This shuttle photograph depicts the island of Pico, as well as the volcano of Pico.
The Shuttle Radar Laboratory acquired a multiparameter synthetic aperture radar image of the PICO stratovolcano, on the island of Pico as part of its SRL-2 mission in October of 1994. Pico is a relatively recent volcano, and the largest in the central Atlantic, and as recently as the 18th century flank eruptions of lava flows were observed. High heat flow from fumaroles at its summit have been routinely observed (i.e., ~ 70 C), and evidence of a summit lava lake and scoria cone that must have formed in the past 1000 years is abundant.
The multi-wavelength (L and C-bands) and multiparameter image displayed combines L-band HH polarization, L-band HV polarization (cross polarized), and C-band HH polarization as Red, Green and Blue to better differentiate surface textures on the upper reaches of this 2311 m high cone. The most recently formed upper cone of PICO has a volume of ~ 66 cubic kilometers and local slopes as high as 45 degrees. Indeed, the false-color radar image shows evidence of summit slump scars (gouge-like features in the cone) and suggests that the unstable upper summit frequently collapses in various sectors to produce localized flank collapse features. Pico displays a morphology somewhere between an oceanic island shield and the classic stratovolcanoes of the Pacific Rim region (i.e. Fuji etc.). By studying the subtle surface textures revealed via imaging radar, supplemented with high resolution airborne laser altimeter profiles (acquired by NASA in Sept. 1994), we can develop empirical models associated with the most unstable and likely to fail regions of this volcano. Scientists at the Centro de Vulcanologia (Dr. V. H. Forjaz and others) in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores are working with NASA scientists to investigate the recent erosional history of Pico.
The island of Sao Jorge is another member of the Azores islands.