Submarine volcano eruption off the coast of Japan •

Submarine volcano eruption off the coast of Japan

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows a massive plume of gas rising from a volcano off the coast of Japan in the western Pacific Ocean. The summit of the volcano, Fukutoku-Okanoba, is positioned about 80 feet below the ocean’s surface.

The gas plume can be seen rising several kilometers into the air, which is a sure sign that explosive “Surtseyan” eruptions were happening, according to NASA.

“What was remarkable about this eruption is that it went straight from being a submarine event to an eruption cloud reaching the lower boundary of the stratosphere,” explained Andrew Tupper, a meteorologist with Natural Hazards Consulting and a specialist in hazards to aviation. 

“That is not very common for this type of volcano. We normally see lower-level plumes from submarine eruptions.”

The image was captured on August 13, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on the Terra satellite.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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