Cumbre Vieja Eruption Column

December 09, 2021


Photographer: Pedro José Luengo Ramírez

Summary Author: Pedro José Luengo Ramírez; Cadan Cummings

Featured above is a photograph of an eruption column produced by the volcano in the Cumbre Vieja mountain range on the island of La Palma, Canary Islands. This picture was taken on October 6, 2021, approximately two and a half weeks after the volcano began erupting. The vantage point was from the Roque de Los Muchachos, which is located about 10 miles (17 km) away from the eruption and at an altitude of 8,000 ft (2,426 m). This specific series of eruptions was unique because the eruption column encountered a temperature inversion at around 3 miles (5 km) altitude, which effectively forced the ash to disperse horizontally instead of vertically. Viewed from above several days prior by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite, the column appeared as a series of concentric rings or a bulls-eye.


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