Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter
Anak Krakatau is an island volcano that first broke the surface of the ocean in 1927. The island is only 2 m in diameter and its highest point is only 300m above sea level; however, the island is growing at a rate of 6.8 m per year.
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa resulted in the devastation of the island, but volcanic activity in the area that began in 1927 has given rise to the new island of Anak Krakatau on the same location. The name means Child of Krakatoa. The island that originally broke the surface in 1927 was made of pumice and ash, so it quickly eroded away. The current island is actually the fourth, but the only one to survive for more than a few weeks. This island appeared in 1930.
Anak Krakatau has grown at an average rate of 13 cm per week since the 1950s. The island is still active. Its most recent eruptive episode began in 1994. Nearly continuous Strombolian eruptions have been since then have only been interrupted by a few days of quiet. The most recent eruption began in April 2008, when hot gases, rocks, and lava were released. Scientists monitoring the volcano continue to warn people to stay at least 3 km away from the island. As recently as May, 2009 the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia has warned of additional impending eruptions that could occur within two weeks(level orange warning).
The islands in the area of Krakatoa have a special fascination for some scientists because they offer an opportunity to observe the processes that bring life to a presumed sterile landscape. The first explorers after the 1883 eruption could only find one living survivor…a spider. Six months after that, grass began to grow and vegetation has slowly returned. The same will hold true of Anak Krakatau if it ever stops erupting and blanketing itself in a shroud of inhospitable ash and magma.