Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | February 14, 2014

Eruption of Kelud volcano in Indonesia one largest-ever recorded outbreaks

Mt Kelut eruption

Screenshot from Google Earth with 14 back-azimuths trace from the contributing infrasound stations (Mt Kelud volcano in Java, Indonesia is marked)

Today’s volcanic eruption at Mount Kelud, Java, Indonesia, appears to be one of the largest-ever volcano signal in terms of infrasound stations contributing to the detection. A preliminary analysis shows that fourteen stations in the following countries recorded the event: all currently installed Australian stations (IS04, IS05, IS06, IS07), Palau (IS39), Diego Garcia, UK (IS52), Madagascar (IS33), Russia (IS45), Mongolia (IS34), South Africa (IS47), Kenya (IS32), German Antartic station (IS27), Hawaii (I59US) and as the furthest with over >11,000 kilometres or >6,800 miles distance in Alaska (IS53).

The second-most powerful eruption in terms of contributing stations was the Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea in 2005 (8 IS stations). Further analysis is needed to establish whether today’s eruption was also the most powerful eruption in terms of energy released.

Volcanic ash clouds can be hazardous for air traffic, as the ash may clog jet engines. CTBTO infrasound stations detect events in near-real time. The CTBTO is collaborating closely with the VAACs (Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres) and the ARISE (Atmospheric dynamics Research InfraStructure in Europe) scientific community to develop an infrasound volcanic notification system. CTBTO monitoring data are already being used for tsunami early warning purposes.


  1. The right spelling is KELUD (with D) not Kelut (with T).

  2. When did the network start recording? Was it active during Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991?

    • Unfortunately the CTBTO monitoring network was not in place in 1991. The International Monitoring System began build-up in 1997 and has continued to certify stations ever since. You can have a look at our interactive IMS map here and even use the timeline at the bottom of the map to determine which stations were certified when (starting from 1997 onwards).

  3. When did the network started recording infrasound? Was it already there during the 1991 Pinatubo eruption?

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