Indonesia’s Ijen volcano placed on high alert after rise in activity

March 13, 2012INDONESIAThe official alert level for Ijen volcano in East Java, Indonesia, has been raised again to 3 (“alert”) due to an increase in activity, our Indonesian correspondent Andi reports. A new 10 m wide gas vent, which erupted burning gasses, was observed on 10 March at 17 m distance from the shore. Thick steaming, larger than usual, forming a thick white column of sulfur steam 200 m high was already noted since 3 March. Measurements of the lake water temperature at 5 m depth had also shown increased values of 42.70 deg C. On 10 March, the lake surface was 2 meters higher than normal, although this could be attributed to heavy recent rain fall. Another sign of increased activity is that many leaves of trees and other plants around the crater have died recently, suggesting higher than normal SO2 levels. Seismic activity has been rising as well. Since 22 Feb, a near continuous tremor signal has been being recorded. In the interval 22-31 Feb, there were 52 harmonic tremor periods lasting up to 20 minutes, as well as 17 2 low-frequency earthquakes, 38 mostly shallow volcanic quakes. This number increased to 306 tremor episodes lasting up to 25 minutes, 27 low frequency, and 125 mostly shallow volcanic earthquakes during the latest observation period between 1-10 March.  Ijen volcano in East Java, famous for its turquoise acid lake Kawah Ijen and the sulfur mine inside its crater, had been on higher alert starting 18 December 2011, but was lowered to alert 2 on 4 Feb this year, but is now again at the second highest level of 3, meaning that volcanologist think an eruption could be imminent. Access to the crater is currently closed. Ijen last erupted in 1999. –Volcano Discovery
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Magma Plume activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

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