Date: Sun, 09.05.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 09 May 2021
The lengthening sunshine of May brings spring magic to Iceland: warming
temperatures, melting snow, flowers in bloom, the return of the
puffins, and new lambs frolicking in greening fields. This year,
Fagradalsfjall volcano added a little extra magic to the month with an
outburst of pulsing lava fountains.
On March 19, 2021, Iceland gained a new volcano when Fagradalsfjall
erupted for the first time in recorded history. On that date, a large
fissure vent formed and began ejecting lava, which flowed steadily
across the landscape. Several new fissures opened in April. On May 4,
two new volcanic fissures opened close to the initial eruption site,
each measuring about 200 meters (656 feet) long. On May 5, the
Icelandic Met Office reported that the eruption in Fagradalsfjall
continued through one main crater. The active crater was the fifth
fissure that opened in the area on the 13th of April.
Continuous lava fountains characterized the eruption beginning on April
27, but from May 2 the behavior has been pulsating. The Icelandic Met
Office offers this description: “These pulses have intermittent active
periods of 8-12 minutes, with 1-2 minutes of rest periods in between.
The active pulses start with a strong fountain activity, with fountains
reaching up to 100-150 m above ground level, and some even higher.
These pulses are very apparent in the seismic tremor from seismic
stations in a wide area around the eruption site.”
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board
NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of Iceland on May 4.
Spring thaw was well underway, leaving much of the west and coastal
north snow-free. The Reykjanes Peninsula, home to Fagradalsfjall
volcano, protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean from the southwestern corner
of Iceland. It is here, near the southern coast of the Reykjanes
Peninsula, and about 25 miles (40 km) from the city of Reykjavik, that
a gray plume of volcanic ash rises from the volcano and drifts
southward over the Atlantic. This plume appears faint at the lowest (1
km) resolution but can be easily viewed at high (250 km) resolution.
Date Acquired: 5/4/2021
Resolutions: 1km (335.6 KB), 500m (998.2 KB), 250m (2.7 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
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