Keck observations of eruptions on Io in 2003-2005

Imke de Pater, Ashley Gerard Davies, Franck Marchis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We report observations of four energetic volcanic eruptions on Io: at Tupan Patera on UT 8 March 2003; Tung Yo Patera on UT 28 May 2004; Sui Jen Patera on UT 30 May 2004; and south of Babbar Patera on UT 31 May 2005. The Tung Yo, Sui Jen and south of Babbar Paterae eruptions are in locations where no activity had been seen before. Our observations were obtained at near-infrared wavelengths (1.2-4.7μm) with the 10-m Keck telescope equipped with adaptive optics. We report single and two-temperature blackbody fits, as well as single-component and dual-component Io Flow Model (IFM) fits (Davies, 1996, Icarus, 124, 45-61) to all four eruptions where applicable. We use 2-μm and 5-μm radiant fluxes, the 2:5-μm radiant flux ratio, and radiant flux density of each thermal source to constrain the likely style of volcanic eruption. All eruptions are characterized by a high temperature IFM component (ranging from 1475 to ∼900K) from a relatively small area (2 to several tens of km2), and a lower temperature component with a more extensive surface area. The relationship of the areas at the highest temperatures to the cooler, more extensive area is of particular importance in deriving eruption style. Model fits to the Sui Jen Patera data are strongly suggestive of lava fountaining, although not at a level consistent with a large "outburst" eruption. Activity at Tupan Patera suggests that the entire floor of the patera may have been resurfaced with silicate lava in 2003.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-296
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Infrared observations
  • Io
  • Volcanism


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