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.)
Volcanic ash from earlier eruptions has settled onto the snowy landscape, leaving dark gray swaths. The ash stains are confined to the south of the Karymsky’s summit, one large stain fanning out toward the southwest, and another toward the east.