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Puyehue Cordón Caulle at the NASA Earth Observatory 9 March 2012

Posted by admin in Chile, NASA Earth Observatory, natural hazards, Puyehue.
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The eruption under way at the Puyehue Cordón Caulle volcanic complex in Chile, which began in June 2011 and which caused large-scale evacuations and much disruption last year, may yet reach its first anniversary but appears to be waning. The NASA Earth Observatory has published images of the volcano captured in February and March 2012 which show a small diffuse plume, much reduced from the voluminous ashy emissions that were causing so many difficulties across South America and further afield last year. Click on the image below (MODIS/Terra image, 7 March 2012) to go to the article at the NASA Earth Observatory.

Puyehue Cordon Caulle, 7 March 2012 (NASA MODIS/Terra image).

As the Earth Observatory article points out, although ash levels are much reduced the legacy of Puyehue’s emissions remains for the local environment, with vegetation killed and lakes coated in floating particulates. An article at the Nature News Blog discusses some of the effects of the eruption on regional ecosystems. Recovery will of course occur, as the article recognizes, ending with the confident prediction by an Argentinian scientist that ‘the ecosystems will recover in due course’. Indeed, it is somewhat anthropocentric to talk, as the Nature News article does, of volcanic ash ‘disrupting’ local ecosystems when volcanoes are themselves a part of those systems.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle – NASA Earth Observatory, 9 March 2012
Chilean volcano’s ash is still disrupting ecosystems – Nature News Blog, 22 February 2012

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Eruption in the Red Sea: images from the NASA Earth Observatory 1 March 2012

Posted by admin in NASA Earth Observatory, Red Sea, Yemen.
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Volcanoes reshape the surface of the Earth all the time , but their influence is demonstrated in particularly dramatic form when new islands are created by volcanic activity. There’s been an interesting example this kind of event over the new year in the southern Red Sea, among the Zubair islands off the west coast of Yemen. The eruption seems to have begun on or around 19 December 2011 and to have lasted for nearly a month, ceasing by 15 January 2012, by which time a new island had been added to the Zubair archipelago (‘Throw away that shiny new atlas you got for Christmas – it’s already out of date’, was the engaging comment of the New Scientist‘s ‘Short Sharp Science’ blog).

This event was well reported by Erik Klemetti at Eruptions and Joe Bauwens (who, like me, has studied geosciences with the Open University) at Sciency Thoughts, and I have given links to their reports below. The main point of this post is to showcase the wonderful images of the eruption available through the NASA Earth Observatory. The following images trace the progress of the eruption from late December: in each case click on the image to go to the original report at the Earth Observatory.

Volcanic activity in the Zubair archipelago, Red Sea, 23 December 2011. EO-1 ALI image (NASA).
This image was captured by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s EO-1 satellite on 23 December 2011, a few days after the eruption was first observed. A thick plume can be seen rising from the new island created by the volcanic activity.

Volcanic activity in the Zubair archipelago, Red Sea, 7 January 2012. EO-1 ALI image (NASA).
A detail view from another EO-1 ALI image, this one captured on 7 January 2012, shows that the newly-created island has grown in size, with steam and ash (and considerable sulphur dioxide) streaming away northwards.

Volcanic activity in the Zubair archipelago, Red Sea, 15 January 2012. EO-1 ALI image (NASA).
On 15 January 2012 the EO-1 ALI captured this image of the new island, showing that the eruptive activity had ceased by this date.

Volcanic activity in the Zubair archipelago, Red Sea, 15 February 2012. Landsat 7 ETM+ image (NASA).
This detail from an image captured by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on Landsat-7 shows the new addition to the archipelago, crater clearly visible (with perhaps a small crater lake inside it), on 15 February 2012.

The Red Sea is a very tectonically active place. Here the African and Arabian plates are pulling away from each other and new oceanic crust is being created. The rifts associated with this process feed the volcanism of Eritrea and Ethiopia on the western side of the Red Sea and that of the Arabian peninsula on the eastern side, as well as the volcanic activity beneath the Red Sea itself that sometimes breaks the surface in the form of islands.

News
Potential eruption off the coast of YemenEruptions, 19 December 2011
Eruption in the Zubair Archipelago in the southern Red Sea – Sciency Thoughts, 22 December 2011
New Red Sea volcanic island – Olelog, 28 December 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Zubair Group – summary information for the Zubair Group (0201-02=)

The Volcanism Blog

Images of the Nabro eruption (updated) 22 June 2011

Posted by admin in Africa, Eritrea, eruptions, Nabro, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Just a quick post to draw your attention to some images of the Nabro eruption in Eritrea.

Nabro eruption 01

Nabro eruption 02

Many thanks to Martin Rey, who left a comment at an earlier post giving a link to some screen captures he obtained from local TV station Eri.TV of the Nabro eruption. The pictures seem to show the plume from ground level, lava flows, vegetation on fire, and relief/evacuation operations. Two are reproduced above: the whole set of 23 can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/triart3d/NABRO

UPDATE. And here’s the video itself at earthquake-report.com’s cumulative and now immensely long posting on the Nabro eruption, and at YouTube. Chris Rowan talks about the seismic aspect of the eruption at Highly Allocthonous in a very illuminating post on Seismo-volcanism in Eritrea. And for analysis and discussion of what Nabro is up to (and might get up to in the future), check out Erik’s comprehensive and enlightening new post at Eruptions: Speculating on the 2011 Nabro eruption in Eritrea.

Nabro eruption 19 June 2011 (NASA/Terra)

And there’s a fascinating picture of a lava flow from Nabro at the NASA Earth Observatory (above), captured by ASTER on the Terra satellite: Eruption at Nabro volcano.

More on Nabro later, time permitting.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nabro – summary information for Nabro (0201-101)

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Nabro volcano before the eruption, at the NASA Earth Observatory 20 June 2011

Posted by admin in Africa, Eritrea, Nabro, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Image of the Day at the NASA Earth Observatory for 20 June 2011 is this photograph of Nabro caldera before the current eruption. The image was captured by an astronaut on the International Space Station on 30 January 2011 (we had a preview of the image here last week, thanks to our friends at NASA).

Astronaut photograph of Nabro caldera, 30 January 2011 (ISS/NASA)

The horseshoe shape of the caldera, opening to the south-west, is clearly visible, with cinder cones to the west (lying between Nabro caldera and its neighbour, Mallahle) and their dark lava flows. There is also evidence of human habitation in the western part of the caldera, with fields, houses and paths discernible in the high definition image. The area is perhaps not so desolate and barren as some reports have suggested. One can only hope that those living nearby received enough warning from the precursory earthquakes to get themselves clear before the eruption began.

Click on the image to go to the original at the NASA Earth Observatory.

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Puyehue-Cordón Caulle at the NASA Earth Observatory 8 June 2011

Posted by admin in Chile, eruptions, images, NASA Earth Observatory, Puyehue.
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The NASA Earth Observatory has been showcasing some stunning images of the current Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption in southern Chile (coverage here and at Eruptions). Reduced-size previews are given below: click on the image to go to NASA’s originals at the Earth Observatory site.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption: MODIS image from NASA's Aqua satellite, 4 June 2011 (NASA)

Above: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption, MODIS image from NASA’s Aqua satellite, 4 June 2011 (NASA).

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption: MODIS image from NASA's Terra satellite, 6 June 2011 (NASA)

Above: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption, MODIS image from NASA’s Terra satellite, 6 June 2011 (NASA).

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption: GOES-East/MODIS image, 6 June 2011 (NASA)

Above: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption, GOES-East/MODIS image, 6 June 2011 (NASA).

As always at the Earth Observatory, the images are accompanied by detailed and informative captions, with lots of links to reliable sources of further information and explanation.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex – summary information for the PCCVC (1507-15=)

The Volcanism Blog

Syria’s Es Safa Volcanic Field at the NASA Earth Observatory 21 September 2010

Posted by admin in Es Safa, Middle East, NASA Earth Observatory, Syria.
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For various reasons ranging from the geographical to the geopolitical the volcanoes of the Middle East are relatively little-known, so it’s always interesting to find out more about the volcanic features of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria. The NASA Earth Observatory is featuring a volcanic field from Syria as its Image of the Day for 20 September 2010: the Es Safa Volcanic Field, which is in southern Syria, about 80 km east of Damascus.

Rather surprisingly there is no scale with the image, but the area shown is 45 km x 30 km, and the width of the lava field in the centre of the image measured from north-west to south-east (north is top left in this image) is about 17 km.

NASA Earth Observatory: Es Safa Volcanic Field, Syria (Image of the Day, 20 September 2010)

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Es Safa Volcanic Field – summary information for Es Safa (0300-05-)

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Central Andes volcanic landscapes at the NASA Earth Observatory 9 September 2010

Posted by admin in Chile, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Volcanic Landscapes, Central Andes : Image of the Day

At the NASA Earth Observatory there’s a spectacular astronaut photograph taken on 22 August 2010 of part of the volcanic landscape of the central Andes, on the border between Chile and Argentina. Among the volcanoes visible are Cerro el Cóndor, Peinado and Nevado Ojos del Salado, the world’s highest active volcano with a summit 6,887 metres a.s.l. This is a highly active volcanic region and the image reveals a fascinating and complex landscape of volcanic creation and erosive destruction, which is expertly discussed in the accompanying NASA caption.

NASA Earth Observatory: Volcanic landscapes, central Andes (Image of the Day, 6 September 2010)

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Continuing Gaua activity at the NASA Earth Observatory 27 April 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Gaua, NASA Earth Observatory, Pacific, Vanuatu, volcanoes.
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Eruption of Gaua Volcano, 24 April 2010 (NASA ALI/EO-1 image)

As reported here last week, activity is continuing at Gaua volcano in Vanuatu, with the government planning for evacuations of Gaua Island. The NASA Earth Observatory has been providing some excellent satellite imagery of Gaua, most recently the above image, captured on 24 April 2010 by the Advanced Land Imager aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. The brown areas on the left of the image, to the west and south-west of the volcano, show where volcanic emissions and ashfall have damaged and killed vegetation.

The world is paying little attention to the activity at Gaua, but it is shaping up to be a very nasty, hazardous and disruptive eruption. Ashfall, poisonous gases, volcanic bombs and mudflows are being produced by the active cone, Mount Garet, and emissions are tainting local crops and water supplies. Rising water levels in the crater have been reported, increasing the risk of still more dangerous mudflows. The population of Gaua has already had to abandon the western side of the island and seek refuge in the east, away from the worst of the volcano’s ash and fumes, but as the activity increases they may have to evacuate completely. Radio Australia News quotes Vanuatu Geohazards Technical Advisor: ‘The current risk is mainly ash falls and then mudflows. It’s true that we have an increase in activity but not like a level 3. Evacuation is ready the plan is ready the location is ready, it’s a very tough situation for the local population of Gaua, they’re scared they’re afraid, it’s a very new situation for them’.

The alert level for Gaua is still at level 2, according to the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory.

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

News
Vanuatu volcano may force evacuationsSydney Morning Herald, 20 April 2010
Vanuatu volcano taints water suppliesSydney Morning Herald, 21 April 2010
Vanuatu authorities monitor Gaua volcano – Radio Australia News, 23 April 2010
South Seas volcano threatens thousands – Earthweek, 23 April 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Gaua – summary information for Gaua (0507-02=)
Vanuatu volcanoes and volcanics – information from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory
Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory – home page for geohazards monitoring in Vanuatu

The Volcanism Blog

More Eyjafjallajökull images at the NASA Earth Observatory 20 April 2010

Posted by admin in eruptions, Eyjafjöll, Iceland, NASA Earth Observatory.
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The NASA Earth Observatory is doing a superb job in speedily bringing us stunning images of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption from space. Some recent highlights:

Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption, 19 April 2010 (NASA image, MODIS/Terra)
Eyjafjallajökull volcano ash plume taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, 19 April 2010.

Eyjafjallajokull eruption, 17 April 2010 (NASA image, ALI/EO-1)
Detailed view of ash plume at Eyjafjallajökull volcano captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 17 April 2010.

Eyjafjallajokull eruption, 17 April 2010 (NASA image, MODIS/Aqua)
Thick ash pouring from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in an image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired, like the image above, on 17 April 2010.

For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Eyjafjöll – summary information for Eyjafjallajökull, which the GVP calls Eyjafjöll (1702-02=)

The Volcanism Blog

Ash across the sea: Eyjafjallajökull’s plume at the NASA Earth Observatory 15 April 2010

Posted by admin in Eyjafjöll, Iceland, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Ash plume across the North Atlantic (NASA Terra MODIS image 15 April 2010)

A dramatic new image at the NASA Earth Observatory shows the reach of the ongoing Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The image, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on 15 April 2010, shows the brown ash-heavy plume produced by the eruption stretching south-eastwards across the Atlantic from Iceland (top left) to the Shetlands (bottom right). This is the ash that has been disrupting air traffic across northern Europe today.

Ash plume across the North Atlantic – NASA Earth Observatory, 15 April 2010

For more dramatic satellite imagery, see Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland (NASA Earth Observatory) and The Big Picture: Volcanic ash (BBC News).

The Volcanism Blog