Batu Tara volcano expedition Nov 2012 photos: strombolian activity

The photos were taken during 25-28 Nov 2012 when we visited the remote Komba island consisting of Batu Tara volcano during our recent volcano expedition to Indonesia. The volcano has been in continuous strombolian eruption, at fluctuating levels, since 2006. Very favorable weather and sea conditions allowed us to land several times on the narrow beach a few 100 m south of the eastern collapse scar of the volcano, the only place on shore from where the vent and its eruptions are visible. During our stay, activity varied from day to day, and consisted in frequent ash venting, mild to powerful strombolian eruptions accompanied by loud detonations and ejecting bombs to several hundred meters height above the vent, located at about 500 m elevation inside the deep collapse scar.
Approaching the conical island of Komba in the Flores Sea, located about 50 km north of Lembata Island, from the SW. The island consists of the small subaerial part of Batu Tara stratovolcano, rising to 750 m a.s.l. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Approaching the conical island of Komba in the Flores Sea, located about 50 km north of Lembata Isla... [info]
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Sailing around its southern side, we get a first view of the prominent collapse scarp on the eastern side, similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. An ash plume from an eruption greets us. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sailing around its southern side, we get a first view of the prominent collapse scarp on the eastern... [info]
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View into the upper half of the collapse scarp with the active crater in the center of the image. A typical strombolian eruption produces a small ash plume rising about 150 m in the image. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View into the upper half of the collapse scarp with the active crater in the center of the image. A ... [info]
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A strong strombolian explosion on 25 Nov evening throws glowing bombs over much of the upper eastern flanks of the volcano, and lava blocks start to roll down on the slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A strong strombolian explosion on 25 Nov evening throws glowing bombs over much of the upper eastern... [info]
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A typical average-sized explosion with a small mushroom-shaped ash plume seen in a long exposure during moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A typical average-sized explosion with a small mushroom-shaped ash plume seen in a long exposure dur... [info]
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About 20 seconds after a stronger explosion on the evening of 25 Nov, lava bombs have mostly landed and start sliding down the slope towards the sea. Click on the "similar image" to view the shot of the first part of explosion. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
About 20 seconds after a stronger explosion on the evening of 25 Nov, lava bombs have mostly landed ... [info]
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Xavier, Melissa and Richard in observation position, using a comfortable large tree trunk, rocks and life vests for comfort... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Xavier, Melissa and Richard in observation position, using a comfortable large tree trunk, rocks and... [info]
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A powerful explosion on 26 Nov sends hundreds of glowing bombs to all sides. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A powerful explosion on 26 Nov sends hundreds of glowing bombs to all sides. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Another strong explosion produces a heavy bombardment of the northern cliff of the scarp next to the vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Another strong explosion produces a heavy bombardment of the northern cliff of the scarp next to the... [info]
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A large, almost vulcanian-style explosion, the biggest we experienced during our stay, detonates with a loud bang and shock wave. Bombs of all sizes are thrown to several hundred meters distance and height in all directions. This was actually the "farewell" eruption just before returning to Flores during the night 28-29 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A large, almost vulcanian-style explosion, the biggest we experienced during our stay, detonates wit... [info]
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Moderately strong explosion on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Moderately strong explosion on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Small but bright strombolian eruption on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Small but bright strombolian eruption on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A bright and relatively strong explosion reflected in the completely calm sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A bright and relatively strong explosion reflected in the completely calm sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Activity was moderate on 25 Nov, somewhat stronger on 26, very weak on 27, but compared to the other days very strong on 28 Nov. Explosions were more frequent and powerful, and produced more incandescent material. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Activity was moderate on 25 Nov, somewhat stronger on 26, very weak on 27, but compared to the other... [info]
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Strombolian explosion during the evening twilight of 28 Nov. (to see the full sequence, click on "similar images") (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Strombolian explosion during the evening twilight of 28 Nov. (to see the full sequence, click on "si... [info]
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Ash-rich strombolian eruption on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash-rich strombolian eruption on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ash-rich eruption during the night of 26-27 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash-rich eruption during the night of 26-27 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View of the crater (center top of image) and the upper half of the scree slope beneath it. Note the feeder dike leading to the crater visible sticking out of the upper part of the slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the crater (center top of image) and the upper half of the scree slope beneath it. Note the ... [info]
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A glowing spot was often visible at the rim of the crater. On closer inspection, it was an effusive vent resembling a small lava dome, from which glowing lava blocks often detached and formed small avalanches on the slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A glowing spot was often visible at the rim of the crater. On closer inspection, it was an effusive ... [info]
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During phases of increased activity, more lava was effused from the vent on the crater rim, and lava rolling down sometimes resembled a lava flow on the slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
During phases of increased activity, more lava was effused from the vent on the crater rim, and lava... [info]
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The effusive activity was then interrupted by more or less powerful strombolian explosions such as this one on 26 Nov. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The effusive activity was then interrupted by more or less powerful strombolian explosions such as t... [info]
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Ash whirled up by blocks rolling and falling down the steep slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash whirled up by blocks rolling and falling down the steep slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Explosion rich in both glowing bombs and ash seen in the evening (see "similar images" for sequence). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Explosion rich in both glowing bombs and ash seen in the evening (see "similar images" for sequence)... [info]
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Ash venting with almost no visible incandescent lava forms a small plume rising vertically. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash venting with almost no visible incandescent lava forms a small plume rising vertically. (Photo: ... [info]
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A powerful explosion on the evening of 28 Nov, seen from only a few 100 m distance on the rocky beach north of the sciara. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A powerful explosion on the evening of 28 Nov, seen from only a few 100 m distance on the rocky beac... [info]
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Bombs rolling down the sciara leave dust trails. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Bombs rolling down the sciara leave dust trails. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A steaming splash of a larger block landing in the water after rolling and tumbling down the sciara. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A steaming splash of a larger block landing in the water after rolling and tumbling down the sciara.... [info]
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The collapse scar seen from the SE, the triangular dark delta is probably the deposit of the recent eruptive phase that started in 2006. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The collapse scar seen from the SE, the triangular dark delta is probably the deposit of the recent ... [info]
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Zooom onto the exposed feeder dike (the wall-like structure visible in the lower right of the image) below the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zooom onto the exposed feeder dike (the wall-like structure visible in the lower right of the image)... [info]
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Ash venting - billowing ash clouds exit the crater in a continuous manner for a minute or so. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash venting - billowing ash clouds exit the crater in a continuous manner for a minute or so. (Photo... [info]
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Beginning of an ash-rich explosion. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Beginning of an ash-rich explosion. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ash vening. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ash vening. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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An ash plume rising about 500 m after a moderately strong explosion. The cloud drifts towards the western side of the island, where our camp was located and regularly received fine to sandy ash fall. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An ash plume rising about 500 m after a moderately strong explosion. The cloud drifts towards the we... [info]
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batutara_i56427.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
batutara_i56427.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Strombolian explosion at night in moonlight with glowing lava blocks rolling down to the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Strombolian explosion at night in moonlight with glowing lava blocks rolling down to the sea. (Photo... [info]
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The reflection of a stronger explosion on the exceptionally calm water during a full moon night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The reflection of a stronger explosion on the exceptionally calm water during a full moon night. (Ph... [info]
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