Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:
Barren Island, Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean  

An eruption column in 1991 rises above Barren Island, the only historically active volcano
along a volcanic arc connecting Sumatra and Myanmar (Burma).
The small 3-km-wide island contains a 1.6-km-wide crater partially filled by a cinder con
e that has been the source of eruptions since the first was recorded in 1787.
Lava flows reached the coast during several recent eruptions.

Photo: D. Haldar, 1991 (Geological Survey of India).

Geologic sketch map of Barren Island.
By D. Haldar, T. Laskar, and J.K. Biswas. GSI.

Barren Island in the Indian Ocean about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands,
is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between
Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of 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 a long, long time ago, that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits.
Lava flows fill much of the caldera floor and have reached the sea along the western coast
during eruptions in the 19th century and more recently in 1991 and 1995.

August 23rd, 2010
Occasional ash plumes and frequent thermal alerts ongoing into 2010
During January to mid-September 2009, Barren Island produced occasional ash plumes and stimulated almost
daily thermal alerts . Additional ash plumes were reported on 1 November 2009, then again on 3-4, 11,
and 23 January 2010.
As per today, the volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005
An Indian coast guard ship sighted a thick plume of smoke on Saturday, May 28th, as it
came close to Barren Island and authorities said they were monitoring the situation and had
informed the state-run Geological Survey of India. There is smoke intermittently coming out
from its crater and flames or lava have also been
also sighted.

Monday, January 3rd, 2005
The lava from the volcano on the uninhabited Barren Islands will flow into the sea, and there
is no cause for alarm. Residents of Diglipur, a village on an island near the Barrens, reported
seeing smoke and fumes rising from the volcano after the earthquake and tsunami waves.
The Geological Survey of India have said that the eruption was minimal.

A mud volcano in the Baratang Islands in Andaman also erupted after the earthquake,
again according to GSI. The authorities have moved the villagers on the island away from
the volcano.

Saturday, January 1st, 2005
According to "The Indian Express" a survey aircraft from the National Remote Sensing
Agency arrived at Andaman and Nicobar Islands today. ‘‘It will carry out a detailed aerial
survey and submit a report to the administration.’’

It’s only after this that the ‘‘actual condition’’ of the volcano could be accurately assessed.
Residents from Diglipur, close to Barren Island, are said to have sighted some plumes of
smoke, it was learnt from official sources.

Incidentally, yesterday, authorities had confirmed that the volcano at Bara Tang, also an uninhabited island, had started belching out mud to a height of 3 m above its mouth.

Friday, December 31st, 2004
Confusing news have been coming the last two days about the volcanic activity in the
Andaman Islands. The first report said that a mud-volcano had erupted. As other reports later told that lava had been spewing our from the volcano, the confusion was complete, as lava doesn't come out from mud-volcanoes.

One report goes like this: "A mud volcano at the inhabited Baratang Island in Middle
Andaman has erupted.
Mud keeps bubbling in the volcano, but on December 28, the
eruption was up to three metres and there was considerable heat.
The mud volcano was located on one side of the Baratang Island, which was about 100 km
from Port Blair.
People live on the other side, but there is no cause for concern.

The Geological Survey of India said barring some aftershocks, it has not found any major
activity in the Andaman and Nicobar region, including eruption from any of its dormant

The next report looked like this:
"INDIA's last active volcano, in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, has erupted in the
aftermath of the earthquake that set off tsunamis killing thousands of people, official sources
said today. People have been evacuated from Barren Island since the eruption began on
Tuesday night and there are no reports of injury. Lava was flowing out of the rim of the crater.

The volcano, known as Barren 1, is located 135km north-east of the capital Port Blair
and last erupted in 1996. It runs about 150 fathoms under the sea and usually gives off smoke.
The risk is minimised because it is surrounded by the sea so if at all there is a lava flow it will
roll off into the sea." (Is this a sub-marine volcano?)

Finally, a third report says:
"Lava is spewing from a crater on India's Andaman islands. People have been evacuated
from the area around the crater near Baratang town on Middle Strait island, about 100
kilometres (60 miles) from the capital Port Blair. There were no reports of injury.
It began on Tuesday night. Flames and lava are shooting up three metres high. (?)
The population was cleared from a half kilometre range as a precaution ... and they put up
barricades." Some 2,000 people live at Baratang.
The Geological Survey of India describes the Baratang crater as a mud volcano covering an
area of about 1,200 square metres (1,440 yards), which has been increasing in size from a
minor fissure.
Official sources earlier mistakenly sited the volcano on Barren Island, site of a crater traditionally known as the only active volcano in India."

So what has really happened, is absolutely NOT clear from our side yet.
More news to follow.

Latest news always on top. Below is older history.

May 1991
Reports of strong emissions of "thick smoke" on 30 April prompted a visit to the island on
16 May by geologists from the GSI. Lava poured continuously from a subsidiary vent on the
NE face of the central volcanic cone, travelling N into a valley, then W along the course of the
1803 lava flow. An area of ~800 x 200 m had been covered by fresh lava, with an average
thickness of 5-6 m. Explosions at the vent occurred at intervals of several seconds, ejecting
bombs, lapilli, and ash to heights >50 m.

August 1991.
Lava production continued from the subsidiary vent on the NE face of the volcanic cone,
80 m below the main crater, during a visit on 26 June. Incandescent material was ejected in a
pulsating fountain, to [80] m height, more intensely than during the previous visit on 16 May.
Satellite monitoring had indicated a temperature of 1,100°C around the vent on 6 May.
A dark plume rose 300-400 m from the crater of a large spatter cone that had formed at the
eruptive vent. The main crater remained quiet. The lava flow observed in May had bifurcated,
with one branch extending along the NW and W valleys, and a new branch extending S.
By 26 June, lava had reached the sea at the boat landing near the NW corner of the island
(~1.2 km from the vent); during the 16 May fieldwork, the lava front was still 200 m from
shore. Vigorous boiling and thick jets of steam were observed for 100 m along the shore.
Studies of water near the shore indicated a considerable decrease in pH, and visibilit
y dropped to <10 cm (Srinivas, 1991). Nearby coral was destroyed.





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