Resuspended Volcanic Ash over Kodiak Island, Alaska. This true-color image over Kodiak Island, Alaska, shows a plume of resuspended volcanic ash (tan pixels) extending southeastward from the mainland out over the Gulf of Alaska. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, strong winds in the Katmai National Park and Preserve region are picking up old, loose volcanic ash and blowing it toward the southeast. Although this particular plume is not the result of an active volcano, airplane pilots should consider resuspended ash just as hazardous as the ash from an actively erupting volcano.
This scene was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), aboard NASA´s Aqua satellite, on September 21, 2003.
There are roughly 100 active volcanoes in and around the North Pacific Ocean.along both Asian and North American shorelines. Over the last several decades, commercial airliners have encountered ash plumes from some of these erupting volcanoes, placing the planes and their passengers at risk and causing serious damage to the planes’ engines and exteriors. (For more details, read Danger in the Air: Volcanoes have a long reach.) Approximately half of Alaska’s residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Also Alaska’s economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries. And resources which it has in abundance. Therefore United States armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC