Terra Satellite Helps Measure Iceland Volcanic Plume

Apr 21, 2010
Left: a view of the ash plume from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, taken by the nadir (vertical-viewing) camera on the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. Right: a computer-analyzed map of ash plume heights, corrected to compensate for the effects of wind. Reds are highest, blue lowest. Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Terra satellite flew directly over Iceland on April 19, 2010, allowing its Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument to capture a series of images of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and its erupting ash plume.

The left panel of this image shows a view from MISR's nadir (vertical-viewing) camera, while the right panel contains a computer-analyzed map of plume heights, which have been corrected to compensate for the effects of wind. The heights are measured in meters, with red being highest and blue lowest.

The smaller streamers of the plume are just several hundred meters above the surface, whereas the main plume extends to an altitude of about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles). This is smaller than the 7.3 kilometer (4.5 mile) measured by MISR on April 14, 2010, though conditions remain highly dynamic.

Full nadir (vertical) view of the ash plume as measured by MISR.

Stereo anaglyph of the volcano ash plume, generated from MISR's nadir and 46-degree forward-viewing cameras. When viewed through 3-D glasses, the plume height can be estimated.

The accompanying images at show the full nadir view at top, and a stereo anaglyph at bottom. The anaglyph was generated from MISR's nadir and 46-degree forward-viewing cameras. When the anaglyph is viewed through 3-D glasses, the plume height can be estimated.

Explore further: Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Frances, Ivan Contribute to Hurricane Studies

Sep 16, 2004

Seen through the eyes of the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite, the menacing clouds of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan provide a wealth of information that can help improve hurricane ...

Recommended for you

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

2 hours ago

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods pack a double punch. Heavy rains and melting snow wash down the mountains together to breach riverbanks, wash out roads and flood buildings.

The Greenland Ice Sheet: Now in HD

3 hours ago

The Greenland Ice Sheet is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution satellite images ever taken of that region are making their debut. And while each individual pixel represents only one moment in time, ...

NOAA/NASA satellite sees holiday lights brighten cities

21 hours ago

Even from space, holidays shine bright. With a new look at daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, a NASA scientist and colleagues have identified how ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.