25 Sep 2014

Iceland volcano lava flow seen from space

You’ll no doubt remember the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland that was making the headlines a few weeks ago, with fears that it would erupt and possibly affect air travel.

Although the volcano has taken a step out of the news headlines, it is still active, leading to the Icelandic Met Office providing daily updates on its status.

As well as monitoring activity from sensors on the ground, Nasa satellites have been keeping an eye on the volcano from space – providing some spectacular images. 

Below are two of the more recent images, captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

The first image below is an infrared image that senses temperature. It has then had colour scales applied, in order to pick out the volcano’s lava flow. In this case, orange-red is hot lava, fading to black for cool.


The second image below is a natural-colour version of the same scene, which shows the view from space as you would see it from a normal camera taking a photograph.

It shows the fiery orange opening of the volcano, with a huge plume of volcanic ash spreading outwards to the east.


The latest update from the Icelandic Met Office says that between midnight and 7am on 25 September, ten earthquakes have been automatically detected in Bardarbunga.

Three of these earthquakes were above magnitude 4, with the strongest being magnitude 5.2, recorded at 5am by the south eastern rim.

Images: Nasa

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