The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is within Katmai National Park, Alaska, and is filled with ash flows from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta. The 1912 eruption was the largest eruption by volume in the 20th century, erupting about 13 cubic kilometers of material. The summit of Mt. Katmai stratovolacano collapsed, forming a lake-filled caldera. The 100 km2 valley is filled as deep as 210 m with ash. The Alaska Volcano Observatory continually monitors the area where there are 5 active volcanoes within 15 km. Image data for the 3-D perspective view were acquired in July 2004, and are located near 58.4 degrees north latitude, 155.5 degrees west longitude.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), 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, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.
More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.