Satellite images captured by NASA reveal the violent explosions of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatoa, which began erupting again on Saturday.
There haven’t been any reports of casualties or damage as of Tuesday, as the volcano continues to send massive plumes of white vapor over 1,000 feet into the sky.
“The location of the plume suggests that it is volcanic in origin,” said Verity Flower, a USRA volcanologist based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement.
Flower and colleagues have been using a special device on the space agency’s Terra satellite to measure the height of these plumes and to observe the shape, size and light-absorbing properties of the particles within them.
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Indonesia’s Anak Krakatoa volcano has been erupting.
(NASA Earth Observatory)
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The darker part of the plume appears to be at a lower altitude, according to NASA, compared with the bright white puffs centered over the volcano.
“It is possible the heavier ash particles emitted are staying lower in the atmosphere and are being transported to the north by near-surface winds,” Flower said. “In contrast, any water and gases within the plume, which are lighter, would be transported higher and would condense rapidly in the atmosphere.”
Indonesia’s Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation issued a level 2 alert (on a scale of 4), which indicates the volcano is “exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, or an eruption is underway but poses limited hazard.”
“Anak Krakatau volcano has displayed these small eruptive bursts periodically through the last few years,” Flower explained. “However, it can also display more destructive activity such as tsunami-triggering eruptions.”
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