Mt. Bagana, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea (NASA, International Space Station Science, 04/02/07)
Editor's Note: This is an archive image from 2007.
A plume at Mt. Bagana, Bougainville Island is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 14 crewmember on the International Space Station. Bougainville Island, part of the Solomon Islands chain to the east of Papua New Guinea, is typical of many Pacific Rim islands in that volcanism has played a large part in both its geological and recorded history. The island hosts three large volcanoes along its northwest-southeast trending axis: Mt. Balbi, Mt. Bagana, and the Mt. Takuan volcanic complex. Mt. Bagana (near center) is the only volcano on the island that has been historically active. Light green stressed vegetation, and brown lobate lava flows mark the 1,750 meter high lava cone of Mt. Bagana within the verdant landscape of Bougainville Island. The eruptive style of the volcano is typically non-explosive, producing thick lobes of andesitic lava that run down the flanks and maintain a dome in the summit crater. Occasional pyroclastic flows have also been noted. The most recent phase of activity, which began on March 7, has been characterized by vapor plumes with occasional ash-producing emissions. This photograph, acquired almost one month (twenty days) after the last reported activity at Bagana, records a diffuse white vapor plume extending west-southwest from the summit. The Solomon Island region experiences other effects due to the geologic setting: earlier this week, a large but shallow earthquake shook the region and induced a tsunami that hit the western part of the Solomon Island chain.
Image/caption credit: NASA
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