Fuego de Volcan, Guatemala

A volcanic eruption took place on 1 February 2018 over the country of Guatemala. If you don’t know where exactly Guatemala is, it is located in central America, bordering the countries of Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Guatemala has over 30+ volcanoes within the country, however only three (Pacaya, Fuego and Santiaguito) are currently active. The volcano that erupted was ‘Fuego de Volcan‘ (i.e. ‘Fire Volcano’ in English), located in southern Guatemala. The volcanic eruption sent multitudes of ash and smoke into the atmosphere and over the communities nearby.

To monitor Fuego de Volcan, one can utilize polar-orbiting satellite data, such as the Day/Night Band (DNB, 0.7 um) sensor, that illuminates atmospheric features and senses reflected and emitted light sources during the nighttime (i.e. emitted lights from fires, volcanic eruptions). In complement to the DNB, is the infrared, imagery band (I-4, 3.74 um) to identify hotspots. Here are animations from the past few days, 31 January 2018 – 2 February 2018, of both the DNB and I-4 satellite imagery of Fuego de Volcan. Note that all satellite images were taken during the nighttime, between 7-8Z, or 1-2 am local time.


Click on the animation. Notice within the red box, the continuously changing emitted lights that are produced from Fuego de Volcan, and one can see how close this volcano is in proximity to the neighboring cities just to the east and northeast, and Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan, in English) to the northwest.


Click on the animation. In the infrared imagery, notice the hotspots, areas significantly hotter than their surrounding environment, produced by Fuego de Volcan (seen in bright white colors, exhibiting brightness temperatures of 300K and higher).

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