Anak Krakatau launches thick ash 1,500 meters into the sky •

Anak Krakatau launches thick ash 1,500 meters into the sky

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano on February 3, 2022. 

According to NASA, the eruption started at around 16:15 local time, with a thick column of gas (with possible volcanic ash content) rising above the crater. Two days later, the volcano erupted once again, spewing thick ash 1,500 meters into the sky

The Krakatau Archipelago is an archipelago of volcanic islands formed by the Krakatau stratovolcano. It is located in the Sunda Strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. 

The four main islands that make up the uninhabited archipelago are: the currently volcanically active Anak Krakatau, Verlaten, Lang, and Rakata.

Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa” is a partially collapsed stratovolcano that has experienced some activity since the late 20th century. In December 2018, the volcano’s cone collapsed and slid into the Sunda Strait. This produced a deadly tsunami that impacted nearly 200 miles of coastline on the islands of Sumatra and Java. Thousands of people were injured and 437 people were killed. 

In 2019, researchers published a study in the journal Nature Communications that described some of the early warning signs which preceded the collapse of Anak Krakatau.

Based on satellite and drone data, as well as measurements obtained on the ground, scientists discovered that there were increased temperatures and ground movement along the volcano’s southwestern flank a few months before the explosive activity.

The experts also identified a pattern of low-frequency sound waves that were produced by a smaller earthquake two minutes prior to the catastrophic collapse. 

The image was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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