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Activity at Shiveluch Volcano

Activity at Shiveluch Volcano

A white plume rose from Shiveluch Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on December 18, 2009. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this true-color image the same day. Low-angled sunlight illuminates the plume’s southern side, and shows ash stains on the volcano’s snowy surface. The plume’s light color suggests that it contains more water vapor than ash.

The same day that ALI captured this image, the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reported activity at Shiveluch, including a new lava flow at the volcano’s lava dome, seismic activity above background levels, and ash plumes rising to a height of 5.5 kilometers (18,000) feet above sea level. KVERT reported that the ash plumes had the potential to interfere with international and low-flying aircraft.

Shiveluch is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of hardened lava, solidified ash, and rocks thrown out by earlier eruptions. It rises to a height of 3,283 meters (10,771 feet) and ranks among Kamchatka’s largest and most active volcanoes.

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