surgetriggered
breakouts. This study provides the first use of UAS to measure the combination of
inflation, volume, eruption rate, and morphological changes from high spatial resolution
imagery of an evolving flow front, parameters that are all critical to improving our
understanding of pāhoehoe behavior in both a hazards context and fundamental flow processes.
We demonstrate the value of deploying UAS during a dynamically evolving volcanic crisis
and suggest that this technology can fill critical monitoring gaps for Kīlauea and other active
volcanoes worldwide.
Description:M.S. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Geology and Geophysics

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