Plume from Klyuchevskaya Volcano
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Plume from Klyuchevskaya Volcano

February 5, 2009
On December 8, 2008, the Klyuchevskaya Volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula erupted. Ash from this eruption was still visible on the ground on January 27, 2009 when the MODIS on the Aqua satellite captured this image.

Though there are several volcanoes visible in this image, Klyuchevskaya is distinctive because of the gray ash-stained snow lying to the east of it. Unlike soft, fluffy ash from burning vegetation, volcanic ash consists of tiny, jagged particles. It is abrasive, slightly corrosive, and able to conduct electricity when wet.

Klyuchevskaya (also Klyuchevskoy or Kliuchevskoi) is the highest volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It also ranks among the peninsula's most active as it is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” Klyuchevskaya is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of solidified ash, hardened lava, and rocks produced by previous eruptions.

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