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Report on Batu Tara (Indonesia) — January 2009

Batu Tara

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 34, no. 1 (January 2009)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Batu Tara (Indonesia) Low ash plumes during 2008 into January 2009

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Batu Tara (Indonesia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 34:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200901-264260

Batu Tara


7.791°S, 123.585°E; summit elev. 633 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Activity at Batu Tara has been frequent since early 2007 (BGVN 32:12), with thermal anomalies and ash plumes continuing through August 2008 (BGVN 33:02 and 33:07). The volcano has remained active into early March 2009 with occasional low-level ash plumes (table 2). Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported ash plumes on 2 September, 3-4 October, 16-20 October, 9-10 November, and 6-7 December 2008. The plumes did not rise higher than 2.4 km altitude, and generally drifted in westerly directions. A plume during 6-7 December 2008 was visible in satellite imagery for a length of ~ 55 km. Additional ash plumes were noted during 6-7 January and 9-10 March 2009.

Table 2. Summary of Volcanic Ash Advisories for Batu Tara issued by the Darwin VAAC describing ash plumes during 2 September 2008-10 March 2009. Courtesy of the Darwin VAAC.

Date Plume top altitude (km) Drift direction(s) Remarks
02 Sep 2008 Low-level W Ash
03-04 Oct 2008 Low-level W, NW Ash
16-20 Oct 2008 1.5-2.4 W Ash
09-10 Nov 2008 1.5 NW Ash
06-07 Dec 2008 1.5 NW, SW Plume ~ 55 km
06-07 Jan 2009 2.4 NE, ENE Ash
09-10 Mar 2009 2.1 NE, N, NW Plume ~ 37 km

Geological Summary. The small isolated island of Batu Tara in the Flores Sea about 50 km N of Lembata (fomerly Lomblen) Island contains a scarp on the eastern side similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. Vegetation covers the flanks to within 50 m of the summit. Batu Tara lies north of the main volcanic arc and is noted for its potassic leucite-bearing basanitic and tephritic rocks. The first historical eruption, during 1847-52, produced explosions and a lava flow.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).