Earth Observations



Washington, DC, United States

ISS024-E-008396 (15 July 2010) --- Sabancaya volcano in Peru is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. The 5,967-meter-high Sabancaya stratovolcano (or Nevado Sabancaya) is located in southern Peru approximately 70 kilometers to the northwest of the city of Arequipa. The name Sabancaya means ?tongue of fire? in the Quechua Indian language. Sabancaya is part of a volcanic complex that includes two other nearby (and older) volcanoes, neither of which has been active historically; in this detailed photograph, Nevado Ampato is visible to the south (top center) and the lower flanks of Nevado Hualca Hualca are visible to the north (bottom right). The snowy peaks of the three volcanoes provide a stark contrast to the surrounding desert of the Puna Plateau. Sabancaya?s first historical record of an eruption dates to 1750. The most recent eruptive activity at the volcano occurred in July 2003 and deposited ash on the volcano?s summit and northeastern flank. Volcanism at Sabancaya is fueled by magma generated at the subduction zone between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. Magma can erupt to the surface and form lava flows through the volcano?s summit (frequently forming a crater) but can also erupt from lava domes and flank vents along the volcano?s sides. Lava has issued from all of these points at Sabancaya, forming numerous gray to dark brown lobate flows that extend in all directions except southwards (center).


  • Title: Earth Observations
  • Date Created: 2010-07-15
  • Rights: JSC
  • Album: mgwhite

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