Infrared remote sensing of Earth degassing - Ground study

V. Tank, H. Pfanz, H. Gemperlein, P. Strobl


Geodynamical processes e.g., volcanoes, often cause degassing at the Earth surface. The geogas emanates via
mineral springs, water mofettes, or dry mofettes. It is assumed that the emerging gas influences the temperature
of the spring or mofette water, respectively and the surface temperature of the soil at and around the dry gas
vents. This causes a thermal anomaly in comparison to the close vicinity. Under specific conditions this effect
should be extractable from remotely acquired infrared images allowing detection, mapping and monitoring of
gas vents/springs within large areas and short times. This article describes preparatory investigations for which
emanating Earth gas was simulated by leading compressed air into the ground and releasing it in some depth via
a metal lance. The thermal effect at the surface was observed from a nearby thermovision camera in summer and
winter under varying meteorological conditions. A procedure was developed to reliably identify gas release areas
within the recorded thermal images of the scene. The investigations are aiming at studies to be performed
later in the Western Bohemia (Czech Republic) earthquake swarm region where especially CO2 of magmatic origin
from European SubContinental Mantle (ESCM) emanates.


mofettes;thermography;remote sensing;swarm earthquakes;CO2-gas emission

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X