Eruption of Mount Mayon

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The ongoing eruption of Mount Mayon in the Philippines, during January 2018 could be seen on satellite imagery.

Eruption of Mount Mayon
Date & Time
22 January 2018 00:00 UTC–24 January 06:00 UTC
Satellites
Himawari-8, Suomi-NPP
Instruments
AHI, VIIRS
Channels/Products
Ash RGB, Natural Color RGB

By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

On 14 January Mount Mayon, the Philippines' most active volcano, started to erupt. This continued for at least two weeks and could be seen on both Himawari-8 and Suomi-NPP imagery between 22 and 24 January.

Figure 2 shows an animation of the Ash RGB from Himawari-08's AHI instrument, from 22 January 00:00 UTC to 24 January 06:00 UTC, the location of the volcano is indicated by a red dot.

The sequence shows a series of short eruptions seemingly consisting almost exclusively of ash (dirty red to dark violet) — no sulfur dioxide (SO2) (light green) appears to be present. It ends at 06:00 UTC on 24 January, after a couple of hours without discernible activity on the images, as Mount Mayon ends up under cloud cover.


Figure 2: Himawari--8 Ash RGB animation, 22 Jan 00:00 UTC–24 Jan 06:00 UTC
Figure 3
 
Figure 3: Suomi-NPP Natural Color RGB at 375m spatial resolution, from 05:20 UTC on 22 January.
View Natural Color RGB on Google Earth

The Suomi-NPP Natural Colour RGB at 375m spatial resolution, from 05:20 UTC on 22 January (Figures 1 & 3), shows a meandering ash plume (brown arrows pointing to middle-grey plume) moving towards the north west, and varying between weaker to denser ash streaks.

There are another two dark patches near the volcano that do not stem from ash. On Figure 3 (the annotated version of the same image) the patch indicated by a blue arrow is a lake. The other, shown by the magenta-coloured arrow, is the shadow cast by the cyan-coloured ice cloud that fans out from the volcano, which signals a new, relatively strong eruption, that can be followed in the Himawari animation.

 
 
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