Satellite: Calbuco Volcano Leaves Behind Massive Ashfall

April 23rd, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The explosive double eruption of Calbuco Volcano in Chile late yesterday afternoon and last night, combined with mostly clear skies, allowed some spectacular photos and videos, even from a drone.

Here’s one of the prettiest photos of the first eruption, which occurred before sunset:


The two mature eruption plumes as seen by the GOES weather satellite show plume top temperatures so cold that the stratosphere was surely penetrated, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for effects on global climate (arrows indiate volcano location, satellite imagery courtesy of CIRA at ColoState):

From low Earth orbit, this was how the area around the snow-capped volcano looked just hours before the eruption yesterday from NASA’s Terra satellite, and then again this morning. Note the large region where the snow-capped mountains and the valleys are covered in volcanic ash:

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