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Barren Island volcano
Stratovolcano 354 m / 1,161 ft.
Indian Ocean, 12.28°N / 93.86°E
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Barren Island volcano eruptions:
1787, 1789, 1795, 1803-04, 1852(?), 1991, 1994-95, 2005-2006, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
Typical eruption style:
Explosive
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Location map of Barren Island.
Location map of Barren Island.
 

Volcano news & eruption updates: Barren Island

Barren Island volcano (India): new eruption with strombolian explosions and lava flow

Monday Feb 20, 2017 10:19 AM | BY: T

Heat signal from Barren Island volcano (MIROVA)
Heat signal from Barren Island volcano (MIROVA)
A new eruption is occurring at the remote and India's only active volcano.
Since mid January, pronounced heat signals - the strongest since May 2016 - have been detected on satellite imagery coming from the summit of the volcano. A team of Indian researchers from the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) visited the island on 23 and 26 Jan this year and confirmed new eruptive activity:

According to a local press article, the scientists reported "that the volcano is active and spewing smoke and lava once again." While sampling sea floor sediment samples from CSIR-NIO’s research ship RV Sindhu Sankalp in the area, they witnessed as the volcano "suddenly started spewing ash. ... The team moved about one mile from the volcano and began closely observing it. It was erupting in small episodes lasting about five to ten minutes", the articles quotes.
According to the information available, the volcano's activity currently is both explosive and effusive: it seems to consist of small ash emissions, likely from strombolian activity, but also producing a (presumably small) lava flow. The articles mentions that the observers could see "red lava fountains spewing from the crater into the atmosphere and hot lava flows streaming down the slopes of the volcano".
When observed again on 26 Jan, only ash emissions were seen: "the team witnessed the continuation of spurts of blasts and smoke".

The last major eruptive phase of the volcano dates back to April 2015 when it erupted a lava flow on the southern flank.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Steam (and ash?) plume from Barren Island on 1 March (red spot is a thermal anomaly detected by the VIIRS radiometer onboard NASA's Suomi NPP)
Thursday, Mar 03, 2016
Weak eruptive activity continues at the summit vent of the remote and rarely directly observed volcano, satellite data indicates. ... [more]
Steam / ash plume and thermal hot spot at Barren Island on 1 Feb 2016 (MODIS / VIIRS Nasa imagery)
Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016
Minor eruptive activity (possibly strombolian) seems to continue on the remote island, at least intermittently. ... [more]
Ash and steam plume from Barren Island on 16 Nov (Landsat 8 image, annotated by Culture Volcan)
Monday, Nov 23, 2015
With all likelihood, the volcano continues to be in eruption. It is very remote and rarely directly observed, but satellite imagery regularly show albeit weak thermal signals - again present more or less continuously since August and more frequent since October this year. ... [more]
MIROVA thermal signals of Barren Island volcano
Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015
An ash plume was reported this morning, at estimated 5,000 ft (1.5 km) altitude, extending 50 km to the east from the island (VAAC Darwin). This suggests that a new phase of activity is occurring at the volcano. ... [more]
Hot spot at Barren island (MIROVA)
Saturday, Jun 06, 2015
A steam and ash plume at estimated 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude and extending 35 km to the east from the volcano was detected yesterday on MTSAT satellite imagery (VAAC Darwin). ... [more]

Background:

Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar).  The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m.  The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high.  The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits.  The morphology of a fresh pyroclastic cone that was constructed in the center of the caldera has varied during the course of historical eruptions.  Lava flows fill much of the caldera floor and have reached the sea along the western coast during eruptions in the 19th century and more recently in 1991 and 1995.
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Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution

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