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Krakatau volcano news & eruption updates:

Anak Krakatau volcano (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): continuous explosive activity remains, field report 24-26 August 2018

Tuesday Aug 28, 2018 10:31 AM | IS

A strong strombolian explosion sends ash into the sky and covers the area around the eruptive vent with lava bombs (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
A strong strombolian explosion sends ash into the sky and covers the area around the eruptive vent with lava bombs (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
During the nighttime a vulcanian explosion showers Anak Krakatau's flanks with incandescent lava bombs (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
During the nighttime a vulcanian explosion showers Anak Krakatau's flanks with incandescent lava bombs (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
The next morning the volcano temporarily showed different activity with eruptions mainly representing ash venting (little to no bombs) accompanied by loud engine-like noises (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
The next morning the volcano temporarily showed different activity with eruptions mainly representing ash venting (little to no bombs) accompanied by loud engine-like noises (image: Galih Jati / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)
Latest MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Anak Krakatau collected through satellite imagining (http://www.mirovaweb.it)
Latest MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Anak Krakatau collected through satellite imagining (http://www.mirovaweb.it)
Krakatau was still putting up a great show in the past week when we had a short private Krakatau expedition from 24 to 26 August 2018. Our Indonesian volcano tour guide Galih Jati sent us some spectacular images showing Strombolian to Vulcanian type of explosive eruptions sending ash and lava bombs hundreds of meters into the air and showering the volcano’s flanks. As observed on our mid-August Krakatau Volcano Special it seems that the volcano’s activity decreased with fewer eruptions on a daily basis (about 2 every hour). Throughout our Krakatau expeditions in July and August, we observed that the volcano's activity was up to 100 explosions a day before 22 August but lowered to around 60 eruptions a day since. The latest satellite information seems to also confirm that although there is a constant moderate to high thermal anomaly above Anak Krakatau, the peaks of very high heat emission seen in late July to mid August have not been repeated recently.

Galih sent us a detailed report of the volcano’s activity during our latest tour there: “Before sailing off we visited the Krakatau Volcano Observatory Post on 24 August around 11h00 am and were happy to see that there had already been 6 strong eruptions recorded on the seismograph since 06h00 am. We then set off for the Krakatau islands around 13.00 and as we got closer, Anak Krakatau welcomed its new guests with a big eruption at 14h05. As we arrived at 14h40, we stopped and observed the volcano from the boat, our distance being just about 1 km. Our patience was rewarded as we got two big eruptions with strong explosion sounds and bunch of lava bombs at 15h24 and 15h48. We then went to opposite Rakata island where we set up our camp and continued our observation until the next morning (25/8) during which time there were constant eruptions almost every 45 minutes - 1,5 hours.”

Galih describes how the biggest eruption was early on 25 August, at 00h40, with a very loud detonation sound and almost 90% of Anak Krakatau’s cone being covered by the glowing lava bombs. It seems that this larger explosion temporarily changed the morphology of the volcano’s active vent as later that same night the characteristics of the eruption shortly changed: after ca 02h30 several eruptions were mainly ash venting, without many (and only very small) lava bombs but with long lasting engine eruption sounds. The volcano however ‘recovered’ later that same day as from around 11h00 am onwards its activity was the same as witnessed before the mid night large explosion. Untill our group broke up camp and returned back to the coast of West Java on 26 August, the same activity continued with large explosive eruptions occurring about every hour, showering Anak Krakatau’s flanks with ash and incandescent bombs.
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