Haze lingered over the metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile, following a magnitude 8.8 earth quake on February 27, 2010. In an image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite at 14:25 UTC, black smoke hung over the northern part of the city, while light-colored haze (perhaps pollution and/or dust) covered the southern part of the city and filled a canyon that cuts eastward into the mountains. Below, in an image acquired on February 23, shows the city and surroundings under clear-sky conditions.
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Below, a map of topography and water depth of the west coast of South America, which is a subduction zone, where the Nazca Plate is plowing under the South America Plate at an average rate of 80 millimeters (3 inches) per year. Their collision gives rise to the spectacular Andes Mountains as well as to devastating earthquakes. Lighter colors indicate higher elevation on land and shallower depth in the water. Quake locations and magnitudes are indicated by black circles. The topography is based on radar data collected during the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which flew onboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in mid-February 2002.
See our earlier article of the images taken by ISS astronauts of the region shortly after the earthquake.
Sources: NASA Earth Observatory