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A pile of new volcano images

The NASA Earth Observatory has definitely been keeping volcanophiles busy this week with some great new images of erupting volcanoes.

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the mountain of remote sensing (or not so remote) images that get released on the internet. Over the last few days, the NASA Earth Observatory has released a bunch of images/videos of current eruptions, so I thought I’d round them all up here for you to peruse.

Soufriere Hills releasing puffs of ash-and-steam on October 6, 2009. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

Four new images in the recent past:

  • A nice, clear picture of an ash-and-steam plume from Rabaul in PNG was captured by the Terra satellite’s MODIS imager on September 30, 2009. The Tavurvur Crater at Rabaul has been steaming and sputtering away from the last few years, so plumes like this are not uncommon.
  • The two new domes at Chaiten were shot by the ALI on EO-1 on September 30, 2009. This image clearly shows the apron of pinkish rhyolite material surrounding the two new domes that are slowly filling the caldera through dome collapse pyroclastic flows and ash (and good, old-fashioned dome growth). The volcano is still putting out a healthy steam-and-ash plume as the eruption continues.
  • The now-thin, wispy plume from Shiveluch in Russia was spotted on October 3, 2009. However, the most impressive thing in the image is the pyroclastic apron on the south side of the volcano produced by this year’s eruptions. This seems to indicate that the eruptions have been very directional in terms of the pyroclastic flows produced. You can also notice one drainage on the southeast side of the volcano is distinctly grey from ash and volcaniclastic material.
  • Finally, the ash “puffs” from Soufriere Hills on Monserrat in the West Indies were captured on October 6, 2009. These puffs reached 4-6 km / 10-12,000 feet and these shots clearly show that the volcano produced them in almost-discrete events (see above) rather than a constant ash-and-steam plume.

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