Eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands

September 19th, 2021 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) showed the southward expansion of a volcanic cloud following an eruption of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands at 1410 UTC (advisories) on 19 September 2021. The eruption caused some evacuations on the island of La Palma. The ash loading was relatively light, as no distinct ash signature (shades of pink to magenta) was seen the corresponding GOES-16 Ash RGB  images (animated GIF | MP4) — however, pale shades of green in those RGB images did suggest the presence of SO2 within the volcanic cloud (below). Lower-altitude winds transported some of the volcanic cloud material southwestward, while higher-altitude winds carried SO2-rich parts of the volcanic cloud toward the southeast (Tenerife, Canary Islands sounding).

GOES-16 True Color RGB and Ash RGB images at 1700 UTC [click to enlarge]

A distinct thermal anomaly (cluster of hot pixels, yellow to red enhancement) was seen at the eruption site on GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below) — this thermal signature briefly subsided about 2 hours after the eruption, but then resumed for several additional hours. The bulk of any significant volcanic ash remained aloft, with no restrictions to surface visibility reported at La Palma or Tenerife.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

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