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Krakatoa Awakens, Update 2

Krakatoa Awakens, Update 2

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, December 29, 2018/Categories: natural history, photography, environment, adventure , Archive Pick of the Week

                                            Krakatoa Ash Plume, 9-22-2018 (ESA’s Sentinel-2)

The Indonesian super-volcano Krakatoa has begun belching plumes of ash once again. They have been photographed by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA)'. Krakatau was that infamous volcano that erupted with deadly force in 1883 causing widespread destruction and deaths in the region. The volcano sits on a "hot spot" in the Earth's crust along the Asian section of the Ring of Fire where volcanoes are common. 


                                          Krakatoa Ash Pllume, 9-24-2018 (credit: NASA Aqua program)

NASA's Earth-monitoring program, Aqua, captured an additional image as it passed over the Sunda Straits between Java and Sumatra where the volcano is located. Plumes of ash are seen rising over 6,000 feet above the volcano. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the ash was carried into the upper atmosphere and created intense sunsets as far away as northern Europe. The skies may have been the catalyst for Edvard Munch's to create his famous painting, The Scream, which depicted a firely sky behind a haunting figure.

A update is now required after the initial report of Krakatoa awakening. According to Volcano Discovery, a particularly violent explosion has occurred with a lateral blast that excavated a pit beneath the southern lip of the crater. This new eruption created this second pit which has now merged with the main crater, enlarging it. The expedition captured video of the new eruption.

In a 2nd update on this destructive Indonesian volacano, an underwater collapse of the Anak Krakatau triggered a massive tsunami killing hundreds of people on nearby islands. The ESA's Sentinel-2 satellite used its infrared sensor to peer through the ash and dust to see just how much of the volcano had disappeared. Over three-forths of the once growing volcano collapsed releasing the tsunami.


            Anak Krakatau Underwater Collapse, 12-29-2018 (credit: ESA Sentinel-2)

Not only were homes and villagers badly affected by the tsunami but wildlife was also greatly impacted. Endangered sea turtles were found washed inland and first-responders gathered them to be re-released to the ocean. Their excitement in their recovery work is obvious.



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