There was a powerful explosive eruption from the Ubinas volcano in Peru on 19 July 2019.
11 November 2020
19 July 2019
By Jose Prieto (EUMETSAT) and Sancha Lancaster (Pactum)
Ubinas is a stratovolcano in the Moquegua Region of southern Peru, 60 km east of the city of Arequipa. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, it is 5,672 m above sea level. On 19 July a powerful eruption spewed ash five km high above the mountain, which spread across parts of southern Peru.
In the area around Ubinas, it was reported that nearly 30,000 people were evacuated and airports closed. The plume crossed southern Brazil and reached the Atlantic at 13 km high, as a sulphuric gas plume 1,800 km long and 270 km wide, progressing at a speed of 150 km/h. It continued its trip into the Indian Ocean on 22 July (Figure 3).
The animated GOES-16 Dust product sequence (Figure 2) shows the eruption onset shortly before 07:30 UTC, launching gas (green) and ash (red) eastwards.
The stable stratification at the upper limit of the troposphere enables the generation of gravity waves, like the folds of an accordion. Under the gas lines we see the ashes at lower level, propagating almost parallel to the gas, particularly noticeable around 13:30 UTC, as in Figure 1 .
Gravity waves are high frequency internal perturbations in the air, generated by buoyancy under vertical stability. In this volcano case, the buoyancy frequency can be estimated from the propagation speed (70 km/h) and the crest separation (12 km) at around (1/600)Hz. Mesoscale convection can lead to wavelengths between 10 km and 1,000 km, although for convection the lack of a tracer on satellite imagery makes them hard to spot. For the night time, water vapour in the 6 µm absorption band often plays that role.
Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts, spreading ash through the south (DW)
Ubinas volcano (Peru) activity update: Powerful explosive eruption (Volcano Discovery)
Ash from Peruvian volcano Ubinas will affect air transport in Brazil (Letras Ambientais, in Portuguese)
Other volcano cases
Short but massive eruption of volcano Taal
Volcano Taal, on Luzon Island in the Philippines, erupted for some hours on 12 and 13 January 2020.
Eruption of Stromboli volcano
The Italian volcano Stromboli erupted with a series of small explosions on 3 July 2019.
Second eruption of Stromboli in 2019
The second eruption of the Italian volcano Stromboli occurred on 28 August - just a few weeks after a previous eruption.
Eruption of the Raikoke volcano
A powerful, rare eruption from Raikoke volcano in the Kuril Islands on 21 June 2019, could be clearly seen on satellite imagery.
Mount Etna erupts on Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve 2018 Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano, started erupting.
Latest case studies
Chalane crosses southern African subcontinent
Tropical Storm Chalane landfall in Madagascar and Mozambique in December 2020 then crossed the entire South African subcontinent.
Early summer convection in Argentina & Uruguay
Severe convection in central Argentina in December 2020.
Pacific cirrus above stratocumulus
New NIR1.3 channel on GOES ABI helps to detect thin cirrus clouds above low-level clouds.
Nearly-record snowfall in the western Alps
Winter 2020 started with more than 2 m snow in the Alps and an extreme amount of rain.
Upwelling in the Gulf of Tehuantepec
Strong upwelling of cold ocean waters and an increase in phytoplankton growth in the Gulf of Tehuantepec.