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.