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Nyamuragira: what the satellites say 18 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Congo (Dem. Rep.), eruptions, Nyamuragira.
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Little fresh news is coming from Africa about the eruption of Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo that began two weeks ago, but satellite data indicates that the activity is continuing.

The availability of MODIS hotspot data is affected by cloud cover, which has been considerable in the area of the volcano over recent days. However, MODIS images for 13 and 15 January shows the thermal signatures of fresh lava emissions to the east and south of Nyamuragira’s summit crater.

MODIS hotspots at Nyamuragira volcano, D. R. Congo, 13 and 15 January 2010
MODIS hotspots at Nyamuragira volcano, D. R. Congo, 13 and 15 January 2010.

The volcano has also been emitting considerable quantities of sulphur dioxide, as shown by OMI SO2 data. Significant SO2 clouds were detected on 13 and 17 January 2010.

Nyamuragira, D. R. Congo - OMI SO2 composite image 13 January 2010
Nyamuragira, D. R. Congo – OMI SO2 composite image 13 January 2010.

Nyamuragira, D. R. Congo - OMI SO2 composite image 17 January 2010
Nyamuragira, D. R. Congo – OMI SO2 composite image 17 January 2010.

For all our Nyamuragira coverage: Nyamuragira « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nyamuragira – summary information for Nyamuragira (0203-02=)

The Volcanism Blog

Hot spots at Nyiragongo 5 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Congo (Dem. Rep.), eruptions, Nyiragongo.
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The United Nations satellite programme UNOSAT has issued a bulletin (available in PDF as a low-res 1.1 MB or high-res 5.5 MB document) about MODIS-detected hot spots at Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

Analysis summary: The satellite-detected thermal anomalies on the Nyiragongo volcano are centered over the main crater and extend up to 3km along the eastern and western slopes. These thermal anomalies are likely to represent active fires and/or volcanic material on the surface of the volcano, and have been identified on six separate days over the time period 10 April – 4 May 2009. The MODIS satellite image below recorded on 4 May shows [a] volcanic eruption in progress, with a primary westerly outflow direction. This is a preliminary assessment and has not yet been validated on the ground.

The MODIS satellite image referred to in the summary is reproduced below:

Nyiragongo - MODIS satellite image, 4 May 2009

UNOSAT have also mapped the hot spot areas onto a map of the Nyiragongo area. Below is a detail of the volcano itself, showing the red outlines of areas where MODIS has detected heat sources. The full map is available via the UNOSAT links above.

Nyiragongo - UNOSAT map, 4 May 2009

There have been reports of restlessness at Nyiragongo (and its neighbour Nyamuragira) since March this year. The University of Hawaii MODVOLCS site shows thermal anomalies at Nyiragongo on several occasions during April and early May, and the SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 1-7 April 2009 gave details of lava lake activity and lava fountaining at Nyiragongo, among other signs of heightened activity. The MODIS evidence published by UNOSAT indicates that some lava has been erupted over the last 24 hours. Nyiragongo is potentially a very hazardous volcano in a densely-populated and troubled region, and future developments need to be carefully monitored.

[Imagery acknowledgements: UNOSAT, NASA, University of Maryland]

UPDATE 7 May 2009. Pierre Vetsch of the Société de Volcanologie Genève reports (see comment here) that according to a contact in Goma, Nyiragongo volcano is in a ‘normal state of activity’ with no lava eruption on the flanks.

News
Thermal Activity Detection over Nyiragongo Volcano, North Kivu, DRC – Reuters AlertNet, 5 May 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nyiragongo – summary information for Nyiragongo (0203-03=)

The Volcanism Blog

Soufrière Hills image at NASA Earth Observatory 6 January 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Caribbean, eruptions, Soufrière Hills.
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Soufriere Hills, 1 January 2009 (NASA MODIS image)

The NASA Earth Observatory has published a new image of Soufrière Hills volcano on Montserrat, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on New Year’s Day. The image shows the volcano’s plume blowing away to the west, then turning back on itself to blow to the north-east. Click here for the full-size image and accompanying commentary. (Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.)

For all our Soufrière Hills coverage: Soufrière Hills « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Soufrière Hills – information about Soufrière Hills volcano (1600-05=)
Montserrat Volcano Observatory – detailed and up-to-date information from the MVO

The Volcanism Blog

MODIS image of Soufrière Hills, 30 December 2008 5 January 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Caribbean, eruptions, Soufrière Hills.
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Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, 30 December 2008 (NASA MODIS image)

NASA’s MODIS image of the day for today, 5 January 2009, is an image of Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat captured by the Terra satellite on 30 December 2008. The image shows a thick plume being erupted by the volcano and blowing away to the south-west across the Caribbean. As always with the NASA MODIS website, the image is available in different resolutions and has an informative commentary. (Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC.)

For a report of the current activity at Soufrière Hills, see our post earlier today.

For all our Soufrière Hills coverage: Soufrière Hills « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Soufrière Hills – information about Soufrière Hills volcano (1600-05=)
Montserrat Volcano Observatory – detailed and up-to-date information from the MVO

The Volcanism Blog

Chaitén is MODIS image of the day 16 December 2008

Posted by admin in Chaitén, Chile, eruptions.
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Chaiten, 11 December 2008 (NASA MODIS image)

At NASA’s MODIS website, Chaitén is the image of the day for 14 December 2008. The image was captured by the Terra satellite on 11 December 2008 and shows a faint plume blowing westwards from the volcano, which is marked by a red hotspot outline. Significant ashfall on the surrounding landscape is clearly visible, and ash can be seen being washed into the Gulf of Corcovado from the mouth of the Chaitén river.

The image is available in three resolutions (the detail above comes from the 1 pixel = 250m image). And the informative commentary for the image includes a link to The Volcanism Blog and says nice things about us, which is much appreciated.

NASA MODIS image of the day, 14 December 2008: Chaiten volcano activity

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog

Soufrière Hills plume image at the NASA Earth Observatory 2 December 2008

Posted by admin in Caribbean, Soufrière Hills.
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NASA’s Earth Observatory has published a new image of the plume from Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat. Captured by the MODIS equipment on NASA’s Aqua satellite on 29 November 2008, the image shows the plume from Soufrière Hills drifting for 200km or so to the south-west of Montserrat.

Plume from Soufriere Hills volcano, 29 November 2008 (NASA image)

For the full picture, visit the NASA Earth Observatory: Plume from Soufriere Hills Volcano.

The Volcanism Blog

Ongoing volcanic activity in north-east Ethiopia 17 November 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Alu, Dalaffilla, eruptions, Ethiopia.
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The eruptive activity in the Afar region of north-east Ethiopia that began on 3 November is continuing, with substantial effusive lava flows visible on recent MODIS satellite images of the area. Activolcans reported yesterday the presence of ‘a very important thermal anomaly in the Alu volcanic zone, north of Erta Ale’. The MODIS images for the period 12-17 November, generated by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology hotspots website, are as follows:

MODIS images of Ethiopian eruption, 12-17 November 2008 (Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology)

Viewing the Ethiopia category will bring up previous posts from The Volcanism Blog on this eruption.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Dalaffilla – information about Dalaffilla (0201-07=)
Global Volcanism Program: Alu – information about Alu (0201-06=)
Global Volcanism Program: volcanoes of Africa (northeastern) and the Red Sea – regional list of volcanoes from the Global Volcanism Program

The Volcanism Blog

MODIS images of the Ethiopian eruption 7 November 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Dalaffilla, eruptions, Ethiopia.
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[This is an image-heavy post, so most of it is under the cut. Click on 'more' below, or on the title above, to view the whole thing.]

Except for Figure 1, the images below come from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) carried aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at the University of Hawaii has developed an automatic system that uses the infrared satellite imagery from MODIS to plot thermal anomalies in near real-time, and publishes the results on its hotspots website. The detection of thermal anomalies – hotspots – is of course one of the fundamental tools of volcano monitoring. Starting at the HIGP’s main global thermal alerts page, you can click on the part of the globe you are interested in (or select regions from a drop-down menu, or enter latitude and longitude directly) and zoom in progressively to acquire more detailed views. This post features MODIS images of the recent eruption in north-eastern Ethiopia generated by the HIGP system.

The first map below is an overview of volcanoes the Afar region of north-eastern Ethiopia (as registered by the Global Volcanism Program) from Google Earth, for reference. Below are screen captures from the Hawaii thermal alerts website, showing MODIS data for this region during the period 2-6 November 2008. This data shows the development of the hotspot associated with the eruption of 3 November, and would seem to support the contention that Dalaffilla is the volcano responsible. (Click on ‘more’ to see the MODIS images, which are under the cut.)

Figure 1. Volcanoes of the Afar region of north-eastern Ethiopia (Google Earth)
Figure 1. Volcanoes of north-eastern Ethiopia, created using Google Earth with the ‘volcanoes’ layer enabled. This layer integrates information from the Global Volcanism Program.

(more…)

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