Cumbre Vieja volcano, La Palma
The major volcanic eruption of Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, Canary Islands, began on September 21, 2021. For three months, lava poured out of the volcanic ridge, and flowed to the sea, engulfed 3000+ dwellings. The October 4 ASTER thermal infrared image shows the first flow reaching the coast. On October 15, a second flow followed to the north. By December 19, activity had stopped, and the flows are cooling. The images cover an area of 32.5 by 49.3 km, and are located at 28.6 degrees north, 17.9 degrees west.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet (15 to 90 meters), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.