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Kelud volcano (also spelled Kelut) is one of East Java's most active volcanoes. The volcano has a spectacular large crater that contains a lake, which was a popular weekend destination but also the origin of devastating mud flows (lahars). In Oct-Nov 2007, a new lava dome grew within the lake to form an island, replacing most of the water.
Kelut is notorious among Indonesia's volcanoes for its violent, and often deadly explosive eruptions. One of the worst volcanic disasters occurred during the 1919 eruption, when the (then very large) crater lake drained and formed lahars that killed at least 5160 people. An eruption in 1586 is believed to have caused even more than 10,000 fatalities.
Stratovolcano 1731 m (5,679 ft) East Java, Indonesia, -7.93°S / 112.31°E Current status: dormant (1 out of 5)
Kelud webcams / live data Kelud volcano books | Tours Kelud volcano eruptions: 1500(?), 1548, 1586 ((sub-)Plinian eruption?), 1641 (sub-Plininan eruption?), 1716, 1752, 1756(?), 1771, 1776, 1785, 1811, 1825, 1826, 1835, 1848, 1849(?), 1864, 1901, 1919, 1920, 1951, 1966, 1967, 1990, Oct-Nov 2007, 13 Feb 2014 Typical eruption style: Explosive. Lava domes, pyroclastic flows. Presence of extensive crater lake at low elevation, generating destructive lahars. Last earthquakes nearby
Due to visual and instrumental monitoring results as well as level of potential hazards the Alert Level for Kelut was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 12 August. Residents and visitors were advised to not approach the crater rim, crater floor, or the rivers that disgorge from Kelut.
Part of Kelut's crater area on 25 Feb (image: Pasang Mata)
No new explosions have occurred recently and the alert status of the volcano was lowered to 2 (Waspada, "watch") on a scale of 1-4. ...more
A picture of parts of the crater area, taken from the caldera rim on 25 Feb, appeared on the net and shows what is described as a 15 m wide crater left by the 13 Feb eruption (but this seems rather small). [less]
The crater of Kelut on 18 Feb (Photo by Suwarno, a local photographer, via Oystein Lund Andersen)
Activity at the volcano has decreased, but it is still unknown what exactly the situation at the vent is, whether or not a new lava dome is forming there. The thermal hot spot visible on satellite data could also be caused by hot gasses. ...more
A picture showing the new crater at the place of the 2007 lava dome has emerged on our friend Øystein Lund Andersen's website, but of course, it is impossible to see what the bottom of the new pit looks like. [less]
MODIS hot spot at Kelut volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii)
A MODIS hot spot is visible at the crater, suggesting that a new lava dome could be forming there. This would be the effusive continuation of the recent explosion on 13 Feb, as magma with much less gas content continues to arrive at the vent.
Degassing plume of Kelut yesterday (photo: Aris Yanto)
The volcano itself remains relatively calm and produces only a degassing plume. So far, no clear picture has been available about what exactly is going on at the crater itself (e.g. whether a new lava dome is forming). ...more
The biggest problem at the moment are lahars, mud flows that form when rain water mixes and remobilizes loose deposits. These mud flows can carry boulders of meter size and are extremely destructive (imagine flowing cement with mixed-in large debris of all sorts). It is estimated that approximately 50 million cubic meters of tephra deposits from the 13 Feb eruption could be remobilized by the rains in the coming days, weeks and months to come. Areas most at risk are river valleys and their river banks. The first lahars have already appeared during the past days, and produced extensive additional damage, but fortunately no fatalities.
Collapsed roof of a house due to ash fall deposit (photo: Aris Yanto)
Steaming Kelut volcano this morning (photo: Aris Yanto)
The volcano continues to emit a dense steam plume and some ash, but has not produced new explosions. Apart from that the 2007 lava dome has been removed by the explosion, it is not very clear (nor easy to find out) what is currently happening in the crater. ...more
A constant stream of analysis and interesting details about the eruption has been appearing. Among them the observation that in terms of SO2 output, impressive as it was, it was only a moderate event. The injected amount of SO2 is not sufficient to cause any noticeable (short-term) climate changes. Satellite data have shown that the eruption column reached a maximum of 27 km altitude originally, before falling back and producing beautiful gravity waves at approx. 19 km altitude where it spread into an umbrella cloud. Read more.
Ash emissions from Kelut yesterday (photo taken from Blitar)
Additional details and new estimates about the recent explosion are emerging. Unfortunately, a 4th fatality caused by the eruption has now been confirmed by BNPB. All victims were within 7 km of the volcano. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated. ...more
Fast rise of magma? One of the most remarkable aspects of the eruption was how quickly it built up, suggesting a very fast rise of magma occurred in the hours before the explosion. VSI mentioned that there were only 2 hours between the appearance of shallow earthquakes (the typical immediate precursors) and the onset of the eruption itself. With such little warning time, it was difficult to implement an effective evacuation, but still, one should recognize that Indonesian authorities have done a marvelous job. Still, it is a small wonder that there were not many more fatalities. Most of this is to be attributed to the fact, that the eruption seems not to have produced any or at least no larger pyroclastic flows (which in itself is also a small wonder).
Traces of recorded infrasound waves pointing back to Kelut (CTBTO, facebook.com/CTBTO)
Ash emissions from Kelut yesterday (photo: @hilmi_dzi / Twitter)
The ash plume of Kelut over the Indian Ocean (NASA earth observatory)
Ash from the eruption is still drifting over the eastern Indian Ocean. More than 100,000 people have reportedly evacuated areas close to the volcano. Heavy ash fall occurred in vast areas of Java. A preliminary judgement of the erupted ash suggests that the explosion was a magmatic event, i.e. triggered by a new bash of fresh magma that seems to have risen very quickly to the surface: ...more
Our correspondent Andi wrote: "Jogja and many cities in the west and east of Java is covered by raining ash and layered until 3-4 mm. It's terrible that the ash could reach Jogja and other cities until 500 km away from Kelud as well as covered Borobudur temple again as in eruption 2010. ... The color (of the ash, rmk) is white powder and some black particles inside as well that maybe there is some pyroxene (small black particles)." [less]
The eruption of Kelut last night (image: pic.twitter.com/ypy7kx9615 / @hilmi_dzi)
BNPB (Civil protection) confirmed 3 fatalities (indirectly or directly) caused by the eruption: two as result of breathing difficulties caused by the ash, one as a road accident during evacuation. All of the victims were in Pandasari village less than 7 km from the volcano where 20 cm of ash has fallen. ...more
So far, 76,388 people are confirmed evacuated into 293 shelters so far, while evacuation efforts within the 10 km exclusion zone continue. Preliminary estimations are that the eruption produced 80 million cubic meters of tephra. At the moment, the volcano continues to emit ash and steam, accompanied by tremors. The government of East Java has declared the state of emergency for the affected area. 350,000 dust masks are being distributed.
A large SO2 plume is drifting over the Indian ocean (NOAA)
The ash plume from Kelut's eruption over the Indian Ocean seen from NASA's Terra satellite this morning
The eruption column with intense volcanic lightning (@soranibrahim7, pic.twitter.com/11kGP8V0k4)
The ash plume from last night's major eruption (possibly sub-plinian or even plinian in size) of Kelut is drifting rapidly to the west above the Indian Ocean. It is estimated to be as high as 55,000 ft (16 km) and extends several hundred kilometers in both N-S and W-E directions. ...more
An important warning for aircraft using routes in this part of SE Asia was issued by VAAC Darwin. The eruption plume is well visible on satellite data. According to VSI, the eruption started at 21:15 local time, following a rapid build-up in seismic activity during the same day. Monitoring staff were forced to evacuate their observation post as the eruption began to increase and a heavy rain of gravel-sized lapilli set in.
Kelut's eruption plume on MTSAT (infrared channel) (CIMSS)
Estimated extent and prediciton of the ash plume (VAAC Darwin)
The eruption column of Kelut with lightning (photo: @RagaRikardhanu/ Twitter)
It seems that a large eruption started at the volcano at 23:29 local time today. VAAC Darwin reports an ash plume to 45,000 ft (15 km) altitude is drifting 50 nautical miles to the west of the volcano. The alert status was raised to the highest level. ...more
Local news suggest heavy ash fall (up to gravel sized) in distances of 15-40 km. Volcanologists on duty at the VSI observatory post left because to the danger posed by the eruption; Indonesian Civil Defense (BNPB) urged people living within 10 km of the volcano to evacuate. Indonesian government set up more than 70 evacuation shelters in areas around the volcano. Wahyu Prasetyo send us some pictures from the impressive eruption.
Seismic activity at Kelut volcano during the past weeks (VSI)
VSI raised the alert status to the second highest level 3 (out of 4), "Siaga" (meaning eruption warning). In its latest report, VSI informs that an ongoing slight deformation, suggesting magma intrusion, has been detected since September and that a strong increase in seismic activity started on 7 February. A seismic swarm occurred with hypocenters between 1.5-3.5 km depth beneath the summit area. ...more
The increased seismic activity triggered the decision to raise the status once more, after the volcano had put on alert level 2 already on 2 Feb.
Hypocenters of recent earthquakes under Kelut volcano (VSI)
The alert level of the volcano was raised today from 1 ("normal") to 2 ("Waspada", "watch") on a scale of 1-4. During the second half of 2014, a strong increase in seismic activity and a 5.5 deg temperature increase of the crater lake water had been detected. ...more
The number of shallow volcanic earthquakes rose from averages of 1-2 per day to approx 10 per day during 20-31 Jan and climbed to more than 100 events since the start of February alone. This might indicate a shallow intrusion is taking place and could lead to a new eruption. VSI recommends not to approach the crater within 2 km radius. The last eruption of Kelut was in Oct-Nov 2007, when a new lava dome grew within the crater lake. [less]
CVGHM lowered the Alert Status of Kelut on 8 November from 4 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4), due to a decrease in seismicity and deformation. Temperatures of the crater lake were measured at 75 deg C on 6 Nov, and 150-210 deg C on the surface of the new lava dome. According to a local news article, a volcanologist reported that the lava dome was 250 m in diameter and 120 m above the crater lake surface. On 11 November, a plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and ashfall was reported in several areas. CVGHM recommended that evacuees could return to their homes, but should stay clear of the mountain within a 3-km radius was restricted.
The Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) raised the altert status of Kelut volcano on 16 October from 3 to 4 (on a scale of 1-4). During 15-28 September, gas discharge from the crater lake increased and spread in a radius of 5 m. Inflation around the summit occurred during 13-16 October. On 16 October, the temperature in the crater lake increased to 37.8 degrees C.
In conjunction with the elevated Alert Status, CVGHM recommended to the local authorities that villagers within a 10 km radius should evacuate. According to a news article, about 50,000 people evacuated on 16 October. On 17 October, thousands of people returned to their homes to tend to crops and animals, and to get food.
Ijen volcano photos: Ijen volcano in East Java is famous for its turquoise acid crater lake and the large sulfur deposits that are being mined by local workers. At night, the scene is illuminated by ghostly blue flames, as sulfur ignites.
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