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MODIS true colour imagery of the Ethiopian eruption 7 November 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Alu, Dalaffilla, eruptions, Ethiopia.
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MODIS true colour imagery of the Ethiopian eruption from NASA’s Terra satellite can be found at this link. Click on the links within the page for enlargements.

2008/309 - 04 Nov 0735 UTC - volcanic eruption in Ethiopia (NASA Terra MODIS image)

Above, NASA Terra MODIS true colour imagery of volcanic eruption in Ethiopia, 4 November 2008 (1km per pixel). Red area marks the thermal anomaly. Below, detail showing a close-up of the area of the eruption (250m per pixel).

2008/309 - 04 Nov 0735 UTC - volcanic eruption in Ethiopia (NASA Terra MODIS image). Detail view.

The question now is whether we are looking at Alu or Dalaffilla in eruption, or some fissure in between? The Global Volcanism Program has the following summary on its main page, reflecting the inconclusive nature of the current evidence:

An eruption of a volcano N of Erta Ale in Ethiopia’s Afar region began on 3 November. Satellite imagery showed a large sulfur dioxide cloud that drifted E over the Arabian Peninsula. Extensive thermal anomalies near Alu and Dalaffilla volcanoes were also detected presumably indicating lava flows. According to news articles, observers reported ground shaking, hearing loud noises and explosions from a distance, and seeing smoke. Thermal anomalies continued to be detected during 3-6 November.

We are promised ASTER imagery from NASA within the next few days, which may help to clear the matter up.

Thanks to Robert Simmons of NASA for information received.

The Volcanism Blog