Structure-from-motion techniques use photographs taken from different angles to reconstruct the three-dimensional shape of an object. At Kīlauea, this technique has been used to rapidly generate maps of eruption activity from aerial imagery, allowing scientists to quantify changes over time such as the volume of lava erupted and surface area covered by lava. Join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Brett Carr as he describes how structure-from-motion techniques have been applied while monitoring Kīlauea’s recent eruptions, and what we can learn from the data. This feature is presented as part of Volcano Awareness Month 2022.
Volcano Awareness Month is spearheaded by the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and provides informative and engaging public programs about the science and hazards of Hawaiian volcanoes. USGS map: Aerial visual imagery collected during an overflight of Kīlauea volcano’s summit was used to create preliminary topographic models that can be compared to pre-eruption topographic models to determine how much lava has filled the base of Halema’uma’u crater.