We’ve covered the NASA Earth Observatory site quite a few times here on GEB. In fact, just last week we showed you the Novarupta volcano, which was the largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century.
They’ve recently released a few more images that are equally compelling. The first is the amazing landslide that occurred in Tibet in 2000, when more than 3.5 billion cubic feet of debris tumbled down a gorge at over 30 miles per hour. The resulting mess blocked the flow of the Yigong River, creating a large lake behind the “dam”. Officials did their best to slowly drain the lake before the dam collapsed, but were unable to do so successfully. The resulting surge of water down the river destroyed numerous bridges and highways, and the homes of more than 500,000 people in India. You can read the full story here or download this KML file to view it as an image overlay in Google Earth.
The other great image they’ve recently shown comes from the Alaid Volcano in the Kuril Island chain off the coast of Japan. Reaching 2,339 meters above sea level, Alaid is the largest volcano in this string of islands. Alaid has been active as recently as 1996 and this image from NASA, captured just a few weeks ago, is a beautiful look at the volcano.
You can read more about the Alaid Volcano here, or view it as an image overlay in Google Earth by using this KML file.