Sirung volcano back to life and on alert level 3: new phreatic eruption and strong degassing

Sirung volcano back to life and on alert level 3: new phreatic eruption and strong degassing

The Sirung stratovolcano on the remote Pantar island in Indonesia has come back to life with a series of probably phreatic explosions and strong degassing.

On May 8, 2012 a 3-hour long eruption took place. The eruption was accompanied by loud sounds and incandescent tephra observed rising 10 m above the crater.  The explosion created an ash plume that reached 3.5 km altitude and drifted to the north, producing ashfall up to 4 mm thick near the crater.

During  May 9-12 white plumes rose 30-50 m above the crater. A sulfur odor was reported in areas up to 3 km away on 12 May. That same day CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and recommended that visitors not approach the volcano within a 2.5 km radius.

Sirung volcano is located at the NE end of a 14-km-long line of volcanic centers that form a peninsula at the southern end of Pantar Island.

The low, 862-m-high volcano is truncated by a 2-km-wide caldera whose floor often contains one or more small lakes.

Much of the volcano is constructed of basaltic lava flows, and the Gunung Sirung lava dome forms the high point on the caldera's western rim. A number of phreatic eruptions have occurred from vents within the caldera during the 20th century. Forested Gunung Topaki, the 1390-m high point of the volcanic chain, lies at the SW end and contains a symmetrical summit crater.

Sources: volcanodiscovery.comvolcano.si.edu

Featured image: The Sirung volcano (not the latest image of volcano eruption). Credit: volcano.si.edu

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