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New eruption observed at Krakatau volcano, Indonesia

new-eruption-observed-at-krakatau-volcano-indonesia

A small eruption took place at Krakatau volcano, located between Java and Sumatra, on June 19, 2018. The last known eruption of this volcano took place on February 19, 2017.

The eruption produced ash that rose a few hundred meters before it dissipated, Volcano Discovery reports. "Whether this is a sign of a new, more robust eruptive phase at the volcano is too early to say, but clearly shows that the volcano is restless and could be ready for a new eruption in the near to medium term future (weeks, months from now)."

Thermal radiation has increased since March 2018 and is at low to moderate levels, also suggesting that magma is near the surface.

A strong thermal signal was observed at the volcano on February 17, 2017. This activity was followed by intense strombolian-vulcanian type activity at the summit on February 19.

Its previous eruption occurred on March 31, 2014 (VEI 1).

Geological summary

The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. The collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 CE, formed a 7-km-wide (4.3 miles) caldera.

Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes, and left only a remnant of Rakata volcano.

This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36 000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km (25 miles) across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast.

After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927. (GVP)

Featured image: Small eruption at Krakatau volcano on June 19, 2018. Credit: Juhdi Black

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