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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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
A thick plume of ash and steam continues to rise from the Anatahan volcano in the Northern Mariana Islands. The volcano has been venting intermittently since January 2005, and almost continuously since its large eruption on April 6. This photo-like image of the ash plume was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on April 24, 2005. The slightly brown ash plume cuts across the lighter clouds. The plume is thicker than it had been during the previous week, and extends approximately 278 kilometers (150 nautical miles) northwest from the volcano’s summit.
Though the eruption has not caused any serious damage, it has had widespread impact. A soupy haze of volcanic smog was sited over the Philippine Sea, 2,220 kilometers (1,380 miles) from the volcano in mid-April.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides the image in additional resolutions.
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.