Krakatoa volcano stirs to life again

The volcanic island of Krakatau (previously called Krakatoa) is situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in the Indonesian province of Lampung. The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption.

In 1927, a new island, Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa”, emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.

In the NASA photos below, you can see some stunning images of the volcano as it’s been stirring to life again

Activity at Krakatau

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September 25, 2018 12:25 am

A triple whammy if this goes off, Katla goes off and we hit a new solar minimum. Too bad all the excess CO2 we’ve been able to add into the atmosphere, plus that emitted by the volcanoes, won’t help by more than a few tenths of a degree.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 25, 2018 1:08 am

It isn’t going to go off.
Anak’s been rumbling away for years,

Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 1:32 am

Never say never…

Flavio Capelli
Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 2:28 am

On the beaches of Anyer and Carita on the western tip of Java there’s plenty of pumice stones from Anak Krakatau.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 4:23 am

“Adam Gallon September 25, 2018 at 1:08 am

It isn’t going to go off.
Anak’s been rumbling away for years,

Human years, or geological years. When someone says an active volcano isn’t going to go off, in a human timeframe, should step back and ponder those words.

Ron Long
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 25, 2018 5:15 am

Just so, Patrick. Volcanos erupt when the process of progressive crystal fractionation produces enough volatile segregate to over come the load pressure. Before reaching this pressure level an earthquake could effectively remove some of the load and the pressure exceeds the load and you get an eruption. Sometimes this eruption promotes rapid (dare I say dramatic?) exsolving of additional volatiles and you get an exaggerated eruption, like when the dome roof failed on the north side of Mt. St. Helens. Some volcanos have a reasonable periodicity about them, but buyer beware, they could spoil your picnic at any given moment

Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 6:03 am

There was a time once when Krakatoa had been rumbling away for years. That didn’t stop the explosion then. Curious it would for certain now.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Richard
September 25, 2018 6:20 am

Krakatau’s Plinian eruption of August 1883, started in May 1883. The volcano had been dormant since c 1681.
Anak Krakatau’s been continually active since 1994.
The material it’s erupted recently, isn’t associated with that of a Plinian eruption.

Ron Long
Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Fair enough, Adam. However, Mt. St. Helens was bulk composition andesite and, due to the sliding-off of a roof on a bulging, near-surface magma intrusion, the exsolution of volatiles produced rapid increase in the pressure and rapid, (dramatic?) expansion of the magma producing a pyroclastic eruption of a type not normally associated with andesitic volcanoes. Sure, Plinian eruptions are felsic pyroclastic events, but if you were a tourist on the flank of Mt. St. Helens when it blew the difference probably would not be appreciated.

Greg K
Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 25, 2018 10:50 pm

Not for a while anyway
It needs to get a bit bigger, form a caldera [which is explosive enough], settle down for a while and then have the caldera collapse

william Johnston
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 25, 2018 7:41 am

If the solar minimum continues, does that not mean temperatures in the upper latitudes decline, causing the population to increase their use of fossil fuels to keep warm? Which in turn brings more CO2 to the atmosphere and therefore causes more global warming? Would someone please check the thermostat.

Reply to  william Johnston
September 25, 2018 8:16 am

Well, you got the first sentence correct.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 25, 2018 1:43 am

Anak Krakatau has been growing steadily and is now getting on to about a thousand feet in height but is likely a few hundred years or so from a repeat of its little misbehaviour of 1883 – hopefully.
The Smithsonian runs an excellent volcano watch website with lots of pretty pictures of volcanoes which is useful for keeping up to date on current eruptions and rumblings – worth a look.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 25, 2018 1:54 am

And here’s a link to the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program webpage for Krakatau:


Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
September 25, 2018 10:56 am

Thanks Bob, I bookmarked it in Chrome.

James Beaver
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 25, 2018 9:16 am

I look at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network pretty regularly :
Living only 90 minutes from Mount Rainer and Mount St. Helens encourages vigilance.

September 25, 2018 1:43 am

“Child of Krakatoa” … like father, like son .. apple doesn’t fall far from the tree .. a chip off the old block

Bryan A
Reply to  Nash
September 25, 2018 6:18 am

The child appears to have the same anger management problems that the father had

Flavio Capelli
September 25, 2018 2:26 am

Records are sketchy, but there is evidence of one, possibly two, catastrophic explosion of Krakatoa before the historical one of 1883, spaced a few hundred years apart.

kent beuchert
September 25, 2018 2:30 am

All those years hearing references to “Krakatoa, east of Java” as the worst quake ever. Hopefully nota repeat.

Reply to  kent beuchert
September 25, 2018 2:57 am

It is west of Java, not east, and it was an eruption, not a quake. Otherwise correct.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2018 5:28 am

“Krakatoa, East of Java” was the name of a disaster film based on the eruption.

jeff casey
Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 25, 2018 1:40 pm

yes. the powers that be in hollywood intentionally mis-named the movie, since “east” sounds so much more mysterious and exotic.

Richard Keen
Reply to  jeff casey
September 25, 2018 10:20 pm

Like East St. Louis?

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 25, 2018 1:41 pm

I believe the film got absolutely slated by critics in the USA but in the U.K. was/is very popular cult movie precisely because of its absurdity, which extended to much more than its confused sense of compass directions. Personally I love it, not least because its tidal wave and steamship are real stars of the film.

So much better than yet another dire Titanic remake.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2018 4:13 pm

It’s only to the west if you want to get there in a hurry.

If you have the spare time and want to do a little sight seeing then east is totally the way to go. See you in three months 🙂

Reply to  Craig from Oz
September 25, 2018 7:58 pm

Said by the guy who thinks it’s Springtime right now


Reply to  Craig from Oz
September 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Said by the upside-down guy from OZ who thinks it’s Springtime right now


Reply to  Lokki
September 25, 2018 10:51 pm

Sure is….

September 25, 2018 2:42 am

Apparently Iceland’s Katla is becoming restless too.

Reply to  vukcevic
September 25, 2018 6:13 am

Hmmmm, two major active volcanoes and two trump SCOTUS picks.
Maybe the Democrats are correct that the world will end with Trump.

Jon jewett
Reply to  Matthew W
September 25, 2018 8:10 am

But he just turned hurricane Florence from a four to a one and saved hundreds in the Carolinas

Reply to  Jon jewett
September 25, 2018 8:20 am

Was Flo ever a cat 4? I suspect it that it never was, and was quickly downgraded as soon as it became observable by more eyes and instruments.

James Beaver
Reply to  Rocketscientist
September 25, 2018 9:25 am

Yes. The National Hurricane Center reported sustained wind speeds of 130 mph on Sept 11th:

Reply to  Rocketscientist
September 25, 2018 10:12 am

It was Cat 4 for a fair while, IIRC. Then either some wind shear (I think that’s what the NWS said) or dry air entrainment (which is what I thought, and Joe Bastardi mentioned that too) knocked it down and it never recovered major status. Plus, storms often weaken as they approach the coast and shallow water.

Given that it didn’t recover well, that’s a vote for dry air entrainment. Wind shear blows the top off the storm and convection can rebuild quickly. Dry air cuts the storm off at the knees and the whole air column has to regain saturation.

It doesn’t really matter – when a tropical cyclone stalls, you have a top shelf disaster in the making, especially away from the coast.

Reply to  vukcevic
September 25, 2018 8:29 am

Depends who you ask …

Speculations on Imminent Katla Eruption Were Premature, Says Geophysicist:

Reply to  vukcevic
September 25, 2018 8:53 am

“Apparently Iceland’s Katla is becoming restless too.”

Nope. Just The Sunday Times trying to get it’s readership up by trying to scare people into reading it’s trash.

The misquoted researchers had this to say;

Kaiser Derden
September 25, 2018 4:03 am

I blame Brett …

Reply to  Kaiser Derden
September 25, 2018 4:19 am

“I blame global warming, and fossil fuels, and … stuff. I mean, like , totally!”
– Governor Moonbeam Brown

Steven Fraser
September 25, 2018 5:43 am

Fer Sure, dude!

Reply to  Kaiser Derden
September 25, 2018 8:45 am

Your “butterfly effect” is stronger than mine!

September 25, 2018 4:35 am

I request that Katla and Krakatoa and other volcanoes just hold off for a few more years, because if you erupt (like, I mean, y’know, bigly) you are going to ruin my experiment.

In an article I wrote published on 1Sept2002 (we) predicted global cooling would happen between 2020 and 2030. I’m now leaning closer to 2020 or even earlier, so please be patient. I think the quiet Sun will demonstrate that it has a much greater impact on global temperature than increasing atmospheric CO2.

In a cooling period, there may even be some reversals of the gradual increase in atmospheric CO2. This happened before during the last global cooling period from ~1940 to ~1977.


Annualized Mauna Loa dCO2/dt has “gone negative” a few times in the past (calculating dCO2/dt from monthly data, by taking CO2MonthX (year n+1) minus CO2MonthX (year n) to minimize the seasonal CO2 “sawtooth”.)

These 12-month periods when CO2 decreased are (Year and Month ending in):

Modern CO2 data collection at Mauna Loa started in ~1958.

September 25, 2018 5:29 am

Allan, if you give me enough money, I’ll go turn off the volcanoes, including that Sudabunga thingy – whatever it is, and the Fukujamisima in Japan or whatever its name is plus the other one in the Canary Islands. I have to rescue the canaries living on the Canary Islands, too.
Otherwise, I’m going to open the spigot wide and let ‘er blow. I need money for my various slush funds, all of which go into having really, really great parties with neighbors I never knew I had. I also want ballet slippers and a pony.

(This is how the Greenbeans think. Satire is intentional. Getteth thou not thy undies in a bunch.)

In the real world, it does take some time to build up enough volume and pressure for these large beasts to blow their stacks, which is why Etna (Sicily) and Vesuvius (Italy – Pompeii) are constantly being monitored. Etna’s pretty active right now as is Stromboli. Vesuvius comes and goes.

Reply to  Ex-PH2
September 25, 2018 9:21 am

Stomboli. Stromboli is something you eat.

Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2018 9:38 am

MarkW thinks you can eat an island with a volcano on it:

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 3:13 pm

David Dirkse thinks anyone cares what he thinks.

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 3:21 pm

MarkW cares enough to reply to me.

Tell us MarkW how does that volcanic island taste? I’ll bet it could use a little salt, no?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 3:51 pm

Probably tastes like good coffee, after all it is fresh ground.

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 6:37 pm
Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2018 10:53 am

No, that’s mostaccioli, MarkW

Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2018 2:03 pm

Stromboli is great. I grew up in a mostly Itlaian neighborhood. …

Reply to  Ex-PH2
September 26, 2018 10:21 am

Was in Naples 2 years ago. The locals have accepted the fact that if Vesuvius erupts, there is no way to evacuate 1M people, so they are all toast.

September 25, 2018 8:11 am

Allan I understand your thinking. I have a question for you which is how do you explain the overall sea surface temperatures rise of late ? Any thoughts?

I did not expect this to happen ,perhaps it is very temporary due to the random factor in an otherwise still down trend.

The cooling if it does not come over the coming years will in that case probably would never come. I think it is all in the balance.

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 25, 2018 4:31 pm

Data source please Salvatore – SST’s? Deeper? Pacific? Elsewhere?

September 25, 2018 7:20 am

Let’s not forget this puppy (and my new measuring unit for CO2 .. the Katla):

There is also a theory that volcanoes tend to be more active during solar minimums. If we get a couple of these to blow during the next couple of years, I’m going out and buying a whole lot of freeze dried food. All we need is a couple of years without a summer and there are going to be a whole lot of hungry people in the world.

Reply to  rbabcock
September 25, 2018 7:55 am

Plausible, if Sol’s magnetic field changes significantly over the course of a solar cycle, and has an appreciable influence on the semi-molten metals in Earth’s mantle.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  drednicolson
September 25, 2018 6:25 pm

Isn’t it the the semi molten metals which cause pole shifts?

Gorodon Jeffrey Giles
September 25, 2018 7:44 am

One of the great, early, disaster films, Krakatoa East of Java.

Hope we don’t relive that.

Reply to  Gorodon Jeffrey Giles
September 25, 2018 1:05 pm

If you start at the eastern edge of Java and go due east, once you get almost entirely around the word you will reach Krakatoa. Funny name for a story, maybe there is a hidden meaning.

September 25, 2018 9:38 am

Anyone want to start a pool on how long before “climate change” is blamed?

September 25, 2018 10:23 am

Note that this is the second post about Krakatau this year, see

Note also that the hand wringing is mostly in the comments.

September 25, 2018 11:13 am

Dinna fash yersel! Cagar Alam Krakatau is a national park.

September 25, 2018 12:22 pm

Bring forth the cosmic rays.

September 26, 2018 10:31 pm

It’s all the fault of man-made CO2, anyway.

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