Nav: Home

Satellite images reveal interconnected plumbing system that caused Bali volcano to erupt

February 14, 2019

A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has used satellite technology provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) to uncover why the Agung volcano in Bali erupted in November 2017 after 50 years of dormancy.

Their findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, could have important implications for forecasting future eruptions in the area.

Two months prior to the eruption, there was a sudden increase in the number of small earthquakes occurring around the volcano, triggering the evacuation of 100,000 people.

The previous eruption of Agung in 1963 killed nearly 2,000 people and was followed by a small eruption at its neighboring volcano, Batur.

Because this past event was among the deadliest volcanic eruptions of the 20th Century, a great effort was deployed by the scientific community to monitor and understand the re-awakening of Agung.

During this time, a team of scientists from the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, led by Dr Juliet Biggs used Sentinel-1 satellite imagery provided by the ESA to monitor the ground deformation at Agung.

Dr Biggs said: "From remote sensing, we are able to map out any ground motion, which may be an indicator that fresh magma is moving beneath the volcano."

In the new study, carried out in collaboration with the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Indonesia (CVGHM), the team detected uplift of about 8-10 cm on the northern flank of the volcano during the period of intense earthquake activity.

Dr Fabien Albino, also from Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, added: "Surprisingly, we noticed that both the earthquake activity and the ground deformation signal were located five kilometres away from the summit, which means that magma must be moving sideways as well as vertically upwards.

"Our study provides the first geophysical evidence that Agung and Batur volcanoes may have a connected plumbing system.

"This has important implications for eruption forecasting and could explain the occurrence of simultaneous eruptions such as in 1963."
-end-
The study is funded by the Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET), a world-leading research centre focusing on tectonic and volcanic processes using earth observation techniques.

University of Bristol

Related Volcano Articles:

Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros
A submarine volcano was formed off the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean in 2018.
Volcano F is the origin of the floating stones
Since August a large accumulation of pumice has been drifting in the Southwest Pacific towards Australia.
Researchers discover a new, young volcano in the Pacific
Researchers from Tohoku University have discovered a new petit-spot volcano at the oldest section of the Pacific Plate.
What happens under the Yellowstone Volcano
A recent study by Bernhard Steinberger of the German GeoForschungsZentrum and colleagues in the USA helps to better understand the processes in the Earth's interior beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano.
Geoengineering versus a volcano
Major volcanic eruptions spew ash particles into the atmosphere, which reflect some of the Sun's radiation back into space and cool the planet.
How to recognize where a volcano will erupt
Eleonora Rivalta and her team from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, together with colleagues from the University Roma Tre and the Vesuvius Observatory of the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Naples have devised a new method to forecast volcanic vent locations.
Santorini volcano, a new terrestrial analogue of Mars
One of the great attractions of the island of Santorini, in Greece, lies in its spectacular volcanic landscape, which also contains places similar to those of Mars.
Volcano cliffs can affect monitoring data, study finds
New research led by the University of East Anglia reveals that sharp variations of the surface of volcanoes can affect data collected by monitoring equipment.
Ceres takes life an ice volcano at a time
In new study by University of Arizona planetary scientists, observations prove that ice volcanoes on the dwarf planet Ceres generate enough material to fill one movie theater each year.
Yellowstone super-volcano has a different history than previously thought
The long-dormant Yellowstone super-volcano in the American West has a different history than previously thought, according to a new study by a Virginia Tech geoscientist.
More Volcano News and Volcano Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.