August 6, 2013 - Eruption of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Eruption of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

The restless Rabaul volcano continued emitting ash plumes through July, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite flew over the region and captured this true-color image of the smoldering caldera on July 30, 2013.

In this image, the land of East New Britain Province (west) and Latangai Island (east) are emerald green, indicating a lush covering of tropical forest. A covering of cottony clouds covers the land. At the tip of the hook-shaped peninsula sits the low and broad Rabaul caldera, and from this point a plume of light gray ash rises and blows to the northwest, passing over Watom Island and far across Bismarck Bay.

The Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) issues reports on activity at Rabaul. From July 15 – 21, they reported low-level activity with emissions of pale gray ash plumes occurred at short intervals. Some plumes rose 2 km above the crater, and emissions were explosive. Roaring and rumbling noises continued, often along with explosions. Minor amounts of ash were deposited in areas downwind of the crater, including Nodup, Rapolo and Rabaul Town.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 7/30/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC