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: Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate

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

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

14 hours ago

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse ...

New discovery in Arctic is a very old clam

15 hours ago

The rapidly thawing Arctic Ocean may be a new frontier but some of the latest news from there concerns a clam that is believed to date back more than a million years.

Barren deserts can host complex ecosystems in their soils

15 hours ago

"Biological soil crusts" don't look like much. In fact, people often trample right over these dark, or green-tinted, sometimes raised patches in the desert soil. But these scruffy stretches can house delicate ...

Researchers on expedition to solve 'small island problem'

15 hours ago

Researchers from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering are starting their new year with an expedition to the island of South Georgia to carry out research into improving weather forecasting. You can follow the team's progress on their blog. ...

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.