Plume from Nyiragongo

Plume from Nyiragongo

A small plume rose from Nyiragongo Volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in late July 2009, continuing its ongoing activity from the previous few months. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite took this true-color picture on July 28, 2009. The plume appears pale blue-gray, slightly darker and thinner than the bright white clouds to the east. The volcanic plume blows away from the summit toward the southwest. Nyirogongo’s crater is composed of brown volcanic rocks, but the eastern slopes are green with vegetation.

Nyiragongo is a stratovolcanomade from layers of ash, hardened lava, and rocks spit out by earlier eruptions. In contrast to the low profile of neighboring Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo rises to a height of 3,470 meters (11,384 feet) above sea level. Lava flows from Nyiragongo caused substantial casualties in 1977 and 2002.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Michon Scott.

References & Resources

  • Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program. Nyiragongo. Accessed July 30, 2009.