This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Batu Tara, Indonesia, spectacular photo

Batu Tara, August 18, 2001
Photo by Thorsten Bockel-http://www.tboeckel.de
VPOW featured this beautiful image this week. I was fascinated by the features at the lower left and center bottom--they look like fireworks on July 4, but come, instead, from the impact of volcanic bombs on the slopes near the vent.

Batu Tara is a small stratovolcano that forms an isolated island in the Flores Sea. Normally covered with vegetation, its first historical eruption occurred from 1847-1852, and the current eruption cycle, starting in 2006, is only the second. A pilot reported an ash cloud that year, but there was no other confirmation.  In 2007, MODIS infrared satellite data showed thermal anomalies.  A continuous low-level plume developed on March 15, 2007, and residents on an island about 50 km south reported a 500-1500 m plume. Lava flows were observed in April of that year, and ash plumes were fairly continuous. Here is the Smithsonian compilation of monthly reports on the activity.

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