Satellite looks down the eye of erupting Nabro Volcano

Jun 28, 2011 By Nancy Atkinson
This false color satellite image shows active lava flows of the Nabro volcano in Eritrea on June 24, 2011. Credit: the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

Wow! What an amazing and detailed top-down view of an active volcano! This is the Nabro Volcano, which has been erupting since June 12, 2011. It sits in an isolated region on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia and satellite remote sensing is currently the only reliable way to monitor the ongoing eruption, according to the NASA Earth Observatory website. The bright red portions of the false-color image (above) indicate hot surfaces. See below for a zoomed-in look. Both images were taken by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

Robert Simmon of the Earth Observatory website describes the scenes:

Hot volcanic ash glows above the vent, located in the center of Nabro’s caldera. To the west of the vent, portions of an active lava flow (particularly the front of the flow) are also hot. The speckled pattern on upstream portions of the flow are likely due to the cool, hardened crust splitting and exposing fluid lava as the flow advances. The bulbous blue-white cloud near the vent is likely composed largely of escaping water vapor that condensed as the plume rose and cooled. The whispy, cyan clouds above the lava flow are evidence of degassing from the lava.

The natural-color image (lower) shows a close-up view of the volcanic plume and eruption site. A dark ash plume rises directly above the vent, and a short, inactive (cool) lava flow partially fills the crater to the north. A gas plume, rich in water and sulfur dioxide (which contributes a blue tint to the edges of the plume) obscures the upper reaches of the active lava flow. Black ash covers the landscape south and west of Nabro.

This natural-color image shows a close-up view of the volcanic plume and eruption site of the Nabro volcano. Credit: the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite

Limited reports from the region say that at least 3,500 people and up to 9,000 that have been effected by the eruption, with at least 7 deaths caused by the erupting . The ash has also disrupted flights in the region.

Explore further: Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Satellite Eyes Iceland Volcano Cauldron

Apr 19, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- On Saturday, April 17, 2010, the Hyperion instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft obtained this pair of images of the continuing eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull ...

Volcano taming

Jun 05, 2008

Could macro-scale chemical engineering be used to stop a volcanic lava flow in its tracks and save potentially thousands of lives and homes when the next eruption occurs? That's the question R.D. Schuiling of Geochem Research ...

Scientists eye glowing volcano crater in Hawaii

Jun 07, 2009

(AP) -- The summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is glowing brightly as molten lava swirls 300 feet below its crater's floor, bubbling near the surface after years of spewing from the volcano's side.

Recommended for you

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

Apr 18, 2014

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

European climate at the +2 C global warming threshold

A global warming of 2 C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change.

Atom probe assisted dating of oldest piece of earth

(Phys.org) —It's a scientific axiom: big claims require extra-solid evidence. So there were skeptics in 2001 when University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience professor John Valley dated an ancient crystal ...