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Plume from Rabaul Volcano
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
Rabaul Volcano emitted a plume of ash and steam on the morning of September 30, 2009. This minor eruption continues a period of intermittent activity at the volcano that began in August 2006. According to the Joint Air Force & Army Weather Information Network, the plume extended up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Rabaul’s summit. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of the eruption.
Rabaul is a pyroclastic shield volcano. Composed from broken rocks and debris from earlier eruptions, it has a wide perimeter and low profile. Before a major 1994 eruption that forced a large-scale evacuation, Rabaul had served as a natural harbor for the city of the same name.