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May 29 / Dave Schumaker

Indonesian Mud Volcano is Collapsing

In 2006, a drilling accident near the city of Sidoarjo, Indonesia caused a large and rapidly growing mud volcano to form. The volcano, named Lusi, eventually went on to become the fastest growing mud volcano in the world, engulfing upwards of 7 square kilometers and forcing 30,000 people from their homes.

New research from Durham University suggests that if the volcano continues erupting at current levels, the area will significantly subside, resulting in the creation of a caldera.

Source: Reuters

Their research used GPS and satellite data recorded between June 2006 and September 2007 that showed the area affected by Lusi had subsided by between 0.5 metres and 14.5 metres per year.

The scientists found that if Lusi continued to erupt for three to 10 years at the constant rates measured during 2007 then the central part of the volcano could subside by between 44 metres and 146 metres – 26 metres longer than a football pitch.

They propose the subsidence is due to the weight of mud and collapse of rock strata due to the excavation of mud from beneath the surface.

Their study has also found that while some parts of Sidoarjo are subsiding others are rising suggesting that the Watukosek fault system has been reactivated due to the eruption.

We previously wrote about this eruption last year.

More Information: – Watch Lusi Collapse
Highly Allochthonous – Lusi in Time
Guardian – Mud Volcano on Brink of Collapse

[Via Eurekalert]

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