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AIRS near-real-time observes sulfur plume from Kuril Island volcano

The AIRS near-real-time data capability of the GES DISC captures a view of the sulfur-laden eruption plume from Sarychev Peak

Sarychev Peak volcano exploded on the night of June 11-12 at uninhabited Matua Island (Central Kuril Islands).  The eruption has continued through June 16, and has produced several eruptive plumes which have impacted aircraft flights in the region, particularly to destinations in Korea, Japan, and northern China.

The GES DISC is the archive of data from the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS).  The AIRS Level 1 data set includes a BT_diff_SO2 parameter, which highlights the presence of atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2). The GES DISC produces regularly-updated maps of this parameter from the AIRS Near Real Time (NRT) data stream, and these maps are published to the GES DISC WMS/OGC server.

The image below shows the SO2 plume from the intense Sarychev Peak volcanic explosion at uninhabited Matua Island, Central Kuril Islands (AIRS NRT image, June 14, 2009).   The white areas are gaps between the scanning swaths of the AIRS instrument.  Areas of high atmospheric SO2 concentration are depicted with orange and yellow. 

Sulfur plume from Sarychev Peak eruption

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Last updated: Sep 09, 2009 02:29 PM ET