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The Soufrière Hills dome collapse of 11 February 2010 from space 15 February 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Caribbean, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory, Soufrière Hills.
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UPDATE 16 February 2010. The image of Soufrière Hills discussed below is today’s Image of the Day at the NASA Earth Observatory.

Many thanks to Robert Simmon of the NASA Earth Observatory who forwarded this image (other versions at various pixel sizes available at NASA’s Rapid Response site) of the Lesser Antilles captured by the MODIS aboard NASA’s Terra satellite at 17:20 UTC on 11 February 2010 – just in time to catch the dome collapse event of that day at Soufrière Hills volcano on Montserrat. A cropped and labelled version of the image is below.

Soufriere Hills, 11 February 2010 (NASA Aqua MODIS image)

The dense, ashy plume thrown up by the dome collapse is clearly visible, piling up over Montserrat and trending to the east. The event began at about 17:00 UTC according to Washington VAAC, so when this image was captured the plume had not yet made its way far across the ocean. Subsequently ashfall from this event occurred to the south-east, in Guadeloupe and Dominica, and in Martinique, St Lucia and Barbados. The ash caused extensive disruption including flight cancellations. Ash from earlier activity can be seen floating on the surface of the sea to the north and east of Montserrat, producing a faint grey-green stain.

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 – the MVO’s information-rich website

The Volcanism Blog

Fukutoku-Okanoba at the NASA Earth Observatory 12 February 2010

Posted by admin in Fukutoku-Okanoba, Japan, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts (NASA Terra image, 9 February 2010)

Undersea volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba in the Japanese Volcano Islands erupted a few days ago, producing steam and ash, and discolouring the surrounding water. The NASA Earth Observatory has two nice images of this event captured on 9 and 11 February 2010. The first (detail above) was captured by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite on 9 February 2010, while the second (detail below) comes from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite and was captured on 11 February 2010.

Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts (NASA EO-1 image, 11 February 2010)

(Thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory team for citing this blog as a source.)

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Fukutoku-Okanoba – information from the GVP about Fukutoku-Okanoba (0804-13=)

The Volcanism Blog

New Soufrière Hills image at the NASA Earth Observatory 5 February 2010

Posted by admin in Caribbean, NASA Earth Observatory, Soufrière Hills.
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Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, 31 January 2010 (NASA Aqua MODIS image)

NASA’s Earth Observatory has been following the Soufrière Hills eruption with a great collection of fascinating images since the volcano saw a resurgence of activity in the autumn of 2009. The latest image is a crystal-clear shot from the MODIS aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite, captured on 31 January 2010 (detail above), showing the light-grey ash cloud produced by the active Soufrière Hills lava dome swirling around Montserrat to the north and west. Recent activity has seen most of the island affected by ashfall, according to reports from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.

Soufriere Hills volcano continues activity – NASA Earth Observatory, 2 February 2010

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 – comprehensive news and information from the MVO

The Volcanism Blog

Unrest at Turrialba: new NASA image, and an overflight 27 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Costa Rica, NASA Earth Observatory, Turrialba, volcanoes.
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Unrest at Turrialba volcano, Costa Rica, 21 January 2010 (NASA EO-1 ALI image)

The image above, from the NASA Earth Observatory, shows ongoing activity at Turrialba volcano, Costa Rica, captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 21 January 2010. The damage caused to vegetation to the west of the volcano’s summit by acidic gas emissions is clearly visible. Hazy grey-blue fumes can be seen drifting north from the active summit crater, which is the westernmost of Turrialba’s three craters.

The current cycle of activity at Turrialba began in 2007 with an increase in fumarolic emissions and the opening of cracks in the summit area. Turrialba’s gas emissions caused severe problems for local agricultural communities during 2008 and 2009 because of acid burning of vegetation: crops have been damaged, and pasture for livestock has also been affected. On 5 January 2010 there was a small eruption, the first since 1866. Gas emissions fell in the aftermath of the eruption, but have increased again subsequently.

Turrialba volcano from the NE, 20 January 2010 (E. Duarte, OVSICORI-UNA)
View of Turrialba volcano from the NE, showing the plume being produced from the new cavity opened by the recent activity. Photograph taken by E. Duarte on 20 January 2010 (OVSICORI-UNA).

On 20 January 2010 an overflight of Turrialba took place (OVSICORI report PDF here) which reported a ‘revitalization of the column of gas and steam with suspended particles’. The photograph above was taken during this overflight. A sustained emission was reported on that day, with a thick, dark plume from the summit moving WNW, the strong wind preventing the plume from rising much above the altitude of the volcano. Some light ashfall was reported in areas near the volcano. ‘Although the transport and distribution of volcanic particles (old ash) is a new occurrence for this eruptive period of Turrialba volcano’, notes the report, ‘the minimal quantity carried this morning could be the first of much more in the near future’ as material eroded from the internal walls of the active conduit is carried up into the plume.

For all our coverage of Turrialba: Turrialba « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Turrialba – summary information for Turrialba (1405-07=)
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica – Ovsicori website
Volcán Turrialba – information from Ovsicori
Turrialba webcam – Ovsicori’s webcam at Turrialba’s summit
Monitoreo Volcanico (Red Sismológica Nacional) – volcano monitoring updates from the Costa Rican national seismological network

The Volcanism Blog

NASA Earth Observatory: Soufrière Hills valleys and debris deposits 8 January 2010

Posted by admin in Caribbean, NASA Earth Observatory, Soufrière Hills.
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Soufriere Hills volcano resumes activity (NASA EO-1 image, 29 December 2009)

Image of the day for 7 January 2010 at the NASA Earth Observatory is this view of Soufrière Hills volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 29 December 2009.

The image clearly shows how the deposits from the debris flows radiating out from the summit of Soufrière Hills have descended the major drainage channels in the flanks of the volcano and filled them with volcanic deposits. North is to the right in this image; the prominent debris fan in the middle of the southern coast (on the left) is formed by volcanic material deposited by pyroclastic flows that have followed the channel of the White River Valley.

Soufriere Hills volcano resumes activity – NASA Earth Observatory, 7 January 2010

(To go off-topic for a moment, the NASA Earth Observatory image of the day for today is a Terra MODIS view of the green and pleasant land in which I happen to live.)

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 – comprehensive news and information from the MVO

The Volcanism Blog

Mayon at the NASA Earth Observatory 16 December 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Mayon, NASA Earth Observatory, Philippines.
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Quick work from the NASA Earth Observatory team: they have posted an image of Mayon captured yesterday, 15 December 2009, by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. A plume is visible emerging from Mayon’s summit crater and blowing away to the west. The close proximity of the volcano to the city of Legazpi and surrounding settlements is clearly shown.

The upper picture is the entire image with labels as shown on the Earth Observatory site, while the lower is a detail of Mayon taken from the full-size image (2 MB, 1482 x 1482 pixels):

Mayon volcano, 15 December 2009 (NASA EO-1 image)

Mayon volcano, 15 December 2009 (NASA EO-1 image, detail)

[NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team.]

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

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Mayon – summary information for Mayon (0703-03=)
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology – website for Phivolcs, when it’s working

The Volcanism Blog

Vanuatu’s volcanoes at the NASA Earth Observatory 9 December 2009

Posted by admin in Ambrym, Gaua, NASA Earth Observatory, Pacific, Vanuatu.
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Vanuatu, showing Gaua and Ambrym volcanoes, 3 December 2009 (NASA MODIS image)

This image, from the NASA Earth Observatory (click on the image to view the original full-size version) shows the northern part of the Republic of Vanuatu in the south-west Pacific. It was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite on 3 December 2009 and shows two currently active Vanuatu volcanoes: Ambrym (bottom right) and Gaua (top left). Detail views of both are shown below.

The current eruptive phase at Ambrym, which has a history of frequent eruptions over the last 2000 years or so, began in May 2008; an earlier Earth Observatory image showed an instance of the vog that Ambrym’s sulphur dioxide emissions can produce. Gaua, meanwhile, which last erupted in 1982, has been restless since the autumn of this year: evacuations were recently ordered when gas and ash emissions from its active cone (Mt Garat) were making life impossible for the inhabitants of nearby villages. Another very active Vanuatu volcano, Yasur, is out of shot to the south.

Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu, 3 December 2009 (NASA MODIS image detail)
Above: Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu, emitting a thin plume to the west on 3 December 2009.

Gaua volcano, Vanuatu, 3 December 2009 (NASA MODIS image detail)
Above: Gaua or Santa Maria island and Gaua volcano, Vanuatu, on 3 December 2009. The lake partially filling the 6 x 9 km caldera has developed a crescent shape because of the construction of the currently active cone of Mt Garat. The brown marking on the western side of the island shows where recent gas emissions from Mt Garat have caused damage to vegetation.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Ambrym – summary information for Ambrym (0507-04=)
Global Volcanism Program: Gaua – summary information for Gaua (0507-02=)
Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory – official Vanuatu geohazards website
Vanuatu volcanoes and volcanics – information from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

The Volcanism Blog

El Misti at the NASA Earth Observatory 2 November 2009

Posted by admin in El Misti, NASA Earth Observatory, natural hazards, Peru.
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El Misti volcano and Arequipa, Peru, 16 October 2009 (NASA astronaut photograph)

The Peruvian volcano El Misti is very close to the country’s second city of Arequipa: just 17 km separates the city with its ~1 million inhabitants from the volcano’s crater. The image above, a mosaic of two ISS astronaut photographs that is today’s Image of the Day at the NASA Earth Observatory, shows the potentially dangerous relationship clearly. Larger versions of the image, and a full commentary, are available over at the Earth Observatory. There is, however, no scale bar on the Earth Observatory images, so I have added one to the small version above.

El Misti Volcano and Arequipa, Peru – NASA Earth Observatory (2 November 2009)

[Astronaut photographs ISS021-E-8370 and ISS021-E-8371 were acquired on 16 October 2009 by the Expedition 21 crew. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.]

Information
Global Volcanism Program: El Misti – summary information for El Misti (1504-01=)
Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico – Geological, Mineral and Metallurgical Institute of Peru (Ingemmet)

The Volcanism Blog

A plume from Sakura-jima 30 October 2009

Posted by admin in Japan, NASA Earth Observatory, Sakura-jima.
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Plume from Sakura-jima, 30 October 2009

Sakura-jima on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu is one of the most active volcanoes on earth: there is nearly always a current Volcanic Ash Advisory reporting explosions and emissions from its Minami-dake summit cone, which has been the focus of eruptive activity for about 5000 years.

Sakura-jima sits in Kagoshima Bay, the northern portion of which is formed by Aira Caldera, created in a very large eruption ~22,000 years ago. The volcano has developed on the southern edge of the caldera, and was an island until erupted material joined it to the Osumi Peninsula to the east during the major eruption of 1914. On the western rim, meanwhile, sits the city of Kagoshima, population 600,000.

In the image above, captured by NASA’s Terra satellite on 30 October 2009, Sakura-jima is releasing a grey ashy plume which crosses the Satsuma Peninsula to the west of the volcano and spreads out over the East China Sea. The plume crosses directly over the city of Kagoshima, where ashfall from Sakura-jima is a frequent occurence. The general haziness of the image is not the result of the eruption, but of air pollution blowing over from China.

Click here to see the original uncropped image (1 pixel = 250 m) at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. Many thanks to Robert Simmon of the NASA Earth Observatory for providing this image.

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila at the NASA Earth Observatory 29 October 2009

Posted by admin in Colombia, NASA Earth Observatory, Nevado del Huila.
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Ash emissions at Nevado del Huila, 28 October 2009 (NASA MODIS image)

Yesterday NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia and captured this MODIS image which has just been speedily published by the NASA Earth Observatory. Grey ash emissions can be seen rising from the volcano’s summit and dispersing to the north-west. The image is accompanied by an informative caption by Robert Simmon giving the background on Huila’s recent activity (and referencing this blog, which is much appreciated).

Ash emissions at Nevado del Huila – NASA Earth Observatory (29 October 2009)

[NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, Goddard Space Flight Center.]

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