The Beppu geothermal area, one of the largest spa resorts on the northeast Kyushu Island of Japan, is fed by hydrothermal fluids beneath the volcanic center of Mt. Garan and Mt. Tsurumi in the west. We explored the thermal status of the Beppu geothermal area using nighttime multisource satellite thermal infrared data (TIR) from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Landsat 8 thermal infrared scanner (TIRS) to monitor heat loss from 2009 to 2017. We also assessed heat loss from Mt. Garan fumaroles to investigate a relationship between them. The normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) threshold method of spectral emissivity, the split-window algorithm for land surface temperature (LST), and the Stefan–Boltzmann equation for radiative heat flux (RHF) were used to estimate heat loss in this study. Total heat loss increased by about a 35% trend overall from 2009 to 2015 and then declined about 33–42% in 2017 in both the Beppu geothermal area and Mt. Garan fumaroles overall. The higher thermal anomalies were found in 2015 mostly in the southeastern coastal area of the Beppu geothermal region. The highest thermal anomaly was obtained in 2011 and the lowest in 2017 within the Mt. Garan fumaroles. The areas with a higher range of RHF values were recorded in 2015 in both study areas. Finally, the results show similar patterns of heat loss and thermal anomalies in both the Beppu geothermal area and Mt. Garan fumaroles, indicating a closely connected geothermal system overall. This suggests that nighttime TIR data are effective for monitoring the thermal status of the Beppu geothermal area.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited