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Report on Barren Island (India) — January 2010

Barren Island

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 35, no. 1 (January 2010)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Barren Island (India) Occasional ash plumes and frequent thermal alerts ongoing into 2010

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Barren Island (India) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 35:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201001-260010

Barren Island


12.278°N, 93.858°E; summit elev. 354 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During January to mid-September 2009, Barren Island produced occasional ash plumes and stimulated almost daily thermal alerts (BGVN 34:08). Additional ash plumes were reported on 1 November 2009, then again on 3-4, 11, and 23 January 2010 (table 4).

Table 4. Ash plumes from Barren Island, November 2009- January 2010. The plume data are based on satellite imagery, SIGMET notices, and pilot observations. Courtesy of Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

Date Maximum altitude Plume drift and distance
2009 Nov 01 1.8 km 55-75 km W
2010 Jan 03-04 1.5 km --
2010 Jan 11 1.5 km 45 km S
2010 Jan 23 3 km --

MODIS/MODVOLC satellite thermal alerts continued almost daily through the end of December 2009, but then decreased during January-February 2010. Between 1 January and 25 February 2010, only six thermal alerts were recorded (all single pixels).

Geological Summary. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). It is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. Historical eruptions have changed the morphology of the pyroclastic cone in the center of the caldera, and lava flows that fill much of the caldera floor have reached the sea along the western coast.

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/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).