Ash and Steam, Soufriere Hills Volcano, Monserrat
International Space Station crew members are regularly alerted to dynamic
events on the Earth’s surface. On request from scientists on the ground, the
ISS crew observed and recorded activity from the summit of Soufriere Hills on
March 20, 2002. These two images provide a context view of the island (bottom)
and a detailed view of the summit plume (top). When the images were taken, the
eastern side of the summit region experienced continued lava growth, and reports
posted on the Smithsonian Institution’s Weekly Volcanic Activity Report indicate
that “large (50-70 m high), fast-growing, spines developed on the dome’s summit.
These spines periodically collapsed, producing pyroclastic flows down the
volcano’s east flank that sometimes reached the Tar River fan. Small ash clouds
produced from these events reached roughly 1 km above the volcano and drifted westward
over Plymouth and Richmond Hill. Ash predominately fell into the sea. Sulfur dioxide
emission rates remained high. Theodolite measurements of the dome taken on March 20 yielded a dome height of 1,039 m.”
Other photographs by astronauts of Montserrat have been posted on the Earth Observatory:
digital photograph number ISS002-E-9309, taken on July 9, 2001; and
a recolored and reprojected version of the same image.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.