Lava from a volcano. Credit: pxhere

Eruption of Krakatoa viewed under clear skies

22 September 2018 04:00 UTC–26 September 05:00 UTC

Lava from a volcano. Credit: pxhere
Lava from a volcano. Credit: pxhere

On 22-26 September 2018 there was a rare opportunity to see an eruption from the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa under clear skies.

Last Updated

05 December 2022

Published on

22 September 2018

 HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

It is difficult to get clear views from space of erupting Indonesian volcanoes. But in late September the eruption from the volcano Krakatoa (Krakatau) offered such an occasion, as documented by a sequence of Volcanic Ash RGBs from Himawari-8 on 22–26 September (Figure 2).

 Himawari-8 Volcanic Ash RGB, 22 Sept 10:10 UTC
Figure 1: Himawari-8 Volcanic Ash RGB, 22 September 10:10 UTC
Figure 2: Himawari-8 Volcanic Ash RGB animation, 22 Sept 04:00 UTC–26 Sept 05:00 UTC

The Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution reported: “Based on satellite data, wind model data, and notices from PVG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 18-24 September ash plumes from Anak Krakatau rose to altitudes of 0.9–3.7km (3,000–12,000ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1–4); residents and visitors were warned not to approach the volcano within 2km of the crater. “

The animation in Figure 2 shows that skies were mostly clear, in particular on 24 September, where the dark-magenta coloured, long ash plume was most prominent. On 22 September, between 09:20 UTC and 10:30 UTC, an SO2 plume was also very visible, e.g. at 10:10 UTC the green plume to the right of the red arrow on Figure 1 .


Additional content

Activity at Krakatau (NASA Earth Observatory)