Stunning Satellite Image Shows Lava Burning a Path to the Sea From La Palma Volcano

Image of lava flow on the Spanish island of La Palma captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on September 30, 2021. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on September 30, 2021, shows the flow of lava from the volcano erupting on the Spanish island of La Palma. The cascade of lava can be seen spilling into the Atlantic Ocean, extending the size of the coastline. This ‘lava delta’ covered about 20 hectares when the image was taken.

A crack opened in the Cumbre Vieja volcano on September 19, throwing plumes of ash and lava into the air. Lava flowed down the mountain and through villages engulfing everything in its path. By September 28 , the 6-km lava flow had reached the ocean on the island’s west coast. Clouds of white steam were reported where the red-hot lava hit the water in the Playa Nueva area.

This Sentinel-2 image has been processed in true color, using the shortwave infrared channel to highlight the lava flow. The Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites, each carrying an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for monitoring changes in Earth’s land and vegetation.

Image of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on September 20, 2021. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

In the image above, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission shows us a cloudy view of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma. The volcano started erupting on September 19 after days of small tremors.

The image, captured on September 20, 2021, has been processed using the mission’s shortwave-infrared band to show the ongoing activity in the volcano.

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