Barren Island volcano

Stratovolcano 354 m / 1,161 ft.
Indian Ocean, 12.28°N / 93.86°E
Current status: minor activity or eruption warning (3 out of 5)
Last update: 18 Jan 2022 (Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report)
Eruption of Barren Island volcano in 1994
Eruption of Barren Island volcano in 1994

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.

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Typical eruption style: Explosive
Barren Island volcano eruptions: 1787, 1789, 1795, 1803-04, 1852(?), 1991, 1994-95, 2005-2006, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
Lastest nearby earthquakes: No recent earthquakes

Background

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


See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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Ash plume from Barren Island volcano. Image Source: NASA Space Shuttle Date: March 14, 1995
Ash plume from Barren Island volcano. Image Source: NASA Space Shuttle Date: March 14, 1995
Comments: This oblique shot shows a large eruption plume dispersing westwards towards the main island group. From the photographs, it seems that there are three levels of the eruption plume: the first is low level, near the base of the eruption column and spreading southwest (upper left in this image). The other two levels are higher, with a suggestion of a due westerly plume (right in this image) overlain by a less visibly dense west-southwest plume of slightly different composition (upper right).
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