Report on Batu Tara (Indonesia) — October 2009
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 34, no. 10 (October 2009)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.
Batu Tara (Indonesia) Frequent ash plumes through October 2009
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Batu Tara (Indonesia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 34:10. Smithsonian Institution.
7.791°S, 123.585°E; summit elev. 633 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Batu Tara has been active since January 2007, with thermal anomalies and occasional low-level ash plumes at least through 24 November 2009. This report discusses activity since our previous report (BGVN 34:01), which covered activity through 10 March 2009.
Since 10 March 2009, the eruption of low-level ash plumes has continued at least through 24 November 2009. Many reports of Batu Tara plumes came from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (table 3).
|Date||Plume top altitude (km)||Drift direction(s) and extent|
|11 Mar 2009||2.1||N, NW|
|20 Mar 2009||2.4||NW|
|25-27 Mar 2009||2.1||~30-110 km NW|
|05-06 Apr 2009||2.4||40-210 km W|
|11-12, 14 Apr 2009||1.8-2.4||35-90 km W, NW|
|15-16 Apr 2009||1.8-2.4||35-75 km W, NW|
|24-25, 28 Apr 2009||3.0||Up to 110 km in variable directions|
|29-30 Apr, 03-04 May 2009||2.4-3.0||45-185 km W, NW|
|05 May 2009||2.4||55 km W|
|14-19 May 2009||3.0||35-75 km W, NW, N|
|20 May 2009||3.0||65 km NW|
|26 May 2009||2.4||55 km NW|
|27 May-02 Jun 2009||2.4||25-75 km NW, W, SW|
|03-08 Jun 2009||2.4||40-75 km NW, W, SW|
|09 Jun 2009||--||140 km W|
|10-16 Jun 2009||1.5-2.4||25-185 km SW, NW, N, NE|
|25-30 Jun 2009||1.5||35-130 km SW, W, NW|
|01-07 Jul 2009||1.5-2.4||35-110 km W, NW, N|
|08 Jul 2009||2.4||55 km W, NW|
|12-14 Jul 2009||1.5||25-55 km W, NW, N|
|15-18 Jul 2009||1.5||20-55 km in multiple directions|
|23 Jul 2009||2.4||55 km W|
|27-28 Jul 2009||1.5||Up to 150 km NW|
|29-31 Jul 2009||1.5||Up to 37 km NW, N|
|04-07 Aug 2009||1.5-2.1||45-90 km W, NW, N|
|12-13, 15-17 Aug 2009||1.5-3.0||5-110 km W, NW, N|
|19, 21-25 Aug 2009||1.5||35-150 km W, WNW, NW|
|26 Aug-01 Sep 2009||1.5-2.4||15-55 km W, NW, N|
|02-08 Sep 2009||1.5||10-55 km W, NW|
|09-11, 14-15 Sep 2009||1.5||25-45 km W, NW|
|16-19, 21-22 Sep 2009||1.5||20-65 km W, NW, N, NE|
|23-29 Sep 2009||1.5-2.4||15-75 km W, NW|
|30 Sep-03, 05-06 Oct 2009||2.4||25-75 km W, NW, N|
|06 Oct 2009||2.4||65 km W|
|14-16 Oct 2009||1.8||25-185 km W, N|
|27 Oct 2009||2.1||65 km W, NW|
|24 Nov 2009||2.4||90 km NW|
NASA's Earth Observatory described the scene from an image taken on 30 April 2009 (figure 5). "In this true-color picture, Batu Tara looks like a small, smoking speck in the Flores Sea. Initially blowing toward the NW, the volcanic plume changes direction multiple times, forming a large question-mark shape, mingling with clouds in the N. When volcanic gases mingle with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight, vog, or volcanic smog, often results. The off-white color and diffuse shape of the volcanic plume in the N are suggestive of vog." MODVOLC recorded thermal alerts at Batu Tara on 26 and 29 May, and 3 July 2009.
|Figure 5. Image of plume from Batu Tara taken on 30 April 2009 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite. Plume extends W and NW. Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.|
Geologic Background. 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/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).