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Ash Plume from Soufriere Hills Volcano

Ash Plume from Soufriere Hills Volcano

A thick plume of ash streamed from the Soufriere Hills Volcano on the Caribbean island, Montserrat, on March 10, 2004. The volcano’s most recent activity began with an explosive eruption on March 3. In the week that followed, the volcano continued to send forth a cloud of ash, which drifted southwest over the Caribbean Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on March 10.

The Soufriere Hills volcano covers the southern half of Montserrat, a small island in the West Indies. The volcano had been relatively quiet until 1995 when a series of small eruptions began. Eventually, pyroclastic flows, avalanches of hot ash, pumice, gas, and rock, destroyed the island’s capital city, Plymouth. The eruption that began on March 4 also sent pyroclastic flows into the sea, but no damage was reported.

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The image is available in additional resolutions.

Image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC