Ongoing eruption at Gunung Kelud

Photogtaph by hilmi_dzi.

Photogtaph by hilmi_dzi.

This morning I wrote that Kelud was about to erupt, but I thought I would have time to take a nap before it happened. As it turned out I did not have that time and the upcoming eruption that I have been writing about since July started.

The massive plume high-lighted by powerfull lightning. Unknown photographer.

The massive plume high-lighted by powerfull lightning. Unknown photographer.

Keluds eruption started at 22.50 local time, but noteworthy is that the webcam covering the crater stopped transmitting as early as 17.53. It was most likely damaged by the ongoing heavy earthquake activity, or its power transmission was cut.

As I had written in previous posts Kelud has a very explosive style when it erupts. Often it produces a VEI-3 or VEI-4 eruption within a few hours before the eruption starts to rapidly decline. Local official sources seem to indicate that this eruption is as powerful, or even slightly more so, than the 1990 VEI-4 eruption.

The eruption started with a blast that cleared away the lava dome that was extruded in the 2007 non-explosive eruption of old de-gassed magma. According to local reports rock rained down as far as 15 to 20 kilometers away from the volcano.

Evacuation zone

The current evacuation zone is 10 kilometers, but it seems that the shelters for the region are in a bit of disarray and it seems that some of the shelters that were supposed to be there is not. One should remember that the evacuation zone contains 200 000 to 250 000 people. This should also be put into the context that stones have been confirmed to rain down further out than 10 kilometers.

The rapid ongoing evacuation Is under way, but it is being done in darkness with ash and stones falling all over around the fleeing population. Sadly I think that we will start to see the death toll start to go up.

My thoughts go out to the local population. The post will be updated as soon as new info has come to our attention.

Previous posts about Kelud

In the two posts below you can find additional data and information about the volcano.



The massive mushroom cloud of Kelud. Notice that there seems to be a temperature inversion and gravity shockwaves. Source: Madison University via Rudiger Escobar Wolf (who caught the gravity waves).


Update 2:

A request for our Indonesian readers. If you can collect ash from the eruption of Kelud (or for that matter Sinabung) you can send it to us for Sweep Electron Microscope (SEM) analysize at the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz Austria. If you wish to send ash to us, send an email and we will answer with the contact information to our editor Birgit.

194 thoughts on “Ongoing eruption at Gunung Kelud

  1. I wish that the Webcam had survived a bit longer than it did.
    In the end it died 5 hours before the blast. It is a sobering thought that technology does not survive even the run up to the starting explosion. I would really like to get to know what exactly killed the webcam.

    So, if anyone ever hears something about what killed it, or find any information on it, please tell me!

    • What I would really like to know is if there was a piezo-electric surge involved in killing it.
      If it was crushed or the power was cut is also good to know.

      Please, any info would be useful!

      • The last hours I kept an eye on it, it kept refreshing at the normal rate, but only showed the same picture from 13 february 17.50.55 local time (10.50.55 UTC if I’m right), long before the eruption started.

        • It may be that ground deformation preceding the eruption cut the cables to power supply, as happened in the case of the first Etna web cam in 2001, a few days before the onset of the July-August 2001 flank eruption. Something like that to me appears most likely. I suppose no one was there to watch. Surely enough, it would have been a thing to see the first explosive puff of the eruption in the last image of that poor webcam …

          • R.I.P. Webcam! It would have been nice to get a last image as the plug started to rip apart.
            I guess you are right and that I will never get to know exactly what happened. I was just contemplating electromagnetic shielding.
            I hope that the cam is the only victim, but sadly it seems unlikely.

            • No idea but recall that there were odd readings on equipment prior to the eruption of Galeras, 1993. The equipment was too new to interpret the results and the operator did not survive.

              May have been changes in the gasses emitted (water vapour, SO2, other – acidity may affect connections?) magnetic field or gravitational field (last is less likely to upset electronics, I guess).

              But it is past my bed time. BBGN.

      • That peizo surge idea is something new, but logical through if you think about it. Fracturing crystalline rock is not going to be happy as the molecular bonds are disturbed and torn apart. Just think if you could pick that up when it happened…

          • piezoelectic surge = earthquake lights via another name? Once the grains of ejecta start rubbing against one another in the plume it is going to be difficult to tell which is which. Wonder how early it starts as the eruption begins? Cheers –

            • Carl –

              Can’t reply to your last underneath so I gotta do it here. Poorly worded on my part. Apologies.

              Understand the notion of rock fracturing before the blow, which is why I asked about earthquake lights which are thought to be the same sort of thing along fault lines prior to earthquakes.

              Poorly worded question is how you sort out that from the static discharge during the active eruption that causes lightning; better still, how and where do your draw the line when one switches over to the other? Important question? Who knows? But if the two things happen in sequence, how and when would be an interesting thing to know. Cheers –

            • Ah… Now I understand.
              There was a paper published recently about light effects (ball lightning?) at faultlines that I saw recently.
              I was more thinking about ground current flow, but I would not rule out anything visible either (at night).
              My idea was that it should be possible to measure as the current flows around in the crater. But, that would more or less require that you could take reading of how the flow moves.
              I think this could be a fun subject for an enterprising ph.d. student that has access to a crater with a lot of sollid solicic rock in it. Sorry, I do not have answers on this 🙂 I just have more questions I guess 🙂

    • Carl, the webcam stopped updating at about the same time last night until morning, I had the suspicion that it was either turned off, which I didn’t really believe, or, more likely the ISP turn servers down over night to save whatever. It is so often the case in Indonesia that webcams stop over night…

      • The guy who operates the camera commented earlier that he would leave the cam on during the evening and night. So that is not the case.

  2. In regards of plume height.
    People often tend to forget one part of the columnal height equation. The coarseness of the ejecta influences the columnal height. Fine ash like Eyjafjallajökull goes higher up on a convective air current than heavier ash. And Kelud is famously chunky.
    So, in this case we more or less have a 17km high pillar of aggregate stones being hurled up and dumped down. And gravel is far more dense so lofting that much of it that high is a real feat.

    • So… are you saying that the VAAC reported height may be too short in this instance? Thats getting pretty close to the tropopause…

      • It was a local source stating the 17km max altitude.
        I think that the VAAC was struggling for a while to keep up with events. We should remember that Kelud often does short and brutal and the models seem to be more favouring longer solutions. VAACs are most often computer models after all.

    • According to the local authorities it is as powerful as the 1990 VEI-4, or even slightly more powerful.
      Kelud is really one explosive bugger.
      By now it is quite likely that the worst part of the eruptions worst part is over. Of course unless the volcano is going for something worse than normal.

    • Seems like the local authority and Darwin are now in agreement. Not surprising that the locals are faster. I guess both used the same imagery to determinate height.

    • That err… might put the tropopause into play. If it did, it’s gonna take up to 50 months for the sulfate to trickle out…

        • Entirely possible. I don’t have any data on life expectancy of tropospheric SO2, though I think that if it held that close to the topopause for long enough, some of it could have made it across. Either way, it will have up to about 50 months before it sediments out.

          We are left with the volcano curse. It will do what it wants when it wants and be damned if ya try and predict it.

    • The temp inversion (up to 20 ºC) in the MTSAT and MODIS thermal data suggests stratospheric piercing of the momentum driven overshoot over the source. For the tropics this may happen at >14 – 17 km asl. And then how fast temp increases after that is also hard to know (from < 1 K/km to maybe 5 K/km?)… maybe looking at measured (radiosonde) or modeled (reanalysis) athmospheric temp profiles could help to get a better idea, and that's probably what Darwin VAAC and other people are trying to do. I think the momentum overshoot could be as high as 20 or more km asl. The main part of the mushroom seems to be the coldest part and may be below or close to the tropopause?

  3. And completely OT for Lurking…
    The Finland vs Austria was about as much mayhem as expected. It ended 8-4 to Finland. I will though give the Austrians that I did not expect them to score goals against Finland. On the other hand it looked mostly like the Finns concentrated on target practice instead of defence.

        • True… when you think about it…

          Here’s a song about it…

          However, my interests mainly stem from trying to understand it. The more you understand the less you fear… or more accurately, the better you know what to fear.

          The Finn thing was just to see the unbridled carnage of a highly motivated group of people waltzing through another group who didn’t see it coming. (The Custer Effect)

          • I would not say that the Finns were overly motivated against the Austrians.
            Not if one compare with the motivation they had in 2006 semi-final. Sweden was allready through to the final and Finland was up against Russia to go to the final themselves. Finns do not like russians to begin with.
            What that Highly Motivated group of Finns did to the russians was utter horror. Half the Russian team retired after that particular game due to physical or mental reasons. There were litteraly russian parts all over the ice at the end.
            There was not a single Swede that thought we would win the final. Somehow we did.

          • Had a relative who was the unlucky recipient of a Custer command in the US Calvary in the
            Civil War, He was a Junior officer(Colonel) but had been a Calvary officer longer than Custer had been alive.He wrote after a particularly nasty result of a Custer “victory:” “General Custer is a bit too bold in his efforts to stop the enemy.I fear he is going to get many men killed unnecessarily.”
            He lived to 91 years old,died in bed on his Pennsylvania Farm. Unlike Custer…

            • In a somewhat obscure bar, in Palma de Majorca, is a movie poster featuring Gen Custer with the catch phrase “He died for our sins” emblazoned across it. Stuck on the poster, is a somewhat rude florescent orange bumper sticker with large black text. “Custer had it coming.”

              The poster is part of the western decor for the bar. “Texas Jacks” features chilli, and a drink they call the Texas Fireball. (Limit, one per customer.) It also has a ballcap from pretty much every military ship that has made port there.

              Dunno if it would have turned the tide of the battle (ass whooping) but reportedly Custer had turned down the opportunity to have a rattling gun detachment with his calvary unit. Said it would have slowed him down. Given that the rate of fire is what ultimately did him in… ya have to wonder about that decision. His opponent had repeating rifles. His unit had a more powerful but slower breach loading cartridge rifles.

      • Well, the US did a great game against Slovakia (7-1) so the there is a great chance you will get to see the Finns in the end. And I bet they will send the semis and final at the end. My guess right now is that we will see Canada, Finland, Sweden and the US in the semis. Russia seemed to be really shaky, and to be honest Canada had quite a bit of problem with Norway before winning 3 to 1 in the end.
        I think that Finland vs Canada on Sunday will be a tremendous game.

  4. Holy sh*! I feel for all those people having to evacuate in a hurry. And hope you guys are right : that this will be another quick eruption (Grimsvötn style) and not last for much longer.

  5. On a positive note… I just got a hug from my wife. She got back from her appointment and is pretty giddy she is so happy. Turns out her problem from the other day was due to a vitamin deficiency and not a heart problem at all. I don’t think I’ve seen her quite so chipper in a while.

      • Vitamine deficiency can be very serious (read: deadly), but the great advantage is that it is easy to cure when you are lucky to get the right diagnosis.

      • Good when something turns out to be minor my dear wife had had shingles. but she started to get symptoms (she’s had them before, -and the shot, -this time as the last she got to the doc before they were full blown . Got going on the antiviral meds within 72 hrs. that is very helpful in
        reducing the severity…

  6. con·text n.
    1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.
    2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.

    A FAE is a Fuel Air Explosive. It is a type of ordinance that is so humongous that the only thing really larger than it, is a nuclear blast. The “Daisy Cutter” of the Vietnam era was used to clear helo landing zones out in the jungle. The MOAB (Massive Ordinance Air Burst) is also in this category. Within the last few years, they tested one of these at Eglin Airforce Base. I never heard a thing. Additionally, no one in Pensacola, as far as I know, heard it. That test range is within 200 km of Pensacola. That puts the 200 km range for hearing the blast from Kelud into perspective… 200 km is easily the distance from Panama City to Pensacola.

    • A VEI-4 opening up like in Kelud or Grimsvötn is closer to Fat Man (Nagasaki-bomb) in energy output and noise factor during the first few seconds. Grimsvötn did a Fat Man per minute during the first hour in regards of energy output. Quite a sobering thought.

      • Not sobering at all. If anything, it’s sobering to think that mankind could produce something powerful enough to even slightly replicate what volcanoes can do naturally.

        • Oppenheimer later recalled that, while witnessing the explosion, he thought of a verse from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita (XI,12):

          If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one …

          Years later he would explain that another verse had also entered his head at that time: namely, the famous verse: “kālo’smi lokakṣayakṛtpravṛddho lokānsamāhartumiha pravṛttaḥ” (XI,32),[111] which he translated as “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

          • According to Richard Feynman (who actually stood up and watched the detonation which Oppenheimer did not) Oppenheimer in reallity said “Oh shit!” instead of the more famous quote.

            • Regardless, it’s still sobering to think that we… mankind have the power to obliterate ourselves if we choose to ever go into nuclear war. Thank god things never went that way during the cold war. I don’t think either side wanted that outcome, and I don’t think anybody except for a few crazy people would ever want to put anybody in that situation.

              An interesting thought however is that the invention of the nuclear bomb is probably half the reason the world has been as peaceful as it currently has. Without the nuke, it wouldn’t have been that inconceivable that the cold war would just be another world war 3 (sans nuke), and many other wars may have started. It turns out the presence of nuclear weapons makes politicians and leaders much more wary of going to war with any other country who has a nuke. The downside of that fact is of course that if &*&^ ever does hit the fan, then things may get ugly.

    • Not yet, but Boris Behncke said that the images of the rocks that had been ejected looked like hardened material from the lava dome.
      I think it will take a day or two before we even start to get ash composition data, and the final analysize might take months.

  7. Post updated again with a request for ash samples.

    For newcormers: Thanks to our editor Spica (Birgit H) we have the possibility to get Sweet Electron Microscope images of ash samples from the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz Austria. If you have ash samples please email us for the appropriate contact information.

    • This is a random pull from the Grimsvotn set. I imagine that some of Kelud’s may be similar. Lots and lots of fracturing.

    • It is also quite normal for Kelud, a short highly explosive blast, and then back to bed. It is really a nasty piece of volcano. Thank god that they had done active mitigation and emptied out the crater lake, otherwise we would see a massive Lahar tumbling down over the villages and towns in the vicinity.
      My take is that it probably saved a few thousand lives today.

    • I seriously hope so. This time around it saved them twice from Lahars, first when the lava dome extruded, and now during the paroxysmal eruption.

      • Yeah, I don’t think that’s even a question of consideration at this point. Especially for a night-time eruption, the mitigation of draining that lake has saved thousands of lives probably. It’s one thing to deal with lahars during the middle of the day when you’re expecting an eruption, but considering this occurred during night-time, I would almost guarantee this would have been a major disaster. As Carl has always said, the Indonesians are world class in volcanic mitigation, and this is just proof of that thought.

        • Since they often have several volcanoes going at the same time they have to be good. And also they get a lot of practice. Problem for them is most likely to be good at so many volcanoes at the same time. As we have seen during the last month their volcanoes can behave quite differently from each other.
          Tondanos vents does slow huffing and puffing for years, Sinabung does extrusion with repeated pyroclastic flows, and then Kelud did one mighty paroxysmal blast and then went back to bed. That is variation for you.

          • Yeah no doubt about that. It’s either that, or they lose a lot of lives, and choosing to be good at volcanoes / geology has a lot of other benefits (say hello to geothermal energy).

  8. Amazing how quick the eruption happened. It’s so different than a volcano like sinabung, or anything more effusive. In a single night, the entire event is pretty much over..

    • Also, scary in the thought of how this is basically a small-scale example of how many of the large-scale rhyolitic eruptions occur. They just… happen. There is no precursor dome-building, no smaller throat clearing activity. They’re either all-in, or not.

      • I would not say that Kelud did not give any warnings.
        Dome building in 2007, repeated seismic events, then a period of exponentially increasing seismic acitivity… The signs was there all along to interpret.

        I am very much looking forward to images from inside the volcanos crater. It will be nice to compare the before and after images.

          • That is most likely gone, what I am mostly interested is if the crater floor has lowered and if the evacuation tunnel is still there.

        • Well, I suppose don’t mean to say there weren’t precursors. But more of what I meant is that once the actual eruption started, it was just… there. Compare that to volcanoes like Sinabung where you got a series of phreatic eruptions that gradually evolved into dome building, dome collapse, and other similar events.

          I suppose most of what I meant is that this is a good example of a sudden explosive eruption, the likes we haven’t seen since Grimsvotn. I would venture to say that this is 90% driven by volatiles in the magma composition.

          I don’t see it right now, but Kelud in a few thousands years definitely looks to be a likely candidate to evolve into a very scary volcanic system. There clearly is a lot of magmatic input in it’s current state, and the magma seems to be very volatile rich. The only thing it would seem to be lacking for a big time eruption is a large enough magma chamber to store the requisite magma prior to reaching the pressure threshold for an eruption. It seems clear to me that this is a relatively young, but angry volcano that is making it’s way towards being an older angry volcano.

          • St Helens post May 1980, Kelud, any volcano with a lava dome emplaced, think of it as the cork of a champagne bottle of unknown size and unknown fizzy content. Some have let off all their fizz before emplacement like Novarupta, some are stocked with just enough fizz to continue dome extrusion like Shiveluch whereas some like Kelud and St Helens blow their corks to smithereens every now and then.

            • Yeah, but there are a lot of volcanoes that wake up after a long rest and don’t have a lot of “fizz” in them. Sinabung is a good example here, but there are others as well. And it’s not that these volcanoes can’t have decent sized eruptions from dome collapses, but it’s not always the case that dome emplacement prior to a legitimate eruption turns into a full-scale explosive eruption.

            • You are right Cbus, many volcanoes quietly extrude something. And of those many just extrude without even seeing a pyroclastic flow going off.
              The trick is to check what has happened before, most often a volcano is like a weather prognosis. The day after will most likely be the same as today. Next eruption be the same as this one. It is when something unexpected happens life becomes interesting.
              St Helens had never done a St Helens before it did a St Helens. Novarupta had never Novarupted previously. And there is nothing saying that Shiveluch will always be Shiveluching. But on the whole it is likely that Shiveluch will do a Shiveluch next time, and it is unlikely that St Helens or Novarupta will be anywere near as explosive the next time around they erupt.

          • “The only thing it would seem to be lacking for a big time eruption is a large enough magma chamber to store the requisite magma prior to reaching the pressure threshold for an eruption. It seems clear to me that this is a relatively young, but angry volcano that is making it’s way towards being an older angry volcano.”

            An alternative way of putting that…. “Large enough magma chamber” may not be the deciding factor, it’s likely more a function of the speed of arrival of volatile rich magma verses having a place for it to site an quietly degas.

            When the arrival rate exceeds the holding capacity, ya get a kaboom when the cork goes.

            Now, how much faster is the magma genesis after the Sunda trench quakes? How much of that subducted plate moved down into the “sweet spot” to form fresh melt? Could this mean that other systems fed by that same process be getting fresh magma now?

            We might get that “Black Swan” volcano after all…

            • you put my thoughts better into words on that one, I’ve been watching the EQ accumulate in this area for a number of years now, something has to give, now the question who will be next?

            • Ursh, remember that Earthquakes per definition is a sign that something has given way. Earthquakes are seismic release, in this case a sign of Australia being driven in under Indonesia.
              The amount of earthquakes there has not increase, nor decreased, and it will continue to hammer away for millions of years. So, in reallity things are giving way all the time and sooner or later something big will happen, but it is very very unlikely to do so under our lifetime.

      • One educated guess at how Katla did it: Petrogenesis of the Sólheimar ignimbrite @

        If they are right there was much more to it than magma reservoir size.

        Actually one thing it made me curious about is how close the fuse that might have blown Katla (basaltic-icelandite) comes to the extrudate from Sinabung. (porphyritic basaltic-andesite to andesite according to photovolcanica)

        Hasten to add that both are very different setups, and that by now i’d eat my sugar hat if Sinabung went bang big this time. The reason for my curiosity has to do with the Katla fuse seemingly being compression melt which’d be quite fitting with a recent comment by Carl about ash from the Torfajökull caldera event containing melt inculsions with high water content.


        As a side-note, a special round of applause to the paper for being readable by non-petrologists or geologists, i.e. me. Makes it my preferred volcanology piece so far.

    • Seems like 17km so far. Might though have been slightly higher. But in this case it is not entirely possible to calculate volume of the ejecta from columnal height since so much was in the form of gravel (lapiili) and not pure ash.
      In short version, the heavier the rock, the less high it goes.

      • Much of the ejecta will be the old dome plus ejecta forming a new crater. That should be relatively easy to calculate and subtract from the eruption as it had already been erupted – same as the total amount displaced by St Helens May 1980 eruption far exceeds the erupted volume attributed to it.

      • “In short version, the heavier the rock, the less high it goes.”

        Tell that to the guy that got whacked by one of Hekla’s long passes. He was the open receiver.

        • Yeah… talk about getting a Black Swan in the head…
          First of all, a 0,25kg stone being hurled 52km, and then finding a farmer out in a field in a country as extremely low density populated as Iceland.

          In regards of your black swan comment. A true Black Swan would be if the rate of magma ascension into Tondano jumped up so much that the current venting volcanoes couldn’t cope. I must admit to that being my personal worst case scenario. Without being a doomsdayer I would still like to say that it is after all the most active supervolcano today and as such it gives cause for pause. And no, it is showing no sign of anything more than the eternal Soputan and Lokon-Empung eruptions.

  9. Good morning. Just saw the news on the homepage to NRK. Not fun to start the morning with the news of a new ugly eruption in Indonesia..
    200.000 evacuated from 36 villages. The traffic in three international airports has been stopped.
    Darn, poor Indonesian people. Mother Earth have done enough damage there now. It’s time to find some place else to erupt. Some place under the sea.

    (Think I went out with the wrong foot first today. Mybe some more sleep, and than a morning coffee can help on that 😉

    • The 200 000 never had the time to evacuate before the eruption was over… We are still waiting for the figures to start coming in.

    • Cowboyandre, I agree – It’s time to find some place else to erupt and Norway seems a lovely place for it. How about…, erm…, Kongsvinger!?! That’s only two hours by car from here and one could sit in the Samvirkelaget with a great view of the ongoing Strombolian eruption at Kongsvinger Festning. Or did you have something more powerful in mind? 😈

      • If it were up for a vote, I have a few sites in mind… but I won’t name them, too many politicians there that might not like being denigrated.

        • 1600 Penn being a fave location of mine. And wouldn’t call being elevated 30,000 ft in a few seconds being denigrated. In fact that raises them far above merit.

      • No, Kongsvinger isn’t quite the right place Milord P. I have some god friends living there. It would be more fun with a undersea eruption going surtsey west of my homecity Bergen 🙂 Or mybe verry close to the city. We need more space to make the city bigger 🙂

        • I have been to Bergen, the place that is so rainy that they had to invent meteorology* to survive…
          For the rest, if you think you have seen rainy, try Bergen. On the plus side, it is probably the most beautiful city in the world. Sadly you will only see it the 5 minutes every other week when it does not rain 🙂

          *The Bergen School of Meteorology revolutionized modern meteorology.

          • “Sadly you will only see it the 5 minutes every other week when it does not rain”. Who told that lie 🙂
            It can be from few minutes to several weeks with fine weather here in Bergen.
            To long time without rain is a crises for us 🙂 And belive it or not: it can sometimes be some water crises here because of to to long period without rain. Last time, in the winter 2010.

            • Do note that “nice weather” is seen as a catastrophy in Bergen! :mrgreen:

              I am though not joking, Bergen is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

              Here is a rare moonlit image of Bergen from the waterside 🙂
              Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  10. Indonesian press now reporting some casualties but no fatalities yet, mercifully.
    Interestingly, the locals reported large numbers of animals (deer etc) running out of the forest away from Kelud two days ago.

    I fly back from Singapore this evening – glad I’m not in Surabaya:

    • Oh, and my odd grey haze in Singapore is apparently from forest fires on Sumatra, caused by farmers illegally clearing land. To be more precise … it’s Singapore’s grey haze. MY personal grey haze is entirely attributable to Tiger beer.

      • Lion Lager… nice slow headache… (okay, it’s not so nice, but it beats Singha)

        (Sorry Thailand, but I don’t really like your beer, it’s not your fault)

    • The figures from Kelud area has probably not come in yet. I think it will take days before we know the scope of this.

  11. VEI 4?!? Seriously?

    I VERY much doubt that as the eruption column wasn’t even half that of the Grimsvötn 2011 eruption and was a long way from reaching the stratosphere. The reports indicated that the eruption at Kelud tailed off within a couple of hours whereas Grimsvötn kept going quite a bit longer. VEI 2-3 for Kelud, no more on the evidence available.

    • You are totally missing the amount of bedrock that was blasted out. And seriously, this is exactly how the 1990 eruption happened.
      It has to do with the coarseness of the ejecta, if this had been as finely ground up as Grimsvötn it would have been more than 10 km higher up. Coarser equals heavier equals less lofting hight.
      You are an artillery guide, what happens when you fire heavier grenades with an equal powder load? Well, there is your answer.
      Local authority has allready stated that this probably was even larger then the 1990 VEI-4.

      • I’m not. That was deducted from the St Helens blast or it would have been >3 cu km ejecta. You can’t both have your pie and eat it, it’s one or the other. Good morning by the way and do have a Snickers, will ya! 😆

  12. In a VEI I know where Henrik will be going next with the argument, because he will now state that the flung out dome is not a part of the eruption, and it is perhaps not that. But any true volcanic scale must take into account what is killing people, and blasted lava domes is in this case what was the killer.
    Or, we could just say that the dome is part of the same eruption and then count it in.

    • You do? Oh, then you can have your dome as it doesn’t really matter. Treat it as a truncated cone with a base diameter of 300 m and a height of 120 m which would be ~400 if not truncated. About 0.0084 cu km or VEI 2 and the blast was at least five times more powerful than that at a solid VEI 3. It’s not like St Helens where they discount the debris avalanches of 2.5 cu km displaced by the eruption and killing dozens of people including Harry Truman.

      (Had that Snickers yet? 😀 )

      • I am not eating candy 😉
        And it is both to early and to late for a whisky.
        If we go back to St Helens (that I never mentioned in this context) we can happily remove the 2km of mountainside and still have a 1km VEI-5. I am not stingy 😉

        I think you should though have the talk with Surono about how he and the other boys there count things. But even if we remove the dome from the equation it was still most likely a VEI-4.

        Remember Pinatubo? It was a VEI-6 in about the same time frame (counting the main eruption only).

        • Err, yes, quite right about Pinatubo. Punched a hole through a typhoon to 34 km+ altitude with the base of the pillar being in excess of 1 km sq and the climactic eruption June 15th lasted from 14.30 to 22.30 or eight hours. I just think everyone is too trigger-happy pronouncing this eruption a VEI 4 and have over-estimated it as the initial eruption lasted under three hours and reached no more than 12 km alt, and that’s being generous. In the end it probably will turn out to be a low-to-mid VEI 4 but we’re not there yet.

          • Check your facts Henrik. It punched 20km.
            End in the end (it is over now) it became a VEI-4. Probably even slightly larger than the confirmed 1990 eruption.
            Just think of it as a mini-pinatubo and it will hurt less 😉

            • “Better?”

              Wait for the punch-line! 😆

              DragonEdit: “När du är ledsen och kinkig, ta dig en Pinatubo”

      • Also the depth of the ash at Yogyakarta seems to indicate a four. One should remember that Yogyajarta is situated at the edge of the ash cloud as it swept past. Most likely it is deeper to the east closer to the centerline.

  13. Not sure if it useful but I found a video a local put up who lives about 350km away from the volcano. What I found interesting was the environmental conditions that far away.

    • Very useful! Looks like it was quite a blast. And so far I haven’t heard of any fatalities which would be absolutely fantastic although 18 are missing (hopefully just misplaced). Red Cross put up this list six hours ago:

      Alang – Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Malang until 09.00 am already existing record 18 people were reported missing. Joint personnel also currently undertaking a search for survivors.

      PMI Chairman Malang, Aprilianto, say, the names of the missing are based on reports from families who lost family members. “People who lose their families are encouraged to contact PMI Pujon,” he said, Friday (14/02/2014).

      Here are the names of people reported missing and was published in shelters Pujon:

      1. Lewis
      2. Mr. Finger
      3. mother Sriati
      4. Avan
      5. Siti Sahara
      6. mother Sulastri
      7. Sriwati
      8. Lucky Slamet
      9. Mistji
      10. Sedaun
      11. Sanik
      12. Riski
      13. Pak To
      14. Gunadi
      15. Mrs. Nana
      16. Kavid
      17. Lewis
      18. sutrisno

      • Is it just me who belive that the two Lewises and “Mr Finger” are volcanoholic tourists who ran up the mountain before the eruption?
        I think the list of missing and dead people will increase the next 48 hours. We have not even seen the start of it. As it is now I do not think the list of dead will pass the 100 mark, and that is in this case a good number. If the Indonesians hadn’t done their active mitigation by draining the crater lake the number would probably have un up into the thousands.

        I would really like to take my hat off for the work done by PVBMG, both today and previously.

        • The two fatalities I mentioned earlier are sadly confirmed now. Both elderly, and both killed in roof collapses in separate houses in Malang district

          • Not a time to be making light of people’s names, I grant you, but if anyone deserves to be found unharmed then its Lucky Slamet.

          • Damn, that’s sad. There are a couple of videos put up on youtube of light ash falling in various places. Let’s just hope Kelud settles down over the next few hours. There seems to be much less local chaos here than compared to Merapi’s last eruption.

            • Probably no priest talking about the volcano being safe to stay ontop of. Him preaching that the mountain was safe killed many people, including himself.
              Also people here most likely had it fresh in mind how 1990 eruption felt like.

          • Sad thing to hear. Probably to old to run as the evacuation order came. Let us hope that the list stays short.

          • Hopefully it will end even below the 32.
            I think that the good work of your Indonesian collegues on spoting the upcoming eruption, and their evacuation planning, the locals being used to volcanic activity in combination with the removal of the lahar threat made the difference.

    • Vary glad you are okay.

      If at all possible, could you take note of Carl’s request for an ash sample? It doesn’t have to be very much. The contact information can be found on this site.

      For Carl, If Feti does send in a sample, make sure we note the distance to the volcano. That could be handy in comparison to the make-up of other samples.

      • Yes, we should really note that. According to the Thorarinson model we should see that the ash becomes less coarse the further away we get from the mountain.

      • Sure, I’d like to send an ash sample as soon as possible. It is 9pm in Yogyakarta, the shower ashes has stop but about 1-2 cm ashes still left on the road.

  14. And thanks to the video above and using losely the Thorarinson scale presented in his groundbreaking work in The Mount Hekla Eruption 1947-1948 we can compare his depth curve analysize and find that the depth of ash in Yogyakarta corresponds to his 250km measurment of ash. And that would put it in the VEI-4 range. Interestingly enough the 1947 eruption was heavilly explosive for just a few hours before it became effusive.

  15. Over 100,000 were evacuated, with most now returning home. Thankfully still only the two official casualties, in Pandansari village

  16. Here is another one from Terra/Modis from 14 Feb 2014. This is from the bands 3-6-7. Red is asigned to band 3 which is in the visible range. Ice and snow, e.g. in high clouds, appear red. Both band 6 and 7 are in the infrared range (SWIR). Green is asigned to band 6. Vegetation mainly reflects at band 6 and thus appears green. Cyan is asigned to band 7 and is indicating bare soil. Liquid water appears black and dispersed water (clouds) white.
    The ash cloud stands out blueish compared to the red or white clouds. Kelud is somewhere near the right edge of the image.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    • Renato, some 380,000 people die each day. It’s impossible to mourn or celebrate the life of each and every one of them. These people have chosen to live in the shadow of a known and deadly volcano, so why mourn them more than those killed in traffic on their way to work or children dying long before their time?

      • That’s why on global scale even the big ones in Instanbul and San Francisco will actually not be approximately as dramatic as the media will tell… (Ehm…) But at least we’ll be a little closer to the daily dead numbers than with a little bit of volcanic activity. 😉

      • Well, one somewhat bright ray of hope that there is some good in the world, the “news” reported that a pregnant lady was killed by a snowplow while loading groceries… but they were able to save the baby.

    • I wouldn’t say a VEI 6 will happen anytime soon. Kelut has just delivered one of its many, very typical eruptions, which are documented for the past few hundred years, so it looks like this volcano is quite happy doing things exactly as it does 😉

  17. Hm… what is it called now? Hm… Sleep 🙂
    Going for a bit of nappy after a night of Keluding.
    Do not worry, the riddly brainwrecks are coming up at the usual time.
    Sleep well everyone!

      • Well… we all know how it ended the last time we met… and the 63 times before that :mrgreen:

        Happy to see you again, I was just thinking about you a couple of hours ago. 🙂

        • Yeah. Honestly Sweden has always been better in Icehockey. The day the apples fly away from the trees, straight towards heaven, maybe we’ll beat you…
          dinojura44 – let’s just cross fingers and wait for a miracle…
          I was close to booking a trip in the south of Sweden for this summer. But hell it’s a bit too expensive for this year. Would have been an opportunity to try meeting you. 🙂

          • I will though say that you guys have become insanely much better lately. Second in the World Championship is not bad really 🙂

  18. Here’s a thing – just used the hotel lobby computer to look at VC. Site blocked because content might show Violence. I suppose it doesn’t get more violent than a volcano blowing its plug out, but I don’t think that it was quite what they mean 🙂

    (now on laptop)

    • Bring in a f…ing mooney-troll and you’ll see why this site actually really has to be blocked because of violent content… Mouahahahahaaaaaaa!!!! 😉

    • Blocked for violent content?
      Are you staying at Raffles? I might have the explanation for it if you do… I would though have expected that we where blocked for bad sense of humour 🙂

      • Sadly not Raffles. For the same reason I am about to sit in a seat that is tailored to the Oriental demographic for 14 hours watching a little plane on a screen travelling across the globe at about 1mm per hour. Cheapskate employers! B*****d SQ Airlines.

        At least Changi airport internet lets you on to VC

  19. On the Olympic meme, what I like best with the olympic games are those who are just there without any chance at all to win. I just watched Nepal, India and Maldives skiing about almost an hour after the others had finnished. Kind of a private competition there to not be last.
    I also pondered that Sweden and Norway had 14 out of 18 medals so far in the games and Russia non.

    Now back to look at the glacial deconstruction of the Alpians 🙂

      • It will be coming… unless the rumour about chocolate bribes are true 🙂

        I will though say that your curling team was very beautifull as they fondled the stones.

        • I’m afraid you’re right and it’s only a matter of time. Dammit.

          I will always go “back on the next wall” if I shall meet a curler… No problem if they get married and adopt children, but please don’t brush and push me like their ice and stones…

          • Oh, I would say that I would not scream if they brushed me and polished my marbles…

            Or are you talking about male curlers? They are just an abomination 😉

            • Sons of all the different divinities I was talking about male curlers, yes.
              I’m sure they shave their forearms.

            • So glad you’re back GeoLoco. We needed someone to raise the tone here to include male curlers.. Speaking of which, have you met my family?

            • You can see, I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a long time! Btw, is the bar open yet?

    • This webcam is certainly gone for good!

      Three out of four seismographs have also been damaged.
      “Kediri, MDTV: Kelud activity detector is damaged and can not function by a falling material Kelud eruption.

      The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) Hendrasto said Kelud eruption has caused three of the four seismographs damaged.
      “Automatically, we can only use one seismograph alone and this is still alarming because the solar cell as a source of energy supply covered with volcanic ash,” said Hendrasto, Friday, February 14, 2014.
      By simply using a seismograph, Kelud activity monitors to record seismic activity still tremors and eruptions that occurred in Kelud.”

  20. Pingback: The Wisdom of Deer | Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

  21. Api akan dilemparkan untuk melampiaskan kemarahannya, api yang dulu disimpan sekarang sudah menyala-nyala, sampai ada neraka kecil di dunia. Aku akan membiarkan semuanya hancur berkeping-keping, aku tidak akan peduli lagi biarkan semuanya merasakan ketidakpedulianku. Aku akan lepas tangan karena sakit dihatiku, aku akan melihat awan panas seperti air di sungai yang jernih. Selamat datang neraka kecil atau minta maaf^^

    • Gurgle translated.

      “The fire will be thrown to vent his anger, the fire that once kept burning now, until there is little hell in the world. I’ll let it all fell to pieces, I will not care anymore let it all feel ketidakpedulianku. I’m going to wash their hands because of pain in my heart, I’ll look like a hot clouds in the clear river water. Welcome to Hell little or apologize ^ ^”

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