Eruption of the Merapi volcano
5 November 2010
|© Adek Berry, AFP/Getty Images|
After several days of activity, the Merapi volcano on the Indonesian
island of Java showed its most powerful eruption in decades,
causing devestation in the area surrounding the mountain. Large amounts
of steam and ash were ejected as high as 16 km, according to the Volcanic
ash advisory center in Darwin, Australia (Darwin VAAC). This poses a
possible danger to air traffic in the region.
Ash and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emitted by
the volcano are monitored using satellite measurements as part of
the SACS service*, jointly operated by
Large SO2 gas concentrations can cause damage to airplanes; futhermore it is
an indicator of the presence of ash. Large ash clouds as emitted by Merapi
can lead to engine failure.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission from the Merapi volcano as
observed by the GOME-2 instrument.
(Click image to enlarge).
* The Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS) hosted by
at supporting the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers, the official
organizations responsible for gathering information on volcanic clouds.
This is achieved by delivering near-real time data derived from satellite
regarding volcanic emissions, and in case of volcanic eruptions to send
by email to interested parties.
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