Field temperature measurements at Erta'Ale Lava Lake, Ethiopia
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The shield volcano Erta'Ale, situated in the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia, is known for its active lava lake. In February 2001, our team visited this lake, located inside an 80-m-deep pit, to perform field temperature measurements. The distribution and variation of temperature inside the lake were obtained on the basis of infrared radiation measurements performed from the rim of the pit and from the lake shores. The crust temperature was also determined from the lake shores with a thermocouple to calibrate the pyrometer. We estimated an emissivity of the basalt of 0.74 from this experiment. Through the application of the Stefan-Boltzmann law, we then obtained an estimate of the total radiative heat flux, constrained by pyrometer measurements of the pit, and visual observations of the lake activity. Taking into account the atmospheric convective heat flux, the convected magma mass flux needed to balance the energy budget was subsequently derived and found to represent between 510 and 580 kg s–1. The surface circulation of this mass flux was also analyzed through motion processing techniques applied to video images of the lake. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00445-002-0224-3.
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