Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts

Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts
  • Credit:

    NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Michon Scott.

The submarine volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba erupted in early February, releasing ash and steam plumes, and discoloring nearby ocean water. On February 9, 2010, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image. Water colored by the underwater plume appears electric blue in this image, in contrast to the surrounding navy blue water. The discolored water forms a rough V shape north of the volcanic summit.

The summit of Fukutoku-Okanoba lies 14 meters (46 feet) below sea level. The volcano is approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) northeast of the island of Minami-Iwo-jima and about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of the main Japanese archipelago. Japan’s coast guard captured an eruption at the volcano in video in early February 2010.

  1. References

  2. Global Volcanism Program. Fukutoku-Okanoba. Accessed February 11, 2010.
  3. The Volcanism Blog. (2010, February 4). Undersea eruption south of Japan caught on video. Accessed February 11, 2010.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    February 9, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    February 11, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - ASTER
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration