Written by Billy (mr2tuff) & David (mrloferlofer)
Having laid dormant for over 400 years, Mount Sinabung began showing signs of awakening in August of 2010. After several days of rumbling, Mount Sinabung erupted on August 29th, 2010 killing two. The eruption blew ash 1.5 km (1 mile) into the atmosphere, with lava overrunning one of it’s four craters prompting the evacuation of about 30,000 residents.
Another eruption on September 7th, 2010 had an even larger explosion, which was heard up to 8 km (4.9 miles) away. The ash cloud mixed-in with heavy rains and produced a centimetre thick layer of “muddy ash,” which blanketed crops, homes and buildings.
Mount Sinabung went relatively quiet after the September 7th, 2010 eruption, which allowed villagers to return to their homes in Kabanjahe and Berastagi; the two cities closest to the volcano. Only minor rumbles were reported from September 2010 to September 2013.
Mt. Sinabung: Late 2013 to the Present
In the second week of September 2013, Mount Sinabung roared back to life. Around 4,000 people fled their homes, seeking temporary shelter. Three active weeks later, officials were compelled to evacuate around 14,000 people following a major eruption that hurled an ash cloud 7 km (4.3 miles) into the atmosphere. A 5 km (3.1 mile) evacuation zone was cleared out.
The Latest Series of Eruptions from Mount Sinabung, as of January 2014:
According to National Geographic, during the week of January 4th, 2014 through January 9th, Mount Sinabung managed to erupt more than 220 times; with over 100 eruptions occurring in one day alone. By January 16th, pyroclastic flows had traveled over 4.5 km (2.8 miles) down the mountain side.
Volcanic Ash once again smothered crops and nearby villages, forcing a permanent evacuation of the surrounding population.
S0 News January 22, 2014: STARWATER...Proven -- (0:04) Good morning folks, couple quick items for you to check out. First, excellent footage of Sinabung; the disaster underway. These videos from The Telegraph are outstanding, you can even catch that rare volcanic lightning we've looked for in the past...
The Telegraph (January 21st, 2014) - "Dramatic footage captured pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving current of hot gas and rock, glowing red and rare phenomenon like volcanic lighting as Mount Sinabung in Indonesia's North Sumatra province erupted again on Sunday.
The 8,530-foot Mount Sinabung has sporadically erupted since September. More than 26,000 villagers have been evacuated since authorities raised the alert status for the volcano to the highest level since November 2013.
Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin...Read More."
Slideshow images were compiled from sources such as CNN, National Geographic and AvaxNews' reel:
A Natural Source of Infrasound:
LiveScience (April 13th, 2013) - "Villarrica Volcano (Chile) is also a prodigious source of infrasound," said volcanologist Jeff Johnson, at Boise State University in Idaho.
What is Infrasound? According to the Department of Physics & Astronomy of UW Ontario:
"Infrasound is sound which extends below the range of human hearing (from 20 Hz down to 0.001 Hz), and it emanates from many natural and man made sources.
For example, some animals, such as whales, elephants and giraffes communicate using infrasound over long distances. Avalanches, volcanoes, earthquakes, ocean waves, water falls and meteors generate infrasonic waves. Some sources of man-made infrasound are nuclear and chemical explosions, engines, machinery and airplanes (Figure 1). Infrasonic waves propagate with very little attenuation and hence are capable of propagating over great distances.
The infrasound spectrum is filled with energetic sources and distinguishing between these sources is important since their identification influences the decisions regarding the response. Figure 1 (below) illustrates the many sources of infrasonic waves...Read, See More."
After 20 years of dormancy Mount St. Augustine erupted in mid-January of 2006. In a pair of interviews, the first in the 2007 Smithsonian.com article, 'Volcanic Lightning: As sparks flew during the eruption of Mount St. Augustine in Alaska, scientists made some new discovers' atmospheric physicist, Ronald Thomas of New Mexico Tech, along with his colleagues and other scientists revealed why they:
"...now believe that volcanoes can produce two kinds of lightning during an eruption. The first type, which has been understood for some time, occurs in the volcano's smoke plume a few minutes after the eruption ends. In this case, highly energized hot air and gases clash with the cool atmosphere, creating the sort of "organized," branched lightning found in a thunderstorm, says Thomas.
The second kind of lightning, which the authors called 'a newly identified explosive phase,' came as a surprise, says Thomas. As magma, ash and rocks spewed from Augustine carrying great electrical charge, they created continuous, chaotic sparks near the mouth of the volcano.
'There's some mechanism in there that's making it come out charged,' says Thomas, who hopes the new observations will lead to a better understanding of both kinds of volcanic lightning."
National Geographic (February 22, 2007) -- "'So we saw a lot of electrical activity during the eruption and even some small flashes going from the top of the volcano up into the cloud. That hasn't been noticed before,' Thomas said.
The new evidence suggests that the eruption produced a large amount of electric charge..."
Just some thought-food, enjoy!