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Sarychev: Photos of a Spectacular Eruption

A striking difference

sarychev, volcanic eruption, photos from space

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen.)

The most striking difference between Ostrov Matua before the eruption and after is the gray coating on the northwestern half of the island in June 2009.

While vegetation on the rest of the island appears lush, volcanic debris — probably a mixture of pyroclastic flows and settled ash — covered virtually all the vegetation on the northwestern end. A close look at the top image also reveals that the recent volcanic activity appears to have expanded the island’s coastline on the northwestern end.

Another difference after the eruption relates to snow cover. The complete lack of snow in 2009 may result from a combination of a difference in season and volcanic activity having melted or covered any lingering snow.

LiveScience Staff
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