Eruptions of Mount Oyama progressively covered the volcano's slopes with
more and more ash over the last half of 2000. This pair of images from
the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
(ASTER) shows the volcano on July 17, 2000 (left) and September 3, 2000
(right). The false-color images combine infrared, red, and green light
as red, blue, and green colors, respectively. Ash is dark gray,
vegetation appears red, and water is blue-gray. In the image from
September 3, steam is being vented from the volcano's caldera.
The volcano has again been venting steam, ash, and large amounts of
sulfur dioxide (an estimated 20 to 50 kilotons per day) in February
2001. (See this previous SeaWiFS image of Miyakajima.) Scientists
believe most of the emitted sulfur dioxide is from degassing magma
within the volcano.
The 8-km-wide (5-mile) island is actually a low-angle stratovolcano
rising some 818 meters (2,686 feet) up out of the Pacific Ocean, about
240 km (150 miles) south of Okinawa and 320 km (200 miles) east of
Taiwan. Many now refer to the island as Miyakejima, and the volcano's
summit as Mount Oyama.