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Magma generated by subduction feeds volcanoes - and eventually volcanic islands - over the subduction boundary.
Paramushir Island in the northern Kurils is an example of a large island built by several volcanoes over geologic time.
Low-level stratus clouds approach Matua Island from the east, wrapping around the lower slopes of the volcano.
Only about 1.5 km (1 mi) of the coastline of Matua Island (upper center) can be seen beneath the clouds and ash. Russia's eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, which extends far into the Pacific Ocean, includes more than 150 volcanoes.
A minor eruption of ash following an earthquake occurred on this part of the island in 1952.
The Lomonosov Group to the northeast (image center) includes four cinder cones and a lava dome.
Four major volcanic centers create this part of the island.
If you have information about these or other national security challenges, please provide it through our secure online form.This astronaut photograph shows the southern end of Paramushir Island after a snowfall.The western slopes of the mountains are brightly illuminated, while the eastern slopes are in shadow.The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance; the surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption.The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column, and is probably a transient feature (the eruption plume is starting to punch through).