Kamchatka Peninsula, Eastern Russia
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is a landscape dotted with volcanoes, and Klyuchevskaya is its highest and most active. Seen in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, which was taken by NASA’s Terra satellite on March 8, 2005, the volcano has been erupting intermittently since January 2005, after having been active through much of 2004 as well. On March 8, a thick plume of ash and steam rose from Klyuchevskaya and drifted southeast across the peninsula. Because ash can clog jet engines and bring them to a stop, the plume is a serious aviation hazard. A second plume rises from the north side of the volcano. Since this plume appears to be lighter in color, it may be steam created when hot lava vaporizes the surrounding snow. The image is available both in true color, resembling a photograph, and in false color to provide greater contrast between the snow-covered ground and the light ash plume. In the false-color image, snow and ice are red, while the warmer plume of ash is gray and white.