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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.

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