Breathtaking Photos of Four Volcanoes Erupting Simultaneously in Russia

In this photograph taken by Cmdr. Chris Hatfield, you can see four volcanoes that are erupting in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula simultaneously.

According to NASA's Earth Observatory:

Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula has the highest concentration of active volcanoes on Earth. Separated by only 180 kilometers (110 miles), Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Tolbachik, and Kizimen were all erupting simultaneously on January 11, 2013.

The activity of these four volcanoes was captured during a single orbit by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA's Terra satellite. The four false-color (near infrared, red, and green) images [below] show Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Plotsky-Tolbachik, and Kizimen in detail.

The Shiveluch and Bezymianny eruptions are both characterized by growing lava domes-thick, pasty lava that forms a mound as it is extruded.

Tolbachik, one of the few shield volcanoes on Kamchatka, is erupting in a dramatically different manner. The thin, runny lava flows easily, forming low and broad flows similar to those in Hawai'i. In this image, the lava remains hot enough to glow in near-infrared light.

Kizimen's lava is not as viscous as that at Shiveluch and Bezymianny, but not as fluid as Tolbachik's. The intermediate lava forms thick, blocky flows bordered by tall levees. Rocks and ash frequently fall from Kizimen's summit and the fresh lava flow on its eastern flank, creating dark, fan-shaped debris deposits.

This region in Russia is known for its volcanic activity, and eruptions during the 1970s produced as much as 1.2 cubic km of lava.

Breathtaking Photos of Four Volcanoes Erupting Simultaneously in Russia

Breathtaking Photos of Four Volcanoes Erupting Simultaneously in Russia

Breathtaking Photos of Four Volcanoes Erupting Simultaneously in Russia

Breathtaking Photos of Four Volcanoes Erupting Simultaneously in Russia