Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 105–108

Oblique photogrammetry with visible and thermal images of active lava flows

  • Mike R. James
  • Stuart Robson
  • Harry Pinkerton
  • Matthew Ball
Short Scientific Communication


Digital images from hand-held cameras are increasingly being acquired for scientific purposes, particularly where non-contact measurement is required. However, they frequently consist of oblique views with significant camera-to-object depth variations and occlusions that complicate quantitative analyses. Here, we report the use of oblique photogrammetric techniques to determine ground-based thermal camera orientations (position and pointing direction), and to generate scene information for lava flows at Mount Etna, Sicily. Multiple images from a consumer grade digital SLR camera are used to construct a topographic model and reference associated ground-based thermal imagery. We present data collected during the 2004–2005 eruption and use the derived surface model to apply viewing distance corrections (to account for atmospheric attenuation) to the thermal images on a pixel-by-pixel basis. For viewing distances of ~100 to 400 m, the corrections result in systematic changes in emissive power of up to ±3% with respect to values calculated assuming a uniform average viewing distance across an image.


Close-range photogrammetry Etna volcano Lava flows Thermal imaging 


  1. Baldi P, Bonvalot S, Briole P, Marsella M (2000) Digital photogrammetry and kinematic GPS applied to the monitoring of Vulcano Island, Aeolian Arc, Italy. Geophys J Int 142:801–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berk A, Bernstein LS, Robertson DC (1989) MODTRAN: a moderate resolution model for LOWTRAN 7. Hanscom Air Force Base, MA: Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Bedford, MA, p 38Google Scholar
  3. Burton MR, Neri M, Andronico D, Branca S, Caltabiano T, Calvari S, Corsaro RA, Del Carlo P, Lanzafame G, Lodato L, Miraglia L, Salerno G, Spampinato L (2005) Etna 2004–2005: an archetype for geodynamically-controlled effusive eruptions. Geophys Res Lett 32:L09303. DOI 10.1029/2005GL022527Google Scholar
  4. Calvari S, Spampinato L, Lodato L, Harris AJL, Patrick MR, Dehn J, Bruton MR, Andronico D (2005) Chronology and complex volcanic processes during the 2002–2003 flank eruption at Stromboli volcano (Italy) reconstructed from direct observations and surveys with a handheld thermal camera. J Geophys Res 110:B02201. DOI 10.1029/2004JB003129Google Scholar
  5. Cecchi E, van Wyk de Vries B, Lavest JM, Harris A, Davies M (2003) N-view reconstruction: a new method for morphological modelling and deformation measurement in volcanology. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 123:181–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chandler JH, Brunsden D (1995) Steady-state behavior of the Black-Ven mudslide: the application of archival analytical photogrammetry to studies of landform change. Earth Surf Process Landf 20:255–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Donegan SJ, Flynn LP (2004) Comparison of the response of the landsat 7 enhanced thematic mapper plus and the earth observing-1 advanced land imager over active lava flows. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 135:105–126. DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2003.12.010Google Scholar
  8. Granshaw SI (1980) Bundle adjustment methods in engineering photogrammetry. Photogramm Rec 10:181–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guest JE, Kilburn CRJ, Pinkerton H, Duncan AM (1987) The evolution of lava flow-fields: observations of the 1981 and 1983 eruptions of Mount Etna, Sicily. Bull Volcanol 49:527–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hidaka M, Goto A, Umino S, Fujita E (2005) VTFS project: development of the lava flow simulation code LavaSIM with a model for three-dimensional convection, spreading and solidification. Geochem Geophys Geosys 6:Q07008. DOI 10.1029/2004GC000869Google Scholar
  11. Kerle N (2002) Volume estimation of the 1998 flank collapse at Casita volcano, Nicaragua: a comparison of photogrammetric and conventional techniques. Earth Surf Process Landf 27:759–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lane SN, Chandler JH, Porfiri K (2001) Monitoring river channel and flume surfaces with digital photogrammetry. J Hydraul Eng 127:871–877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mazzarini F, Pareschi MT, Favalli M, Isola I, Tarquini S, Boschi E (2005) Morphology of basaltic lava channels during the Mt. Etna September 2004 eruption from airborne laser altimeter data. Geophys Res Lett 32:L04305. DOI 10.1029/2004GL021815Google Scholar
  14. Papadaki H (2002) Accuracy of dense surface measurements in an integrated photogrammetry and machine vision framework. Int Arch Photogram Remote Sensing 34:68–73Google Scholar
  15. Pieri D, Abrams M (2004) ASTER watches the world’s volcanoes: a new paradigm for volcanological observations from orbit. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 135:13–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Robson S, Shortis MR, Ray SF (1999) Vision metrology with super wide angle and fisheye optics. In: Videometrics VI. SPIE Volume 3641, SPIE, San Jose, pp 199–206Google Scholar
  17. Rothery DA, Francis PW, Wood CA (1988) Volcano monitoring using short wavelength infrared data from satellites. J Geophys Res 93:7993–8008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Stevens NF, Garbeil H, Mouginis-Mark PJ (2004) NASA EOS Terra ASTER: volcanic topographic mapping and capability. Remote Sens Environ 90:405–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike R. James
    • 1
  • Stuart Robson
    • 2
  • Harry Pinkerton
    • 1
  • Matthew Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Department of Geomatic EngineeringUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations