As ash from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex continues to disrupt flights half a world away, the eruption itself persists. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image on June 20, 2011.
At the time this image was captured, a light-colored ash plume extended from the volcano’s caldera to the east, into Argentina. According to the Joint Air Force & Army Weather Information Network the ash rose to an altitude of 27,000 feet (8,200 meters). The location of the eruption site is indicated by a red circular area. Known as a “hotspot”, such a mark indicates that the MODIS instrument detected a thermal anomaly, i.e. an area with a temperature significantly higher than the background.
South of the broad gray ash plume, bright peacock blue waters fill Nahuel Huapi, a large lake in Argentine Patagonia. Light gray streaks can be seen in the water. This is pumice, produced earlier in the eruption, floating on the water.
A black line has been overlain on this image to depict borders. To the west is Chile, and Argentina lies to the east of the borderline.