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Lava Flow on Mawson Peak, Heard Island

Lava Flow on Mawson Peak, Heard Island
Lava Flow on Mawson Peak, Heard Island

In October 2012, satellites measured subtle signals that suggested volcanic activity on remote Heard Island. These images, captured several months later, show proof of an eruption on Mawson Peak. By April 7, 2013, Mawson’s steep-walled summit crater had filled, and a trickle of lava had spilled down the volcano’s southwestern flank. On April 20 the lava flow remained visible, and had even widened slightly just below the summit.

These natural-color images were collected by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data from the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon.