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NASA to Observe Lava Flow Patterns on Big Island – Looking to Unlock Mysteries of Coral Reefs and Volcanoes

NASA is hosting a media day on Feb. 8 in O’ahu, Hawaii, to spotlight two field campaigns that seek to unlock some of the mysteries behind two of Hawaii’s treasured natural resources: coral reefs and volcanoes.

Starting Feb. 10, NASA will fly its Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN) on a Gulfstream III aircraft to observe lava flow patterns at Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island.

This month, scientists begin collecting data on coral reef health and volcanic emissions and eruptions with NASA’s Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) preparatory airborne mission onboard the high-altitude ER-2 aircraft. Starting Feb. 10, NASA will fly its Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN) on a Gulfstream III aircraft to observe lava flow patterns at Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The event will be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii from 1 to 4 p.m. HST and will feature briefings by volcano and coral reef scientists and tours of the ER-2 aircraft. Mission personnel will discuss the HyspIRI science instruments and different data collection methods, including an autonomous kayak for coral reef research, and describe how NASA uses field research in developing future Earth-observing space missions.

ER-2 aircraft

This event is restricted to U.S. media. Reporters planning to attend must contact Kate Squires at 661-276-2020 or kate.k.squires@nasa.gov no later than noon PST on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The data collected from the HyspIRI has the capacity to support a potential future satellite mission to study the world’s ecosystems and provide information on natural disasters. GLISTIN provides data critical to understanding and modeling ice sheets, how fast they are changing, and what are the driving processes controlling these changes. These field campaigns are examples of how NASA collects data from space, air, land and sea to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science programs, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/earth

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