June 5, 2016 - Eruption of Bristol Island volcano, South Sandwich Islands

Eruption of Bristol Island volcano, South Sandwich Islands

The eruption of Bristol Island's Mount Sourbaya in the South Atlantic Ocean, which began on April 24, continued throughout May 2016.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured this true-color image on May 31. The South Sandwich Islands were socked in under heavy cloud cover, but a heavy ash plume blowing northwest from Bristol Island is clear evidence of an active volcanic eruption.

With a roughly rectangular shape that is 12 kilometers (7 miles) by 14 kilometers (8.5 miles), Bristol Island is one of the largest in the South Sandwich Islands chain. The highest peak on the island stands 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) above sea level.

Due to the remote location and the lack of landing sites amidst its ice cap, the stratovolcano on the island is one of the least studied in the world.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 5/31/2016
Resolutions: 1km (46.9 KB), 500m (131.4 KB), 250m (302.7 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC