This Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image shows Hawaii, also known as “Big Island”. This island is part of the state of Hawaii, United States. Due to its origin, the island of Hawaii is subject to frequent earthquake tremors and volcanic activity.
Hawaiian islands have lush tropical forests due to the union of heavy rainfall and fertile volcanic soil. On the eastern side of Hawaii island, the image shows the greater prevalence of vegetation due to moisture brought in by the prevailing Pacific trade winds, while the western side is drier. Light green and yellow areas in the image correspond to human settlements and the leading crops of the island: sugar cane, coffee and pineapples.
The inactive volcano Mauna Kea (4205 meters), the highest peak in the state, can be seen in the north centre of the island. The dark, lava-streaked flanks, covering about 50 per cent of Hawaii, correspond to the active Mauna Loa volcano (4170 meters) that dominates the south of the island. Smoke, visible in the east part of the image, is rising from Kilauea crater – the most active volcano on Earth. A greyish plume of smoke can be seen on the east coast, to the right of Kilauea volcano, due to Kilauea continually spills lava into the Pacific Ocean.
Instruments: MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
Date of Acquisition: 13 December 2002
Orbit number: 04119
Orbit Direction: Descending
Instrument features: Full Resolution image (300 - metre resolution)
Band Combination: R = 665 nm, G = 560 nm, B = 442.5 nm (channel = wavelength)