A plume towered above the summit of Klyuchevskaya Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on February 13, 2010, when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image. Directly over the summit, the plume is bright white, suggesting more steam than ash.
The steep, cone-shaped volcano was shrouded in snow, and the rugged terrain was being illuminated from the south, which created dramatic shadows to the north and west. Both the mountain itself and the plume are casting a shadow (brown area) on the western and northern flanks of the volcano. Within this shadow, black rivulets of lava are visible on the northwest slopes.
According to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, Klyuchevskaya Volcano has been displaying a range of volcanic activity over the past week, including gas-steam plumes reaching six kilometers (20,000 feet) above sea level, flowing lava, and Strombolian eruptions reaching 300 meters (1,000 feet) above the summit.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.