The Nyiragongo volcano in the Congo erupted on January 17, 2002, and subsequently sent streams of lava into the city of Goma on the north shore of Lake Kivu. More than 100 people were killed, more than 12,000 homes were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee the broader community of nearly half a million people. This stereoscopic (anaglyph) visualization combines a Landsat satellite image and an elevation model from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to provide a view of the volcano, the city of Goma, and surrounding terrain.
Nyiragongo is the steep volcano to the lower right of center, Lake Kivu is at the bottom, and the city of Goma is located along the northeast shore (bottom center). Nyiragongo peaks at about 3,470 meters (11,380 feet) elevation and reaches almost exactly 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) above Lake Kivu. The shorter but broader Nyamuragira volcano appears to the upper left of Nyiragongo.
Goma, Lake Kivu, Nyiragongo, Nyamuragira and other nearby volcanoes sit within the East African Rift Valley, a zone where tectonic processes are cracking, stretching, and lowering the Earth's crust. The cliff at the top center of the image is the western edge of the rift. Volcanic activity is common in the rift, and older but geologically recent lava flows (dark in this depiction) are particularly apparent on the flanks of the Nyamuragira volcano.
This anaglyph was produced by first shading an elevation model from data acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and blending it with a single band of a Landsat scene. The stereoscopic effect was then created by generating two differing perspectives, one for each eye. When viewed through special glasses, the result is a vertically exaggerated view of the Earth's surface in its full three dimensions. Anaglyph glasses cover the left eye with a red filter and the right eye with a blue filter.
The Landsat image used here was acquired on December 11, 2001, about a month before the eruption, and shows an unusually cloud-free view of this tropical terrain. Landsat has been providing visible and infrared views of the Earth since 1972. SRTM elevation data matches the 30-meter (98-foot) resolution of most Landsat images and substantially helps in analyzing the large and growing Landsat image archive. This Landsat 7 Thematic Mapper image was provided to the SRTM project by the United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) DataCenter, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Elevation data used in this image was acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect 3-D measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter (approximately 200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise,Washington, D.C.
Size: 43 by 62 kilometers (27 by 39 miles)
Location: 1.5 degrees South latitude, 29.3 degrees East longitude
Orientation: East-northeast at top
Image Data: Landsat Band 4 (near infrared) combined with SRTM shaded relief
Original Data Resolution: SRTM 1 arcsecond (30 meters or 98 feet), Landsat 30 meters (98 feet).
Date Acquired: February 2000 (SRTM), December 11, 2001 (Landsat)