Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gas Plume from Mt. Oyama, Japan

The MODIS sensor on NASA's Terra satellite captured another spectacular clear image of Japan yesterday (April 6). The small version (2 kilometer detail) gives a nice overview; for a closer look try the full-resolution version (250 meter detail).

There's still a good bit of snow up in the mountains. No obvious signs of the earthquake and tsunami damage on this low-resolution imagery, and the turbidity that we observed along the northeastern coast in the first few days following the quake seems to have dissipated or settled out.

Sharp-eyed viewers will note a pale blue plume blowing to the southeast from the island of Miyakejima. This is apparently a plume of sulfuric gases that have been emanating from Mount Oyama, an active volcano on the island, since the last series of eruptions began back in 2000:

Strong aftershocks continue to shake this traumatized region, including a 7.4-magnitude quake yesterday that prompted a brief tsunami warning.

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