Vibrant video of the Virunga Mountains
This Sentinel-1 radar captured Virunga Mountains in East Africa: we can see a chain of volcanoes stretching across Rwanda’s northern border with Uganda and east into the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While many volcanoes are dormant, two of the eight are active, with the eruptions in 2006 and 2010.
The mountains are on the Albertine Rift, where the Somali Plate is splitting away from the rest of the African continent. This is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse regions, but human population density, poverty and conflict challenge conservation. Across the mountain range, a series of national parks protect the fauna and flora.
We can quickly identify the delineation between the protected and non-protected lands – the green, orange and yellow dots indicate changes in the surface of non-protected areas between the radar scans that make up this composite image. These changes are primarily in vegetation as the area surrounding the mountains is blanketed with agricultural plots.
We can also see the grid-like pattern of agriculture which is visible in the green and yellow square at the center of the image.
Credit: European Space Agency