The Sciences

Potential Eruption Off the Coast of Yemen

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiDec 20, 2011 12:14 AM


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UPDATE 7:30 AM EST December 20: It seems like there is a lot of confusion about exactly where the eruption is taking place. A number of sources put the eruption at Jebel Zubair, another island volcano that is part of an archipelago that last erupted in 1824. Jebel Zubair is just to the south of Jebel at Tair, so looking at the OMI map (above) and the new MODIS image found by Eruptions reader Kirby that looks to have a small plume (see below), it is more likely Jebel Zubair. However, there is still not a lot of information out there on this eruption.

Eruptions reader Sherine alerted me to a news story about a volcanic eruption in the Red Sea off Yemen. In the report, fisherman spotted 20-30 meter fountains of lava near Saba Island. Beyond this information (in Arabic), there is very little news on this eruption out there - however, I did check the OMI real time sulfur dioxide measurements and sure enough, there looks to be a small sulfur dioxide plume in the vicinity near Yemen (see above) - specifically, it looks like Jebel at Tair (*location is unclear, like Jebel Zubair - see update above). This name should ring a bell, as the volcano erupted in 2007-8 and killed 7 Yemeni soldiers. Jebel at Tair is part of the rifting of the Red Sea, moving the Arabian Peninsula away from Africa and is one of the many volcanoes of the Arabian Peninsula region. The volcano has mixed explosive and effusive eruptions during its known history. Unfortunately, this area was missed by the MODIS pass today, so no visual evidence, but it does seem that the report of a new eruption at Jebel at Tair might be true.

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