Interior of Iceland's Volcano Heating Up
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April 26, 2010

Interior of Iceland's Volcano Heating Up

ASTER_19apr10_VNIR
 

High-resolution visible and thermal infrared images captured by a joint NASA-Japanese satellite sensor and compiled by University of Pittsburgh volcanologist Michael Ramsey provide the first clear glimpse of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull that has disrupted air travel worldwide since it began erupting April 14.

Ramsey, an associate professor in Pitt's Department of Geology and Planetary Science, collected images taken by NASA's Earth-orbiting Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer (ASTER) instrument showing that although the volcano's infamous ash plume is receding, its internal temperature is rising.

Ramsey is a member of the ASTER science team and specializes in remote sensors and visualization as applied to volcanoes. His work with ASTER usually centers on the north Pacific region, but the satellite was redirected to Iceland to help scientists at the Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) who cannot safely approach the volcano. Ramsey has been sharing the images with colleagues at ÍSOR and volcanologists worldwide.

Unlike standard weather-satellite images, the high-resolution pictures from ASTER can help scientists determine the plume's chemical composition and thickness, the location of lava flows, and the volcano's internal temperature, Ramsey explained.

The data can help better monitor the volcano's activity, particularly its possible triggering effect on the nearby and much larger volcano Katla, which in the ASTER images is seen as a large off-color area to the right of Eyjafjallajökull. In the past, Katla has erupted every time Eyjafjallajökull has, though the ASTER images so far show no signs of an imminent explosion, Ramsey said.

Casey Kazan via NASA

Comments

This is really a very serious issue for all of us

The two volcano's mentioned have only erupted together 3 out 25 times Not every time together.

Nice post. My friend John told me about this blog some weeks ago but this is the first time I’m visting. I’ll undoubtedly be back.

This satellite image shows very well that the level of smoke rejected by this volcano is higher that the latest gases and smoke rejections.

Nice. I've always been fascinated of these pictures. They reveal that the Earth it is slowly self destryoing itself.


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