The Colima volcanic complex is the the most active volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. This image shows the 4,320 meter tall Nevado de Colima stratovolcano and the approx. 6 km tall eruption column that resulted from an explosive andesitic eruption on Feb. 3, 2017. An eruption column is a cloud of hot volcanic ash suspended in the atmosphere after being expelled by an eruption. A fascinating way to investigate the atmosphere is by observing what happens to this column of ash as it rises. As can be seen in this helicopter image, the column begins to flatten out as it hits abrupt changes in atmospheric temperature and pressure. So cool!
Photo credit: Mexico Geological Survey
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