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Plume from Batu Tara
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Batu Tara, a tiny volcanic island in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands, released a plume of ash and/or steam in late April 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on April 30, 2009.
In this true-color picture, Batu Tara looks like a small, smoking speck in the Flores Sea. Initially blowing toward the northwest, the volcanic plume changes direction multiple times, forming a large question-mark shape, mingling with clouds in the north. When volcanic gases mingle with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight, vog, or volcanic smog, often results. The off-white color and diffuse shape of the volcanic plume in the north are suggestive of vog.
Batu Tara is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of lava, ash, and rocks ejected by earlier eruptions. The volcanic island’s first historical eruption began in 1847. More recently, the volcano began a period of intermittent activity, producing repeated ash and steam plumes in 2007.