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Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS023 Roll: E Frame: 22411 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS023
Country or Geographic Name: EL SALVADOR
Features: SAN MIGUEL VOLCANO, CHINAMECA VOLCANO, EL TIGRE VOLCANO, USULUTAN VOLCANO
Center Point Latitude: 13.4 Center Point Longitude: -88.3 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)
ONC Map ID: JNC Map ID:
CameraCamera Tilt: 33
Camera Focal Length: 340mm
Camera: N4: Nikon D3X
Film: 6048E : 6048 x 4032 pixel CMOS sensor, 35.9mm x 24.0mm, total pixels: 25.72 million, Nikon FX format.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20100331 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 222927 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 11.4, Longitude: -88.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: North
Sun Azimuth: 270 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 23 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1129
CaptionsVolcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador
The Pacific coastline of much of Central America is marked by a line of active and quiescent volcanoes known to geologists as the Central American Volcanic Arc. The volcanoes result from the upward movement of magma generated along the subduction zone between the Cocos and Caribbean tectonic plates. Frequent earthquakes also occur along the plate boundary. This astronaut photograph includes four stratovolcanoes—a type of volcano common in active subduction zones—in El Salvador, near the midpoint of the Central American Volcanic Arc.
While all of the volcanoes shown here have been active during the Holocene Epoch (from about 10,000 years ago to the present), only the 2,130-meter- (6,990-foot-) high San Miguel (also known as Chaparrastique) has been active during historical times. The most recent activity of San Miguel was a minor gas and ash emission in 2002. The stratovolcano’s steep cone shape and well-developed summit crater are evident, along with dark lava flows. Immediately to the northwest, the truncated summit of Chinameca Volcano (also known as El Pacayal) is marked by a two-kilometer- (one-mile-) wide caldera. The caldera formed when a powerful eruption emptied the volcano’s magma chamber, causing the chamber’s roof to collapse. Like its neighbor San Miguel, Chinameca’s slopes host coffee plantations.
Moving to the west, the eroded cone of El Tigre Volcano is visible. El Tigre formed during the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million to about 10,000 years ago), and it is likely the oldest of the stratovolcanoes in the image. Usulután Volcano is directly southwest of El Tigre. While the flanks of Usulután have been dissected by streams, the mountain still retains a summit crater that is breached on the eastern side. Several urban areas—recognizable as light gray to white regions contrasting with green vegetation and tan fallow agricultural fields—are located in the vicinity of these volcanoes, including the town of Usulután (lower left) and Santiago de Mara (upper left).
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