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Ijen volcano (East Java, Indonesia): eruption warning due to increased seismic and degassing activity

Mon, 12 Mar 2012, 14:45
14:45 PM | BY: TOMPFEIFFER
The official alert level for Ijen volcano in East Java, Indonesia, has been raised again to 3 ("alert") due to an increase in activity, our Indonesian correspondant Andi reports.
A new 10 m wide gas vent, which erupted buring gasses, was observed on 10 March at 17 m distance from the shore. Thick steaming, larger than usual, forming a thick white column of sulfur steam 200 m high was already noted since 3 March. Measurements of the lake water temperature at 5 m depth had also shown increased values of 42.70 deg C.
On 10 March, the lake surface was 2 meters higher than normal, although this could be attributed to heavy recent rain fall.
Another sign of increased activity is that many leaves of trees and other plants around the crater have died recently, suggesting higher than normal SO2 levels.
Seismic activity has been rising as well. Since 22 Feb, a near contiuous tremor signal has been being recorded. In the interval 22-31 Feb, there were 52 harmonic tremor periods lasting up to 20 minutes, as well as 17 2 low-frequency earthquakes, 38 mostly shallow volcanic quakes. This number increased to 306 tremor episodes lasting up to 25 minutes, 27 low frequency, and 125 mostly shallow volcanic earthquakes during the latest observation period between 1-10 March.

Ijen volcano in East Java, famous for its turquoise acid lake Kawah Ijen and the sulfur mine inside its crater, had been on higher alert starting 18 December 2011, but was lowered to alert 2 on 4 Feb this year, but is now again at the second highest level of 3, meaning that volcanologist think an eruption could be imminent. Access to the crater is currently closed.

Previous news

Wed, 7 Mar 2012, 06:00

Ijen volcano (Eastern Java, Indonesia) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 7 March-13 March 2012 (New Activity / Unrest)

CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Ijen from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 12 March because of increased seismicity and visual observations. On 10 March scientists observed some plant damage around the crater lake and a 10-m-wide area of disrupted water on the crater-lake surface. ... Read all
Thu, 9 Feb 2012, 16:21

Ijen volcano (East Java) update: decreasing activity, crater is open again for visits

The crater of Ijen is again open for visitors. The Indonesian Geological Survey lowered the alert level for Ijen volcano yesterday back from 3 (where it had been since 18 Dec, on a scale of 1-4) to 2. ... Read all
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Ijen volcano
Stratovolcano 2799 m / 9,183 ft
East Java, Indonesia, -8.06°S / 114.24°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5) Ijen volcano eruptions:
1796, 1817, 1917, 1936, 1952, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000(?), 2002(?)
Typical eruption style
Explosive. Contains a large acid crater lake, intense fumarolic activity.

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