Mount Sinabung eruption in Indonesia

August 10th, 2020 |

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

JMA Himawari-8 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (above) displayed the gray to tan hues of a narrow west-to-east oriented volcanic ash cloud following an eruption of Mount Sinabung on 10 August 2020.

A sequence of Terra MODIS False Color RGB, Ash Probability, Ash Loading, Ash Height and Ash Effective Radius products from the NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site (below) showed various characteristics of the ash plume at 0415 UTC.

Terra MODIS False Color RGB, Ash Probability, Ash Loading, Ash Height and Ash Effective Radius [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS False Color RGB, Ash Probability, Ash Loading, Ash Height and Ash Effective Radius [click to enlarge]

A plot of 00 UTC rawinsonde data from Medan (below) helped to explain the different ash height and ash transport characteristics — the higher-altitude portion of the ash plume was transported westward by easterly flow above the 500 hPa (5.9 km) level, while the lower-altitude portion moved eastward due to westerly winds below 500 hPa.

Plot of 00 UTC rawinsonde data from Medan, Indonesia [click to enlarge]

Plot of 00 UTC rawinsonde data from Medan, Indonesia [click to enlarge]

1 week of volcanic cloud emission from Nishioshima

August 1st, 2020 |

Himawari-8 Ash RGB images, from 25 July to 01 August 2020 [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Ash RGB images, from 25 July to 01 August 2020 [click to play animation | MP4]

JMA Himawari-8 Ash Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (above) displayed the nearly continuous volcanic cloud emanating from Nishinoshima during the 1-week 25 July to 01 August period (faster animations are also available: gif | mp4). Brighter shades of pink in the Ash RGB images suggest a higher concentration of ash within the volcanic cloud. The direction of plume transport switched from northwesterly/westerly to southerly/southeasterly during this time, which is explained by the transition in wind direction within much of the troposphere as revealed by rawinsonde data from nearby Chichijima (below).

Plots of rawinsonde data from Chichijima [click to enlarge]

Plots of rawinsonde data from Chichijima [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

After the transition to southerly transport, VIIRS True Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP as visualized using RealEarth (above), the surface visibility at Iwo Jima RJAW dropped to 4 miles on 01 August (below) as the hazy volcanic plume drifted across the area.

Time series plot of surface observation data from Iwo Jima [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of surface observation data from Iwo Jima [click to enlarge]


First Rapid Scan Satellite Imagery of Volcanic Ash Plumes: July 1980 (Mount St. Helens)

July 22nd, 2020 |

 

SMS-2

SMS-2 Visible and infrared (IR) from July 23, 1980. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The main modern Mount St. Helens eruption was May 18, 1980 — yet there were also later paroxysmal eruptions, such as on June 12/13, 1980. Geostationary satellite imagery from NASA’s SMS-2 (Synchronous Meteorological Satellite) monitored two more Mount St. Helens eruptions on July 22th (local time), 1980, as shown above. Note that in “UTC-time”, the eruption took place on July 23rd. A similar side-by-side SMS-2 visible and infrared animation.  This may be the first* “rapid scan” imaging of a volcanic ash plume (with a 3-minute cadence for almost an hour), where “rapid scan” is defined as satellite imagery less than 5 min apart.

There is a long history of rapid scan imaging from geostationary imagers, including from SMS-1/2, ATS-1, ATS-3, GOES-1, GOES-7 series, GOES-8 series, GOES-14 , Meteosat, etc and of course, AHI and the GOES-R series ABI where 1-min imagery is routine. Here’s a page where users can search historical meso-scale sector locations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services.  

The monitoring of volcanic ash plumes and their attributes have greatly increased from 1980 to today. Moving from qualitative (somewhat after the fact imagery) to quantitative applications (that are much more timely)! Due to the large number of volcanoes, coupled with the increase in satellite observations, satellite observations are key in monitoring the world’s volcanoes for aviation safety and other uses. More on volcanic ash monitoring.

SMS-2

A similar loop as above (SMS-2 Visible and IR from July 23, 1980), but the in mp4 format. Both the day before and after, SMS-02 was in a routine scan mode of imagery every 30 minutes. The rapid scan imagery was just on July 23, 1980 for approximately one hour, starting at 00:14 UTC. 

This webpage allows to customize the loop speed of the SMS visible and infrared side-by-side animation. This uses the hanis software. 

SMS-2 Visible from July 23, 1980

SMS-2 Visible from July 23, 1980 covering approximately one hour. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The shadows from the plume are evident. 

A longer duration (4-hr) SMS-02 IR animation (mp4) or (animated gif). The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  Note the less than ideal image navigation. 

GOES-3

NOAA’s GOES-3 was also operating, although not in a rapid scan mode, so imagery was every 30 minutes. 

GOES-3 IR July 1980.

GOES-3 IR July 23, 1980 over 4 hours. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The two pulses are clearly evident. 

H/T

Thanks to Jean Phillips, the SSEC Data Services, and the Scott’s (Bachmeier and Lindstrom). NASA SMS-2 and NOAA GOES-3 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services. More GOES-R series information

* There may have been rapid scan satellite observations of volcanic ash plumes prior to this case in 1980, and if you know of any, please contact T. Schmit.

Mount St. Helens: June 1980

June 12th, 2020 |

SMS-2

Vis and IR

Visible and Infrared NASA SMS-2 animation on June 13, 1980 between 02:30 and 07:00 UTC. The red square denotes the  approximate location of Mount St. Helens, and the arrows highlight the plumes of the two separate eruptions.  [Click to play mp4]

The main Mount St. Helens eruption was May 18, 1980 — yet there were also later paroxysmal eruptions. Imagery from NASA’s SMS-2 (Synchronous Meteorological Satellite) monitored two more Mount St. Helens eruptions on June 12th (local time), 1980, as shown above. Note that in “UTC-time”, the eruption took place on June 13th. A similar side-by-side SMS-2 visible and infrared animation (without the arrows) is available here (in addition to one without the red location box).

SMS-2 Visible image

NASA SMS-2 visible animation from June 13th (02:00 to 04:00 UTC), 1980. The red square denotes the  approximate location of Mount St. Helens. [Click to play mp4]

A visible band animation without the red square at the location of Mount St. Helens is shown above. The second plume coated Portland (OR) with ash. For more on this case, see Wikipedia and the USGS. Here’s the same loop and image, but without the red location box.

The volcanic ash plume was also evident in the infrared window band, below, but the imagery has fairly coarse spatial (and temporal) resolution compared to today’s GOES-R series ABI (which allows much improved volcanic cloud monitoring). This longer IR loop shows the 2nd plume as well.

IR image

NASA SMS-2 infrared animation from June 13th (02:45 to 04:00 UTC), 1980. The red square denotes the  approximate location of Mount St. Helens. [Click to play mp4]

Swipe between SMS-2 Visible and Infrared bands. Red square notes Mount St. Helens location.

Fade between a SMS-2 Visible and Infrared band.

Note that there is a geolocation offset between the two spectral bands. The satellite times listed are the image scan start times.

GOES-3

The experimental SMS series followed the ATS series, and was a precursor to the operational GOES.

GOES -3 also observed both volcanic ash plumes.

GOES-3 IR

GOES-3 Infrared animation from June 13, 1980. [Click to play mp4]

A slightly longer GOES-3 infrared animation is available here. NASA SMS-2 and NOAA GOES-3 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services.