December 6, 2011

Did Drilling Cause Mud Volcano Eruption?

Erin Wayman, Smithsonian

AP Photo

The newest landmark in Indonesia is a spectacular disaster. On May 29, 2006, mud and steaming hot water squirted up in a rice field in Sidoarjo, East Java, marking the birth of the world’s most destructive mud volcano. Since then, the volcano, nicknamed Lusi (a contraction of the Indonesian word lumpur, meaning mud, and Sidoarjo), has erupted almost nonstop, engulfing an area more than twice the size of New York City’s Central Park and belching as much as six million cubic feet of muck—enough to fill 800 railroad boxcars—in a single day.

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TAGGED: Oil Drilling, Volcano, Volcano Eruption