Man-made mud volcano starting to look like a real volcano

A post by Chris RowanIt’s been a while since my last update on Lusi, the allegedly/probably drilling-triggered mud volcano near Sidoarjo, Indonesia. But the NASA Earth Observatory has just released this image, taken last autumn:

Lusi_Oct08.jpg
Lusi,October 2009. Source: NASA Earth Observatory

My first thought on seeing this was, “Woah, where’d that mountain come from?” In the last images I had seen, Lusi had from above was effectively a big muddy pool, contained within man-made earthworks, with a steaming vent in the middle. This had been pretty much the case for the previous couple of years.

lusi_Oct08.jpg
Lusi, October 2008. Source: CRISP

Now, it’s a big muddy pool with a big steaming hill in the middle. By looking through the satellite snapshots put out every couple of months by the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing at the University of Singapore (of which the October 2008 image above is one), you can see that over the last 12 months or so Lusi appears to have started building up instead of out, with the causeways and dams around the vent being gradually swallowed up by the grey ooze.

Lusi_May09.jpg
Lusi, May 2009. Source: CRISP

Lusi_Sep09.jpg
Lusi, September 2009. Source: CRISP

Lusi_Dec09.jpg
Lusi, December 2009. Source: CRISP

It seems, then, that Lusi has entered a new phase of its life. I wonder if this growth has anything to do with subsidence in the area?

    Categories: geohazards, Lusi
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