Ash Plume from Soufriere Hills, Montserrat
Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The Soufriere Hills Volcano on the island of Montserrat produced a plume of volcanic ash on February 9, 2006. This event was part of a continuing pattern of intermittent eruptions from the volcano. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.
In this image, the volcano’s summit is outlined in red. The satellite distinguished this “hotspot” from its surroundings by observing a significant temperature difference. The plume of volcanic ash blows westward over the Caribbean Sea, gradually dissipating as it moves away. Volcanic ash is a recurring health hazard for Montserrat’s residents, irritating eyes and respiratory tracts. Volcanoes can bring advantages, however, including better soils for farming.