The view from above

The following images from Earth orbit are used, instead of maps, to show major features referred to on other pages on Erta Ale. A simple sketch map here.

The view from above
Erta Ale caldera from the Southeast. The active pit is the horizontal dark line in front of the steam plume.
The view from above
Erta Ale's active pit and lava lake a seen from the approaching helicopter. The white steam plume comes from the North pit.
The view from above
Aerial close-up of the lava lake. Note the crack along the pit's nearer rim.
The view from above
The pit seen from the opposite direction as in the image on the left. The camp is above left.
The view from above
Erta Ale summit region from the West. Note how lava flows have spilled through a narrow gap on the left of the steaming North pit.
The view from above
Erta Ale summit region from the South.
The view from above
Erta Ale summit region: North pit steaming on the left; active pit left of centre. One of our seismic stations was located at the bright patch on the lower right.
The view from above
Lava has flowed from Erta Ale towards the lowlands in the South. Note colour differences between flows of different ages.
The view from above
ASTER thermal-infrared composite image from NASA «Visible Earth» website (original image). The hot lava lake appears white, cold mountain tops dark).
The view from above
Space shuttle astronaut photo from NASA «Earth from Space».
The view from above
True-color MODIS image from 6.11.2001 from NASA «Visible Earth» website (original image). Red dots are forest fires (and Erta Ale!).
The view from above
SeaWiFS true-color image 29.11.2000 on NASA «Visible Earth» website (original image); superimposed: Plate motion*..
*Data on plate motion and East African rift valley spreading rate from: A. Walpersdorf, C. Vigny, J. Ruegg, P. Huchon, L. M. Asfaw, and S. Al Kirbash: 5 Years of GPS Observations in the Afar Triple Junction Area (Postscript file to download); and Roger Bilham, University of Colorado, Earthquakes and tectonic plate motions => Ethiopia.

Zoom in from outer space! MODIS and SeaWiFS space images and aerial photos were combine to generate this virtual descent from outer space to Erta Ale: QuickTime object (1.5Mb; drag mouse horizontally to zoom).