Useful maps about volcanic activity on the Big Island of Hawaii
Map of lava flow paths and ages
I have used this in a previous post but this is a great map showing the paths of lava flows throughout the years on the big island of Hawaii. You can see how the lava flows are not actually coming directly up from the volcano itself but traveling underground in lava tubes/magma tunnels before breaking out onto the surface of the island.
Lava flow hazard zones
I found this map on the USGS website and found it very informative about how the local people of Hawaii use these type of maps to be aware of the volcanic hazards of there area. The thick, dark bands are the boundaries between the five volcanoes on the island. The colors refer to zones from the lightest color (green, white, etc.) meaning the safest zoned areas to the red being the most hazardest. Like vents or summits of volcanoes. The map is a little old, however (published in 1992).
Interments used to study the Lava Flows
GPS and observations– Scientists can use GPS to record where a lava flow is flowing or popping up. such information can be used to plot out a map of where the lava flow is, how big it is, and forecast where the flow will go next.
SO2 Detector– magma releases SO2 in the air when it gets close to the surface of the crust. this can be measured and observed by a very fine-tuned camera pointed at the area at which scientist believe magma is dwelling just below the surface.
Thermocouple device– Basically a thermometer for measuring a very specific the temperature of lava. These are only used if the lava flow is easily accessible and safe for scientists to go in and take the measurements. The data given by these sensors is very limiting however because it only is relevant to the given area you took the measurement.
Thermo Camera– If the lava or magma is too hot for a scientist to get close to the spot, a camera that measures infrared from a distance is used to measure the heat signature of the lava or magma.
Infrared Satellite Sensors– Yes! you can use satellites to collect data from volcanoes, how cool is that!?!….
If a volcano is not easily accessible or too dangerous to collect data up close. Scientists will use infrared sensors on a satellite to pick up the thermal features while they traveling over the volcano in space.
Let me know if there are any other sensors you guys can think of that would help scientists collect data from lava flows.
A few sites that helped me understand the topic better: