This natural-color satellite image from April 17 provides a look at the new eruptive phase of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. A cloud of charcoal-brown ash covers half the image. A fresh plume of ash rises over the summit, its southern face illuminated by sunlight and its northern face deeply shadowed. The ash column casts a tall shadow onto the snow-covered ground to the north. West of the plume, the ground is nearly covered by ash.
This high-resolution view of the plume was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. A wider-area view of the eruption was captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite the same day.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image at 1:50 p.m. local time on April 19. The image shows both the eruption plume and the heat signature of lava at the volcano’s summit and at nearby Fimmvörduháls, the site of a precursor eruption. The heat signature shows a rough estimate of temperature, with yellow being hottest and red coolest. The signature at Eyjafjallajökull is a concentrated circle without a river of lava, supporting the Icelandic Coast Guard’s observation that lava had not started to flow from the volcano.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory (earthobservatory.nasa.gov).
Additional satellite imagery of Eyjafjallajökull can be found at: www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/gallery/gallery_dsrs.php