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Volcanic Activity on Soufriere Hills
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Volcanic Activity on Soufriere Hills

May 2, 2013
The Soufriere Hills Volcano on the Caribbean island Montserrat continued its intermittent activity in November 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the volcano on November 6. In this image, the volcano emits a plume that blows westward, through relatively clear skies, over the ocean. Whereas nearby clouds looks like bright white dots, the volcanic emission is dingy gray-beige. Close to the summit, the emission looks lighter, indicating potentially greater water content. Steam in the emission plume would dissipate faster than the volcanic ash. The presence of additional liquid water in the plume near the summit could also indicate a change in the nature of the eruption, with the volcano’s emissions starting to include more water vapor than ash. Soufriere Hills is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of hardened lava, ash, and rock. It occupies the southern half of the island of Montserrat, and it began a period of serious eruptive activity in 1995. Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.


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