Barren Island

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Barren Island

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Barren island volcano
India's only active volcano, on Barren Island in the Andaman Sea, has this year again spewed smoke and lava after the first such activity was reported there in 1991, following a period of 150 years for which the volcano had remained dormant. Here's what the scientists of Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) recently saw there...
The Times of India

Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

A volcanic island in the Andaman Sea, lying about 71 miles north-east of Port Blair. See Andaman Islands.

Essential facts


The only active volcano in India is located in Barren Island. The volcano erupted once in 1991 and again in 1994-95, after remaining dormant for about 177 years.

This island is about three kilometers in diameter and has a big crater of the volcano, about half a kilometer away from the shore. The island can be visited by chartering boats and with the permission of Forest Department.

Foreign nationals are restricted to be onboard the vessel only and landing ashore is not allowed.

2017: Active again

Nida Sayed | India’s only volcano active again Feb 19, 2017


The Barren island volcano is erupting in small episodes of five to 10 minutes

Researchers are checking the composition of the lava

It was lying dormant for 150 years

PANAJI: India's only live volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has started spewing smoke and lava again.

After lying dormant for 150 years, Barren Island volcano erupted in 1991 and has been showing sporadic activity since then, scientists of Goabased National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) said.

"The volcano is erupting in small episodes of five to 10 minutes," Abhay Mudholkar, who is heading an NIO team which is collecting samples in the Andaman basin, said on Friday.

"During the day, only ash clouds were observed. But after sundown, red lava foundations were spewing from the crater into the atmosphere and hot lava streamed down the slopes," he said.

The site was later revisited by B Nagender Nath and his team and they too witnessed continuation of spurts of blasts and smoke.

Researchers from Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and NIO have sampled sediments and water in the vicinity and recovered coal-like black pyroclastic material representing proximal volcanic ejecta.

These samples will help in deciphering the nature of present and past volcanic activity in the region.

"We are checking the composition of the lava and powdering the black sand to figure out the components," Mudholkar said. The Andaman basin is an active back-arc spreading basin known for strong seismicity, submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal activity.

Scientists from CSIR-NIO have been surveying the basin and have identified several small submerged volcanoes in a linear chain called a volcanic arc.

"These volcanoes are formed due to the rising magma formed deep in the mantle due to the melting of the subducted Indian Ocean crust," said Nath.

"A few of these submarine volcanoes have been dredged for samples and a pumice type of light volcanic rock has been recovered."

The volcanic island is uninhabited and its northern part is, as the name suggests, barren and devoid of vegetation. Indian citizens can visit the island by chartered boats after obtaining permission from the forest department in Port Blair.

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