Open Access

Ice Box Calorimetry: A useful method for estimating heat discharge rates through steaming ground

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03353133

DOI: 10.1186/BF03353133

Received: 7 November 2007

Accepted: 22 January 2008

Published: 4 July 2008


We developed a new technique, Ice Box Calorimetry, for estimating heat discharge rates through steaming ground. Ice within an aluminum box provides a powerful tool for measuring the total heat transfer from the ground surface, including conductive heat, convective heat, and latent heat within vapor. Using this method, we are able to rapidly measure heat discharge rates without the need for specialized apparatus. Applying Ice Box Calorimetry to the Nishiyama steaming ground at Usu volcano, Japan in September 2006, we identified local variations in heat discharge rates. The total heat discharged from the entire geothermal area in September 2006 is estimated to be 27 MW, which represents just 1% of the rate immediately following an eruption from the volcano in 2000.

Key words

Ice Box Calorimetry ice steaming ground heat discharge rate Usu volcano