BackgroundBatu Tara island is the top of a larger stratovolcano, its base reaching 3000 meters below sea level. It has a large central summit crater of 900 x 700 meters diameter open to the east.
The scar on its eastern side is a flank collapse feature similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. Vegetation covers the flanks of Batu Tara to within 50 m of the 748-m-high summit.
Batu Tara lies on young and thin oceanic crust north of the main volcanic Sunda-Banda Arc at the boundary of the collision of the north moving Australian with the Sunda tectonic plate. Geochemically, it is noted its potassic leucite-bearing basanitic and tephritic rocks.
Eruptions from Batu Tara
Until 2006, the only confirmed historical eruption from Batu Tara were during 1847-52, which produced explosions with volcanic bombs and a lava flow.
On July 1st, 2006, Batu Tara was observed erupting again. An ash plume rose to 5000 ft (ca 2 km). Since then, it has been erupting frequently. Most eruptions were strombolian or vulcanian type, with explosions producing ash plumes of 1-2 km, similar to Anak Krakatau's activity.
In March 2007, a phase of stronger eruptions promted the evacuation of 15000 people from Lembata Island nearby.
Batu Tara Photos
A stronger eruption sends many bombs against and over the vertical eastern crater wall. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS