Thursday, March 13, 2014

Recent NASAand USGS photos of Earth

For today's posting I checked in with NASA's web page  The first two photos show activity at Indonesia’s Sinabung Volcano, which has slowed since the intense explosions of January 2014.  Landsat collected images of an ash plume and pyroclastic flow from Sinabung on March 6, 2014. The top, natural-color image shows the volcano, ash plume, and volcanic debris surrounded by farms and forest. The lower image, in false-color (shortwave infrared, near infrared, green), reveals a hot lava flow (red spots) creeping down the eastern flank of Sinabung. Additional hot spots may indicate an extension of the lava flow, or hot debris spilling from its advancing face. The false color image also differentiates between clouds (tinted orange) and a gas and steam plume (tinted blue) above Sinabung’s summit. Both are pure white in natural-color.

The next two images show before and after a strong storm that passed over New Zealand’s South Island in March 2014 and brought gale-force winds, torrential rains, and flooding to the city of Christchurch.

The surge of rainfall caused rivers to swell with what appeared to be sediment-rich water. While it’s not possible to make out patches of standing water in Christchurch, the large amount of suspended sediment flowing out from the rivers made dark blue coastal waters appear tan. The aquamarine patterns farther offshore are likely caused by suspended marine-based calcite sediment that was lofted up from the sea bottom by waves produced during the storm. The lower image, acquired by MODIS on February 22, 2014, shows the same area before the storm.

Southwesterly winds sent a cloud of Saharan dust out of Egypt and across the eastern Mediterranean Sea in March 2014. 

Soggy winters are not unusual in the United Kingdom, but this winter has been in a category of its own. UK meteorologists declared January 2014 the wettest month on record for parts of southern Britain when another series of storms swept across the area in early February.

In the U.S. we have had a seemingly endless series of winter storms, including the following winter storm that hit the southern states in February.

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