Frequent activity on Indonesia’s Soputan Volcano keeps the slopes of the mountain vegetation free, in spite of the tropical climate. This false-color satellite image shows a small volcanic plume rising from Soputan on August 8, 2012.
Vegetation is red, and volcanic debris—much of it deposited over the past decade—is black. Gullies funneled debris as far as 6,900 meters (23,000 feet) from Soputan’s active crater. The dark patch to the west of the volcano may be a burn scar from a recent forest fire.
The image was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard the Terra satellite.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using data from the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Robert Simmon.