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Steam and Ash Plume over Tinakula Island
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
Tinakula is a small, volcanic island in the South Pacific, located about 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Australia. This natural-color satellite image (top) shows a plume of volcanic gas, possibly mixed with a bit of ash, rising above the island’s summit.
Around the island, the reflection of sunlight on the ocean—sunglint—gives the surface a milky appearance that makes the wave patterns readily visible.
These images were collected by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite (top) and MODIS on the Terra satellite on February 14, 2012. Thanks to the members of Activ for notifying us of the activity.
NASA images by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon (Earth Observatory), using EO-1 ALI data (top), and Jeff Schmaltz MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC (lower). Caption by Robert Simmon.
After satellites detected a “hotspot” on Tinakula, a tiny island in the South Pacific, a high-resolution image confirmed volcanic activity.