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Ash-covered Snow on Kizimen Volcano

Ash-covered Snow on Kizimen Volcano

Spring has arrived at Kizimen Volcano. The mountainous landscape is covered in a patchwork of snow, ash, volcanic debris, and still-dormant vegetation. Instead of being white, the snow is dark brown, covered by layers of ash that were trapped by a succession of winter storms. As the snow melts, layers of ash that were deposited individually start to combine, resulting in a thick blanket of ash on top of the remaining snow. Bare rock and volcanic debris are also brown, but lighter than the ash-covered snow.

A plume of ash, steam, and other volcanic gases from Kizimen’s summit—as well as gases escaping from a fumarole on the northwestern slopes—indicate the volcano’s ongoing activity. This natural-color image was collected on May 25, 2013, 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. (Thanks to Erik Klemetti of Eruptions Blog for help with interpreting the image.)