Volcanic activity has intensified on Anak Krakatau • Earth.com

Volcanic activity has intensified on Anak Krakatau

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a volcanic plume drifting from Anak Krakatau, a small island in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. 

Anak Krakatau, which means “Child of Krakatoa,” emerged from the sea in 1927, forming over the caldera of the infamous Krakatoa volcano, which erupted catastrophically in 1883. 

This earlier eruption was one of the most violent volcanic events in recorded history, known for its immense power and the global climate impact it had due to the large amount of ash it sent into the upper atmosphere.

Anak Krakatau has been growing continuously since its emergence, with frequent eruptions that have reshaped its structure and size over time. 

“Geologists have tallied 57 eruptive periods from this location since the beginning of the Holocene, roughly 11,700 years ago,” said NASA. “The most recent eruptive period, which started in May 2021 and continued into December 2023, has featured frequent but generally mild Strombolian blasts of volcanic gases and ash particles.” 

“Materials ejected from the volcano’s vent are typically lofted a few hundred meters above the summit, and small lava flows occasionally drain down the island’s flanks and into the sea.”

“Beginning on November 26, 2023, geologists with the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation began to report more intense explosions, with plumes of volcanic material rising up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above the vent.” 

The public has been warned to stay at least 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the crater. Due to elevated risks of ash in the area, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin, Australia, has issued multiple warnings to the aviation community.

The image was captured on December 2, 2023 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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