Barren Island

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 12.278°N
  • 93.858°E

  • 354 m
    1161 ft

  • 260010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

5 February-11 February 2014

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 February an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 35 km SW. A SIGMET report noted that low-level ash plumes were also observed on 9 February.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



 Available Weekly Reports


2014: February
2013: February | October
2010: January | April
2009: January | February | March | April | May | July | September | October | December
2008: July | November | December
2007: February | December
2006: January | March | April | May | September | October | November
2005: May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
2004: December
2003: March


5 February-11 February 2014

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 February an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 35 km SW. A SIGMET report noted that low-level ash plumes were also observed on 9 February.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


16 October-22 October 2013

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 17 October an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted less than 30 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


13 February-19 February 2013

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 16 February an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 220 km SW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


14 April-20 April 2010

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that a plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 55 km N on 19 April. However, ash could not be identified from the satellite data.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


20 January-26 January 2010

Based on a pilot observation, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 23 January an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified in satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


6 January-12 January 2010

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 January an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45 km S.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


30 December-5 January 2010

Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 January a plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. The plume was not identified in satellite imagery; however a meteorological cloud was present in the area.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


28 October-3 November 2009

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 1 November an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 55-75 km W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


9 September-15 September 2009

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-14 September ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 20-100 km W and NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


15 July-21 July 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 19-20 July an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-65 km NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


20 May-26 May 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 May an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75 km NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


22 April-28 April 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23-25 April ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-65 km NE, E, and SE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


25 March-31 March 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 25-26 March ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 110 km S.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


18 February-24 February 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 20-21 February ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 75-90 km WNW, NW, and N.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


4 February-10 February 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, SIGMET notices, and pilot observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 5 February an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


28 January-3 February 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 31 January an ash plume from Barren Island drifted about 55 km S.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


21 January-27 January 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 21 January an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


14 January-20 January 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 18-19 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE and NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


7 January-13 January 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 and 10-11 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


31 December-6 January 2009

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-6 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


3 December-9 December 2008

The Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 December pilots observed lava flows on Barren Island; ash plumes were not present. Thermal anomalies were detected on satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


12 November-18 November 2008

Based on a pilot observation, the Darwin VAAC reported a lava flow from Barren Island on 17 November. A possible low-level ash plume was seen drifting W on satellite imagery. On 18 November, a pilot reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


9 July-15 July 2008

Thermal anomalies detected by MODIS satellite instruments have occurred at Barren Island from 12 May 2008 through 7 July. Prior to May anomalies had not been recorded since early October 2007. The Indian Coast Guard also reported red glow at night from the central summit area during the second half of June 2008.

Sources: D. Chandrasekharam, Dept. Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team


19 December-25 December 2007

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S on 23 December.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


28 February-6 March 2007

Based on pilot reports, the Darwin VAAC reported that a diffuse ash plume from Barren Island reached an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S on 3 March.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


7 February-13 February 2007

Based on satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume from Barren Island reached an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW on 8 February.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


22 November-28 November 2006

The Darwin VAAC reported that a diffuse plume from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 27 November. The height and direction of the plume were not reported.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


8 November-14 November 2006

Based on satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that diffuse plumes from Barren Island on 8 November reached altitudes of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


18 October-24 October 2006

Based on pilot observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash-and-steam plumes from Barren Island on 19 and 20 October reached altitudes of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


20 September-26 September 2006

Indian Coast Guard officials noted in a news report on 23 September that the continuing eruption at Barren Island was decreasing in intensity. A surveillance report stated that there was less lava but more "smoke" coming from the volcano.

Source: The Hindu


24 May-30 May 2006

Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume from Barren Island on 26 May that reached an altitude below 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N at 1230.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


3 May-9 May 2006

On 3 May, low-level ash plumes from Barren Island were visible on satellite imagery extending N.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


26 April-2 May 2006

A plume emitted from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 2 May at a height near 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


19 April-25 April 2006

A low-level plume emitted from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 19 April extending westward.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


5 April-11 April 2006

Based on information from a pilot report and satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume was emitted from Barren Island during 5-6 April. The plume did not rise higher than 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


15 March-21 March 2006

According to a news article, a team of scientists that visited Barren Island around 12 March found that the volcano was still very active and the height of the volcanic cone had increased by 50 m since eruptive activity began in May 2005. In addition, lava flows covered the NW side of the island.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service


25 January-31 January 2006

During 12-13 January, a team from the Geological Survey of India visited Barren Island. They reported that dense clusters of incandescent tephra of various sizes were ejected from the crater. In addition to the eruption from the main crater, the scientists saw incandescence on the N flank of the volcanic cone and thin layers of incandescent material on the W slope. In comparison to activity during the early stages of the eruption in May-June 2005, activity had diminished considerably. The Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes emitted from Barren Island during 26-27 January rose to ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Geological Survey of India, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


4 January-10 January 2006

Satellite imagery showed a thin ash plume emitted from Barren Island extending WNW during 5-7 January.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


21 December-27 December 2005

During 21-23 December, ash plumes from Barren Island were visible on satellite imagery at a maximum height of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. on the 21st.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


14 December-20 December 2005

An ash plume emitted from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 19 and 20 December at a maximum height of ~3.7 km (12,000 ft a.s.l.).

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


9 November-15 November 2005

An increase in volcanic activity at Barren Island began on 4 November. During 12-15 November, ash plumes emitted from Barren Island were visible on satellite imagery drifting predominately SSW. Ash was no longer visible on satellite imagery on 16 November. Barren Island began erupting on 28 May 2005.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


2 November-8 November 2005

A news article reported on 9 November that volcanic activity increased at Barren Island beginning on 4 November. According to Professor Chaandrasekharam of the Indian Institute of Technology and members of the Indian Coast Guard, since the 4th there were large volumes of gas and ash emissions, and lava flows reached the sea. Professor Chaandrasekharam stated that the current activity is more intense than when the eruption began on 28 May 2005. The recent activity was preceded by nearly ten earthquakes in the region, including M 4.8 and 4.5 earthquakes on 3 November.

Source: Press Trust of India


19 October-25 October 2005

A low-level plume from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 21 October extending WNW. Barren Island began erupting on 28 May 2005.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


5 October-11 October 2005

During 9-11 October, a plume emitted from Barren Island was occasionally visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Barren Island began erupting on 28 May 2005.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


28 September-4 October 2005

Low-level plumes from Barren Island were visible on satellite imagery on 28 September and 2 October. The current eruption of Barren Island began on 28 May 2005.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


21 September-27 September 2005

A pilot observed a plume emitted from Barren Island on 23 September around 1230 at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l., extending ~90 km E. On 27 September, a low-level plume was visible on satellite imagery drifting NE. The current eruption of Barren Island began on 28 May 2005.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


31 August-6 September 2005

On 1 September, a plume from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. extending ~90 km NE of the summit. The current eruption of Barren Island began on 28 May.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


24 August-30 August 2005

A plume from Barren Island was visible on satellite imagery on 25 August at a height of ~4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes were visible at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 29 and 30 August according to a pilot report and satellite imagery, respectively. All plumes drifted E. The current eruption began on 28 May.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


17 August-23 August 2005

A pilot reported a plume from Barren Island on 18 August at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery. Barren Island began erupting on 28 May.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


13 July-19 July 2005

According to a pilot's report, ash was visible near Barren Island on 18 July at 0211 at a height of ~6.1 km (~20,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was observed on satellite imagery on 18 July at 0755 below a height of 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


15 June-21 June 2005

According to a news article, after visiting Barren Island on 14 June scientists determined that volcanic activity had increased since it was first noted on 28 May. Pyroclasts were hurled as high as 100 m above the volcano. The eruption occurred from a new vent on the SW rim of the volcano's crater.

Source: PTI News


1 June-7 June 2005

Professor Chandrasekharam, from the Indian Institute of Technology, reported that the volcanic activity that began at Barren Island on 28 May continued through 6 June when fresh lava emissions were observed by the Indian Coast Guard. Large amounts of steam were emitted due to the interaction of heavy rains and the hot lava.

According to Dhanapati Haldar, from the Presidency College, Strombolian activity on Barren Island consisted of lava fountaining to a height of ~100 m and "dark smoke" rising to ~1 km above the volcano. Lava accumulated on the W side of the main volcanic cone.

Sources: Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanapati Haldar, Presidency College


25 May-31 May 2005

Professor Chandrasekharam, from the Indian Institute of Technology, reported that Indian Coast Guards noticed an eruption at Barren Island that began on the morning of 28 May. During the flank eruption on the NW side of the volcano's central cone, black lava was emitted that did not reach the sea. According to the Darwin VAAC, there were reports of a plume at a height below 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. drifting N on 29 May at 1330.

Sources: Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


29 December-4 January 2005

Reports of increased volcanic activity at Barren Island and Narcondam volcanoes during the week of 2 January were found to be false. Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology reported that as of 4 January no unusual volcanic activity was occurring at these volcanic islands. Newspaper reports of active "mud volcanoes" in the Andaman Islands caused a great deal of concern and confusion.

Backgrounds. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2,250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the W, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. The morphology of a fresh pyroclastic cone that was constructed in the center of the caldera has varied during the course of historical eruptions. Lava flows fill much of the caldera floor and have reached the sea along the western coast during eruptions in the 19th century and more recently in 1991 and 1995.

Narcondum volcano, an island possession of India in the Andaman Sea, is part of a volcanic arc that continues northward from Sumatra to Burma (Myanmar). The small 3 x 4 km wide conical island, located about 130 km E of North Andaman Island, rises to 710 m, but its base lies an additional 1,000 m beneath the sea. The island is densely vegetated, bounded by cliffs on the southern side, and capped by three peaks. No evidence of historical volcanism is present, although the summit region is less densely vegetated and volcanism at the andesitic volcano is considered to have continued into the Holocene. The island's name means "pit of hell," although the name could have been mistakenly transferred from the historically active Barren Island volcano, 140 km to the SSW.

Source: Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology


12 March-18 March 2003

A team of scientists from India and Italy who visited Barren Island during 3-6 February found fumaroles on parts of the volcano's SW cone that reached temperatures up to 101°C. Neither magma nor gas emissions were observed in any of the various cones. The ground temperature was relatively high (40°C) from the middle to the upper part of the western cone and steaming ground was clearly visible at many sites. Several steam vents were visible within the 1995 lava flows. Blue fumes, which are indicative of the presence of SO2, and the smell of acidic gases were not recorded.

Source: Expedition team from the Indian Institute of Technology, University of Urbino, CNR-Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, and University of Florence


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2013 Feb 16 2013 Feb 16 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
2010 Sep 17 2011 Jun 22 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
2008 May 13 2010 Apr 19 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
2005 May 26 2007 Dec 23 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Central cone summit, N, S, and SW flanks
[ 2000 Jan ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
1994 Dec 20 (in or before) 1995 Jun 5 ± 8 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Central cone summit, SW & S flanks
1991 Mar 29 1991 Oct 31 ± 7 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Central cone summit and NE flank
[ 1852 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1832 Mar Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1803 Nov 1804 Jan 31 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1795 Dec 20 1795 Dec 21 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1789 Mar 24 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1787 May 12 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
8060 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Awasthi N, Ray J S, Laskar A H, Kumar A, Sudhakar M, Bhutani R, Sheth H C, Yadava M G, 2010. Major ash eruptions of Barren Island volcano (Andaman Sea) during the past 72 kyr: clues from a sediment core record. Bull Volc, 72: 1131-1136.

Haldar D, Laskar T, Bandyopadhyay P C, Sarkar N K, Biswas J K, 1992. Volcanic eruption of the Barren Island volcano, Andaman Sea. J Geol Soc India, 39: 411-419.

Luhr J F, Haldar D, 2006. Barren Island volcano (NE Indian Ocean): island-arc high-alumina basalts produced by troctolite contamination. J Volc Geotherm Res, 149: 177-212.

Mallet F R, 1895. Some early allusions to Barren Island; with a few remarks thereon. Geol Surv India Mem, 28(1): 22-34.

Neumann van Padang M, 1951. Indonesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 1: 1-271.

Raina V K, 1987. A note on sulfur occurrence in the volcanoes of Bay of Bengal. Indian Minerals, 41: 79-86.

Shanker R, Haldar D, Absar A, Chakraborty S C, 2001. Pictorial Monograph of the Barren Island Volcano. Kolkata: Geol Surv India, 87 p.

Sheth H C, Ray J S, Bhutani R, Kumar A, Awasthi N, 2010. The latest (2008-09) eruption of Barren Island volcano, and some thoughts on its hazards, logistics and geotourism aspects. [Current Sci, 98: 620-626.

Sheth H C, Ray J S, Bhutani R, Kumar A, Smitha R S, 2009. Volcanology and eruptive styles of Barren Island: an active mafic stratovolcano in the Andaman Sea, NE Indian Ocean. Bull Volc, 71: 1021-1039.

Smithsonian Institution-GVN, 1990-. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Global Volc Network, v 15-33.

Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. The morphology of a fresh pyroclastic cone that was constructed in the center of the caldera has varied during the course of historical eruptions. Lava flows fill much of the caldera floor and have reached the sea along the western coast during historical eruptions.