The NASA Earth Observatory site brings us amazing images from time to time (such as some of these), and they’re back with some fresh imagery from the tornadoes that have ripped across the central United States in recent weeks.
The Mayflower tornado hit on April 27 and was rated an EF4. It left a path nearly 41 miles long and destroyed between 400-500 homes. From the Earth Observatory site:
At MODIS resolution, the entire town of Mayflower is barely distinguishable; but at ALI’s top resolution of 10 meters per pixel, it is possible to distinguish between individual buildings. In this ALI image, a trail of damaged trees and homes is visible near Interstate 40. The storm moved in a northeasterly direction, hitting the southern part of Mayflower first, then crossing I-40, and flattening neighborhoods along the shore of Lake Taylor.
Back in 1973, a volcanic eruption in the western Pacific ocean caused the formation of a new island named Nishino-shima. Four months ago, a nearby eruption caused the formation of a new island named Niijima. The Niijima eruption has continued and the island has been growing and has now consumed Nishino-shima and it is continuing to grow larger.
The Niijima portion of the island is now larger than the original Nishino-shima, and the merged island is slightly more than 1,000 meters across. Two cones have formed around the main vents and stand more than 60 meters above sea level, triple the highest point of the island in December. Volcanic lava flows are reported to be most active now on the south end of the island.
This particular cyclone brought winds of over 100 miles per hour, and caused power outages to more than 700,000 people. They released a large image to show it off, which I’ve matched up in an image overlay and included in this KML file for you to view directly in Google Earth.
Because of the way Google Earth work, volcanoes are almost always amazing to view inside of it. 3D terrain combined with high-resolution imagery makes for some stunning views, as we explained a while back in our “A to Z” post about Volcanoes.
The NASA Earth Observatory recently posted an image and article about “lava flows”, seen here:
From their article:
Streams of molten rock that ooze from gaps or vents in the Earth’s surface are called lava flows, and they can pose a hazard to everything in their paths. These rivers of rock can take many shapes and move at very different rates depending on the viscosity of the magma, the slope of the land, and the rate of an eruption.
While viscous lava flows are defined by steep flow fronts and pressure ridges, low-viscosity lavas tend to move faster and create longer, narrower shapes. They also tend to have smaller flow fronts and levee-like structure along their edges. Many characteristics of a low-viscosity lava flow are visible in this image of Zhupanovsky and Dzenzursky volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The image was acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite on September 9, 2013.