Ambrym Island is the summit of a massive volcano in the Republic of Vanuatu. Vanuatu is an archipelago of volcanic islands approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Australia, and 1,600 km (1,000 miles) north of New Zealand. A 12-km (7.5-mile)-wide caldera lies at the center of the island, which rises 1,334 meters (4,377 feet) above sea level. Ambrym’s caldera is the site of two active craters: Benbow and Marum. Small eruptions occur frequently at both craters, and volcanic plumes are often visible in satellite imagery.
This natural-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resoution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on the morning of May 22, 2011. A blue-tinged volcanic plume, likely rich in sulfur dioxide, extends from Ambrym Island towards Malekula to the west.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.