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Geology glossary

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mud volcano

Volcanology
Sidoarjo mud volcano (East Java)
Sidoarjo mud volcano (East Java)
Mud volcanoes are no true volcanoes, but vents that erupt mud, as fine sediemtn is squeezed upwards by prezzurized water, steam and gas escaping from deeper deposits.
A mud volcano is a vent on the surface erupting mud and gas or steam, but no lava. Mud volcanoes are usually not the result of volcanic processes, but more generally related to environments where pressurized deposits at depth occur that release gas and steam, which mixes with fine-grained sediments to form mud. Temperatures are much cooler than at volcanic processes. The largest structures are 10 km in diameter and reach 700 metres in height.

About 86% of released gases are methane, with much less carbon dioxide and nitrogen emitted. Ejected materials often are a slurry of fine solids suspended in liquids which may include water (frequently acidic or salty) and hydrocarbon fluids.



Mud volcanoes occur in many regions of the world, most commonly in areas where there are also oil and gas deposits and near tectonic faults. Some of the most prominent areas with mud volcanoes include Trinidad, Yellowstone, Azeri (Azerbaijan), Pakistan, China and the human-caused mud volcano of Sidorajo in East Java.

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