Volcanoes from space!

Actually, no the volcanoes aren't from space, but pictures of the volcanoes were taken from space. The NASA Earth Observatory has posted three more gems of volcanic activity taken by one of the fleet of earth imagers in orbit:


A recent image of Chaiten taken by EO-1. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

  1. There is a great image of the busy Kamchatkan Peninsula, where four volcanoes are seen erupting in a single image - Kliuchevskoi, Bezymianny, Shiveluch and Karymsky. The plume from Karymsky is especially prominent as a grey streak above the white snow of the Russian winter (albeit it already April 2 when this image was taken).
  2. The EO keeps presenting us with great shots of the Eyjafjallajökull-Fimmvörduháls eruption in Iceland. This one, taken April 4, shows both vents and the lava flows snaking down drainages out of the snow zone into the lowlands near the Fimmvörduháls Pass. Based on the activity last night, the eruption is still going strong. The Icelandic Met Office posted an image of the collected seismic data leading up to the eruption that shows the ascent of the magma as well.
  3. Finally, as we approach the 2nd anniversary of the Chaiten eruption in Chile, we have a new image (taken April 3) of the dome and surrounding landscape around the volcano. It is remarkable how much the new domes have filled in the caldera. Soon, the old caldera will no longer be a negative relief feature on the map and Chaiten will again be a "mountain" rather than a hole in the ground.

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Your Chaiten question also makes me wonder if this activity is cyclical.
1)Eruption clears plug
2)Eruption fills previous caldera
3)Climactic blast creates new caldera
4)Dormancy follows after new material plugs vent
5)go to step 1

At the rate the current caldera is filling it might not take too long to answer this! Save maybe for step #4 (9000 years was it?) The webcam shows change in the dome size everyday.

The NASA EO satellite image managements is very kind to us here. They've responded generously to a humble request for image assistance.

Thank-you so very much, NASA EO! You rock!

The dormancy time of Chaitén was later estimated in 300-450 years, but the activity could be still dangerous between eruptions.

By Guillermo (not verified) on 07 Apr 2010 #permalink