Bulletin of Volcanology

, 78:53 | Cite as

High spatio-temporal resolution observations of crater lake temperatures at Kawah Ijen volcano, East Java, Indonesia

  • Jennifer L. Lewicki
  • Corentin Caudron
  • Vincent J. van Hinsberg
  • George E. Hilley
Research Article


The crater lake of Kawah Ijen volcano, East Java, Indonesia, has displayed large and rapid changes in temperature at point locations during periods of unrest, but measurement techniques employed to date have not resolved how the lake’s thermal regime has evolved over both space and time. We applied a novel approach for mapping and monitoring variations in crater lake apparent surface (“skin”) temperatures at high spatial (∼32 cm) and temporal (every 2 min) resolution at Kawah Ijen on 18 September 2014. We used a ground-based FLIR T650sc camera with digital and thermal infrared (TIR) sensors from the crater rim to collect (1) a set of visible imagery around the crater during the daytime and (2) a time series of co-located visible and TIR imagery at one location from pre-dawn to daytime. We processed daytime visible imagery with the Structure-from-Motion photogrammetric method to create a digital elevation model onto which the time series of TIR imagery was orthorectified and georeferenced. Lake apparent skin temperatures typically ranged from ∼21 to 33 °C. At two locations, apparent skin temperatures were ∼4 and 7 °C less than in situ lake temperature measurements at 1.5 and 5-m depth, respectively. These differences, as well as the large spatio-temporal variations observed in skin temperatures, were likely largely associated with atmospheric effects such as the evaporative cooling of the lake surface and infrared absorption by water vapor and SO2. Calculations based on orthorectified TIR imagery thus yielded underestimates of volcanic heat fluxes into the lake, whereas volcanic heat fluxes estimated based on in situ temperature measurements (68 to 111 MW) were likely more representative of Kawah Ijen in a quiescent state. The ground-based imaging technique should provide a valuable tool to continuously monitor crater lake temperatures and contribute insight into the spatio-temporal evolution of these temperatures associated with volcanic activity.


Thermal infrared camera Volcanic lake Structure-from-Motion Heat flux Kawah Ijen 



We thank R.G. Vaughan and two anonymous reviewers for the constructive reviews of this manuscript and the Center for Volcanology and Geologic Hazard Mitigation of Indonesia’s Geological Agency for support in the field. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

Supplementary material (19.9 mb)
ESM 1 (MOV 20387 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Lewicki
    • 1
  • Corentin Caudron
    • 2
  • Vincent J. van Hinsberg
    • 3
  • George E. Hilley
    • 4
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Bullard LaboratoriesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Geological and Environmental SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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