Anak Krakatoa began a new eruption February 3

Anak Krakatoa: A brown mass, surrounding by dark blue waters, is pictured with a stream of white cloud rising from it. Other green colored masses surround it.
ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite captured this image this week of the active volcano Anak Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. The image is from February 3, 2022, and is via ESA.

New eruption at Anak Krakatoa

Indonesia’s Krakatoa Volcano erupted famously in 1883, destroying over 70% of the island of Krakatoa and disrupting its surrounding small islands. In 1927, a new volcanic island known as Anak Krakatoa (Child of Krakatoa), emerged from the caldera left behind in 1883. Anak Krakatoa (also spelled Anak Krakatau) has been one of Earth’s most active volcanos since the late 20th century. A large collapse caused a deadly tsunami in 2018. This week, on February 3, 2022, Anak Krakatoa began erupting again. The European Space Agency (ESA) shared the image above from its Sentinel-2 satellite, showing the new eruption sending a thick column of gas, and possibly ash, rising to about 660 feet (200 m) above the volcano’s upper rim.

Volcanic ash can gum up an airplane’s engines and even bring an airplane down. This week’s eruption prompted the Anak Krakatau Volcano Observatory to raise the aviation color code to orange. That tells the aviation community about the potential presence of volcanic ash in the atmosphere. A code orange means that the volcano is showing “heightened unrest with an increased likelihood of eruption,” and/or it means a volcanic eruption is already “underway with no or minor ash emission.”

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One of Earth’s most active volcanoes

Anak Krakatoa has been erupting off and on since the late 20th century. The deadly 2018 tsunami was caused by an underwater collapse. Eruptions in 2019 and 2020 followed. The images below show Sentinel-2’s monitoring of this volcano from space throughout 2021.

4 images of smoke pouring from a volcano, March to June, 2021.
2021 images of Anak Krakatoa. ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite showed strong, intermittent white gas-and-steam plumes that drifted in different directions on March 15 (top left), April 29 (top right), May 19 (bottom left), and June 26 (bottom right). Images via the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program.
Four orbital views of small roundish island with glowing spot in center and puffs of smoke.
ESA’s Sentinel-2 infrared satellite images showed a small heat anomaly in Anak Krakatoa’s crater during July 28 (top left), August 7 (top right), September 21 (bottom left), and October 4 (bottom right). Occasional white gas-and-steam emissions, drifting different directions, accompanied these anomalies, ESA said. Images via the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program.

Bottom line: Indonesia’s Anak Krakatoa Volcano began a new eruption on February 3, 2022.


February 5, 2022

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