Watching the continuing Nabro eruption from space

We're still getting little in the way of news about the Nabro eruption from Eritrea - I've been looking around and the best figure I've found is that at least 3,500 people and up to 9,000 that have been effected by the eruption (and 7 deaths) at the remote caldera, although that number is likely much higher when you include people in Ethiopia as well. According to this report, the flow has covered 20 km, but I'm not sure if that means it has travelled 20 km or covers 20 square kilometers (my guess is the former). The best evidence we have of what is going on are the excellent images taken from space of the activity at Nabro - you can check out the full gallery of images from the NASA Earth Observatory. The latest image (below) shows the strong plume coming from the southern edge of the caldera along with the lava flow to the west-northwest that is still degassing - not too surprising from a hot, low viscosity basaltic lava flow. The plume is still very robust, albeit very white suggesting a lot of steam in the plume with the significant ash as well. The latest VAAC statement from Toulouse says that no ash is visible in the satellite imagery, but as recently as yesterday there was still a small plume reported over eastern Africa - and a small plume (top left) was seen in the satellite imagery last week as well.

The activity at Nabro as seen on June 24, 2011. The eruptive activity continues to have both a prominent explosive component (plume) and lava flows. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory. Click here to see a larger version.

UPDATE 2:30 PM Eastern: I've added a short wave infrared/infrared/visible composite of the Nabro eruption as well (below; again, thanks to the folks at the NASA EO) that clearly shows the lava flows to the WNW.

Short wave IR/thermal/visible composite image of the Nabro eruption as seen on June 24, 2011. Click here to see a larger version.

Top left: MODIS image of the Nabro eruption as seen on June 22, 2011. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
  • Prejudice is typically perpetrated against 'the other', i.e. a group outside our own.
  • But ageism is prejudice against ourselves — at least, the people we will (hopefully!) become.
  • Different generations needs to cooperate now more than ever to solve global problems.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less