Gushchu mud volcano erupts in Shamakhi, mud spread over 2 ha (5 acres), Azerbaijan

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Gushchu mud volcano in Azerbaijan's Shamakhi region started erupting at 06:00 local time, February 13, 2019.

The eruption spread mud lava over an area of 2 hectares (5 acres) and caused numerous deformations and cracks in at least two houses in a village located 150 m (500 feet) from the volcano, AzerNews reports

It occurred after earthquakes in Shamahi and Agsu on February 5, Adil Aliyev, head of Mud Volcanism Department at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences told Trend News Agency.

There were no emissions of flame and no cracks characteristic for the eruption of such volcanoes were formed.

This volcano has erupted 15 times over the past 200 years. "The strongest eruptions were in 1917, 1941 and 1992," Aliyev said.

Azerbaijan is home to the world's largest mud volcanoes – Boyuk Khanizadagh and Turaghai.

Boyuk Khanizadagh has a diameter of 10 km (6.2 miles) and a height of 700 m (2 300 feet). On October 10, 2001, this volcano erupted, shooting out flames 300 m (1 000 feet) in the air. This is still the world's highest record for flames produced by a mud volcano.

The study of mud volcanoes is very important in terms of determining the prospects of oil and gas zones, Aliyev said last year.

"Eruption of volcanoes is very important for scientific research, because during each eruption we get new scientific information. Erupting volcanoes make it possible to establish the location of promising areas for their subsequent use. In this context, mud volcanoes are the only facility that provide information on oil and gas sources of deep occurrence."

Featured image credit: Trend News Agency

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