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Sinabung erupts again: ash reaches 7.5 km a.s.l. 7 September 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Sinabung.
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Mount Sinabung in northern Sumatra continues to be highly active. The Indonesian Volcanological Authority (VSI) has confirmed another eruption in the early hours of this morning: the VSI reports that ‘shallow earthquakes’ from around 21:00 on 6 September were followed by an explosive eruption beginning at 00:23 and lasting until 00:38 on 7 September (all times are local). ‘Thick black smoke’ reached an altitude of approximately 5000 m above the crater, with the plume being blown towards the south-east. Darwin VAAC is reporting ash from Sinabung at FL250 (25,000 ft / 7.5 km altitude) – i.e. the 5000 m altitude of the emissions plus the height of Sinabung itself, which is about 2.5 km.

Chief Government volcanologist Surono is quoted by Reuters as describing this as ‘the biggest eruption yet’. A VSI spokeswoman told Malaysia’s Bernama news agency that the sound of the eruption was audible 8 km away from the volcano. Volcanic deposits of up to 1 cm thickness have been reported in nearby villages, and the ashfall situation has been made worse by heavy rain in the area overnight. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was making an official visit to the area (with entourage), was forced to stay there when his flight back to Jakarta was delayed by this latest eruption.

There are no reports of deaths or injuries from the latest activity, but there is concern for local villagers and farmers who have returned to the evacuated zone around the volcano to safeguard their properties.

For those who can read Indonesian, a PDF briefing on the eruption is available from the VSI’s publications archive, and the regular briefings on Sinabung’s activity can be downloaded as PDF documents from a table labelled ‘Perkembangan Kegiatan G. Sinabung’ on the VSI main page. The latest briefing, released at 06:00 on 7 September, can be downloaded here.

UPDATE. An Indonesian Geological Service webcam for Sinabung can be found via this page: click on the weird little eye in the lower part of the satellite image and the webcam view will pop up (or just click here for a direct link to the image – manual refresh required).

For all our Sinabung coverage: Sinabung « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Indonesian volcano blows again, biggest eruption yet – Reuters, 7 September 2010
Volcano re-erupts in Indonesia – Bernama, 7 September 2010
Indonesian volcano erupts again – Earth Times News, 7 September 2010
Long-dormant Indonesian volcano erupts again – CNN, 7 September 2010
Indonesian volcano unleashes violent eruption – AFP, 7 September 2010
President visits Mount Sinabung, asks refugees to be patientJakarta Post, 7 September 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sinabung – summary information for Sinabung (0601-08=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – News and information portal for the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (site often down)

The Volcanism Blog

Toba eruption deforested India 24 November 2009

Posted by admin in climate, current research, India, Indonesia, Toba.
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The Toba eruption of ~73000 years ago is perennially fascinating: the world’s largest known Quaternary eruption, this event registered VEI=8 and had a global climatic impact that may have caused the near-extinction of humanity by creating a ‘population bottleneck’ (or perhaps not). The scientist behind the population bottleneck theory, University of Illinois anthropology professor Stanley Ambrose, is a lead author for a new study in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (click here for the abstract) which explores further the impact of the Toba eruption and concludes that its effects were indeed wide-ranging and (crucially for the claim that contemporary human populations were dramatically affected) long-lasting.

The study looked at pollen from a marine core taken in the Bay of Bengal which includes ash from the Toba eruption and at carbon isotope ratios in fossil soil carbonates from directly above and below the Toba ash in three locations in central India. Both analyses indicated a change in the vegetation cover in central India after the Toba eruption, from forests to more open vegetation conditions with a predominance of grasslands. The change in vegetation suggests that significantly drier conditions were produced by the Toba eruption, and that those conditions lasted for at least a thousand years.

  • Martin A.J. Williams, Stanley H. Ambrose, Sander van der Kaarsc, Carsten Ruehlemannd, Umesh Chattopadhyayae, Jagannath Pale & Parth R. Chauhanf, Environmental impact of the 73 ka Toba super-eruption in South Asia, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology [article in press, corrected proof], doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.10.009 (abstract)

Supervolcano eruption – in Sumatra – deforested India 73,000 years ago – EurekAlert, 23 November 2009
Supervolcano eruption in Sumatra deforested India 73,000 years ago – ScienceDaily, 23 November 2009
…. both of the above being essentially regurgitations of this University of Illinois press release.

The Volcanism Blog

Rinjani eruption continues 24 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Rinjani.
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Caldera of Gunung Rinjani (Lombok, Indonesia) by Nusa Tenggara (Indonesia), 2008. Creative Commons licensed.

Caldera of Gunung Rinjani (Lombok, Indonesia) by Nusa Tenggara (Indonesia), 6 September 2008. Barujari cone can be seen on the far side of the caldera lake, slightly to the left of centre. Detail view below shows the cone more clearly. [Picture taken by Nusa Tenggara and reproduced under the terms of a Creative Commons license. From Flickr: click on the image to go to the source page.]

Caldera of Gunung Rinjani (Lombok, Indonesia) by Nusa Tenggara (Indonesia), 2008, detail showing Barujari cone. Creative Commons licensed.

Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island, Indonesia, is continuing to erupt, as it has been doing pretty much continuously since the current phase of activity began on 2 May. The eruption is located at Barujari cone, which has been the focus for eruptive activity since records began in 1847 and can be seen in Nusa Tenggara’s wonderful picture above.

A bulletin released on 17 June by the Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation gives copious details of seismicity and eruption plume activity since 7 May, reporting frequent shallow earthquakes and episodes of harmonic tremor, and ‘thick white smoke’ reaching up to 1500 metres above Mount Rinjani’s summit. The bulletin also reports what sounds like impressive strombolian activity, with incandescent material being thrown 200 metres into the air from Barujari’s summit crater and landing up to 500 metres away. There is also a report of a lava flow some 600 metres wide that has extended 100 metres into the lake.

Indonesian volcanologists see no immediate prospect of this eruption coming to an end, according to reports in the local press.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Rinjani eruptions seem like fireworksTempo Interaktif, 15 June 2009
Mount Baru Jari spews lavaJakarta Post, 19 June 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Rinjani – summary information for Rinjani (0604-03=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

Increase in activity at Anak Krakatau reported 19 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Indonesia, Krakatau.
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‘Mt Anak Krakatau’s eruptions record tremendous increase’ is the headline at Indonesia’s Antara news agency, on a lengthy story reporting a rise in the numbers of earthquakes and ‘small eruptions’ at the volcano, which is in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java:

At least 828 small eruptions were recorded to have happened on the volcano with 63 volcanic quakes, 434 tremors and 366 times of emission in the past six days, said Anto Prambudi, head of Mt Anak Krakatau Monitoring Post in Pasauran village, Serang district, Banten province, on Wednesday. According to him, in the past five days the volcanic quake of Mt Anak Krakatau showed a rise in its activity. In fact, the frequency of the quake and small eruptions took place in every three minutes interval.

People living near Anak Krakatau, which is constructing itself over the remains of the Krakatau volcano destroyed in the famous eruption of 1883, have been reporting for some time that activity levels have been rising, and on 6 May this year the Indonesian volcanological authorities raised the alert level to the second-highest level of Orange (Siaga), where it remains. The Antara report describes frequent earthquakes, ‘white smoke’ rising to 800 metres above the crater, hazardous gas emissions, and ‘glowing lava like gravel’ with a temperature of 600°C:

Officials at the Anak Krakatau Monitong Post in Pasauran village, Cinangka sub district, Serang district, said the volcano’s activity was on Friday marked by 182 eruptions coupled with 11 volcanic quakes, eight deep volcanic tremors, 54 shallow volcanic shocks, 44 tremors, and it also spewed smoke 29 times. But none of the phenomena posed a direct threat to human life.

There are reports of some local inhabitants leaving the area with their families in alarm at the volcano’s rise in activity. At the moment the authorities have imposed a three-kilometre radius exclusion zone, but no evacuations have been officially ordered.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Mt Anak Krakatau’s eruptions record tremendous increase – Antara News, 18 June 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Krakatau – summary information for Krakatau (0602-00=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

Anak Krakatau alert level increased 7 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Krakatau.
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Quick update … it seems recent reports from local inhabitants of increased activity at Krakatau may have been correct – the alert level for the volcano has just been raised by the Indonesian authorities from Yellow (Waspada) to Orange (Siaga). Dr Klemetti has information and links at Eruptions: Alert level raised at Anak Krakatau.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog

Indonesia: Rinjani activity continues 4 May 2009

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The eruptive activity at Rinjani volcano on Lombok Island is continuing, according to press reports from Indonesia. Those reports are a little contradictory, with the Jakarta Globe saying that the volcano ‘continued to emit volcanic ash and smoke on Sunday [but] the eruptions were relatively smaller than those on Saturday, authorities said’, while Tempointeraktif has ‘Mount Rinjani closed as eruptions intensify’ and ‘activities escalating since Saturday (2/5) afternoon’. The latter report quotes head Indonesian volcanologist Surono as saying that ‘volcanic ash and smoke’ from Rinjani has reached about 8000 metres, and also has this interesting information:

Mining and Energy office of West Nusa Tenggara Province reported a crater began to form at the eastern slope of the mountain. Heryadi Rahmad from the mining and energy office said the eruptions had not caused terrible impacts ‘but a small crater began to form’ in the eastern part of the mountainous area at Mount Baru Jari.

Barujari (that being the GVP form of the name) is a volcanic cone at the eastern end of the Rinjani caldera which has been the focus of historical eruptive activity – see the satellite image at the Eruptions blog for Rinjani’s interesting summit arrangements. Eruptions from excentric vents (vents cutting into the rim of a pre-existing crater) seem to be typical of Barujari’s eruptive history, and this new ‘small crater’ may be the latest example.

The alert status for Rinjani has not been raised and remains (as of the time of writing) at Orange (Siaga), the second-highest level.

UPDATE 5 May 2009. A new report in the Jakarta Post has Rinjani (Baru Jari) ‘spray[ing] thick ash’ on Sunday, but quotes Heryadi Rahmad of the provincial mining and energy authority as saying that ‘The peak of the activity was on Saturday with four tremors and the eruption of thick ash’. A team from the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation agency is at Rinjani to monitor the activity, and the national park around the volcano remains closed to visitors.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
No danger in Barujari eruption, officials sayJakarta Globe, 3 May 2009
Mount Rinjani closed as eruptions intensify – Tempointerkatif.com, 3 May 2009
Mt Baru Jari spews ashJakarta Post, 4 May 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Rinjani – summary information for Rinjani (0604-03=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

Alert at Indonesia’s Mt Rinjani 3 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Indonesia, Rinjani.
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Indonesia may seem to be having more than its fair share of volcano alerts lately, but given the very large number of volcanoes to be found in that country it probably is actually a fair share. Semeru, Karangetang, Ibu and Slamet are all on the second-highest alert level of Orange (Siaga), while thirteen other volcanoes including Krakatau, Kerinci and Kelud are at the next level of Yellow (Waspada). The latest addition to the latter group is Mt Rinjani on Lombok Island, which has gone to yellow alert following ‘two small explosions’ on Saturday afternoon. The area of the national park surrounding the volcano has been closed to tourists as a safety measure.

Eruptions has more details and background: Yet another Indonesian volcano on alert.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Mount Rinjani on alert status, closed to touristsJakarta Post, 3 May 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Rinjani – summary information for Rinjani (0604-03=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

Activity increases at Mount Slamet 1 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Slamet.
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Slamet volcano in central Java is continuing to increase its eruptive activity, according to reports in the Indonesian press. The area being affected by Slamet’s ash is widening, with ashfall reported in parts of Purbalingga regency, 50 kilometres to the south-east. The head of the volcano observation division of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), Agus Budianto, is quoted as reporting that ‘The lava sprays are also increasing. We therefore call on local residents to stay alert’. Officials are recommending that local residents wear masks to protect themselves from the ash, but say that the alert level for Slamet remains at the second-highest level of Orange (Siaga) and that no evacuations are necessary.

Reports earlier this week spoke of Slamet producing frequent bursts of ash and erupting lava 600 metres above the summit. There has been criticism of the regional governments around Slamet for responding too slowly to the increased activity at the volcano and failing to keep people informed: ‘villagers living near Mount Slamet have not been informed about what to do if an eruption occurs’.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Slamet rumbles as residents brace for eruptionJakarta Globe, 27 April 2009
Government considered slow in anticipating Mount Slamet eruption – Tempointeraktif.com, 28 April 2009
Mt. Slamet spreading ash over wider areaThe Jakarta Post, 30 April 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Slamet – summary information for Slamet (0603-18=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

More volcanic alerts in Indonesia 22 April 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Indonesia, Paluweh, Slamet.
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To the ongoing concerns about activity at Kerinci and Krakatau, must be added new alerts for Slamet, Java’s second-highest volcano and one of its most active, and Paluweh (also known as Rokatenda) in the Lesser Sunda Islands, which last erupted in 1985. The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has raised the alert levels for both volcanoes from the lowest level of Normal to the next highest level of Yellow (Indonesian: Waspada).

Local news reports speak of a higher frequency of earthquakes at Paluweh, 23 per day up from an average of 2 per day in early April, while Slamet has apparently doubled its normal daily earthquake rate to 97 per day, a white plume has been rising to 300 metres above the crater, and water temperatures have risen.

Three volcanoes are currently on the second-highest alert level of Orange (Siaga) in Indonesia: Semeru, Karangetang and Ibu. Thirteen – including, now, Slamet and Paluweh (Rokatenda), are at Yellow (Waspada).

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Activity of three volcanos increasesJakarta Post, 22 April 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Slamet – summary information for Slamet (0603-18=)
Global Volcanism Program: Paluweh – summary information for Paluweh (0604-15=)
Pusat Vulkanologi & Mitigasi Bencana Geologi – News and information portal for the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Indonesia

The Volcanism Blog

Volcanic activity in Indonesia: Kerinci and Krakatau 21 April 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Indonesia, Kerinci, Krakatau.
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News of volcanoes stirring in Indonesia, one of the most volcanically active parts of the globe.

Mount Kerinci, Sumatra, Indonesia (picture by Tom Casadevall, USGS, 1987)
Mount Kerinci, Sumatra, Indonesia. Picture by Tom Casadevall, USGS, 1987.

Mount Kerinci on Sumatra, the highest volcano in Indonesia (3800 metres a.s.l.) and one of the most active, is reported to be producing small explosions, ‘discharges of dust’ and ‘repeated tremors’ and threatening the populated area at the foot of the mountain. The Kerinci Observation Post has warned local people to wear masks when going out of doors. The Indonesian Volcanological Authority alert level for Kerinci is thus far still at the second-lowest level of Yellow (Waspada).

Anak Krakatau, the young volcano emerging in the Sunda Strait on the site of the famous 1883 ‘Krakatoa’ eruption, is apparently causing alarm among local people, some of whom have been leaving their homes in the belief that a major eruption is imminent. The volcano has been producing explosions and eruptions of ash, but the volcanological authorities say that the activity is not unusual and people should not panic. The alert level for Anak Krakatau remains unchanged at Yellow (Waspada). There seems to be a mismatch between what the scientists say Anak Krakatau is up to and what local people perceive: Dr Erik Klemetti has more on this at Eruptions.

For all our Indonesia coverage: Indonesia « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Sumatran volcano shows intensified volcanic activityThe Jakarta Post, 21 April 2009
Lampung residents told not to panic as Mt. Anak Krakatau spews ashThe Jakarta Post, 21 April 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Kerinci – summary information for Kerinci (0601-17=)
Global Volcanism Program: Krakatau – summary information for Krakatau (0602-00=)

The Volcanism Blog

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