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Eruption of Anatahan
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The Anatahan Volcano is continuing its third eruption in recent history, sending clouds of ash and steam over the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows a plume rising from the volcano on February 6, 2005. In addition to the ash seen here, the volcano is pumping out sulfur dioxide, which reacts with oxygen and water in the atmosphere to produce a foul-smelling fog. Guam, approximately 200 miles south of the volcano, and other islands in the Mariana island chain were blanketed with volcanic haze between January 31 and February 4. The air quality degraded to such a degree that the National Weather Service issued volcanic haze advisories, warning those with respiratory problems to stay indoors.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the Goddard Land Processes DAAC.
Anatahan continues to steam after its largest eruption in recorded history on April 6, 2005. This major eruption was a continuation of its third historical eruption, which began early in January 2005. Anatahan is located in the Northern Mariana Islands in the North Pacific Ocean and has been responsible for blanketing Guam and other nearby islands with volcanic haze.