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List of Active Volcanoes in India

Introduction

India is known for its rich diverse geographical features, including volcanoes, and the fiery activity unfolding beneath the surface of the earth. The topic of volcanoes is not so relevant discourse in India, but do you know there are some active and potentially active volcanoes in India? This article sheds light on the active volcanoes which are asserting their presence quietly yet with a fiery quality. Let’s look at the list of active volcanoes in India.

List of Active Volcanoes in India

Barren Island

This is situated in the Andaman Sea and is the only confirmed active volcano in India. This has been recorded to have erupted in September 2018, ended in January 2022, and later had ongoing heat and thermal anomalies. The volcanic activity contributes to a huge unique landscape. The volcanic features of this island have acquired the interest of scientists and various other organizations and occupations.

Let’s look more into the details of Barren Island. 

  • This is a ‘Stratovolcano’ type composed of lava, rock fragments, and volcanic ash. 
  • This has a caldera of 2kms diameter, which is a large, steep-walled depression that forms following the eruptions. 
  • The volcanic arc of this island extends from Sumatra to Myanmar, formed by the subduction of the Indian Plate beneath the Burma Plate. 
  • Monitoring techniques like the MODVOLC system using MODIS infrared data to detect thermal anomalies are important to track its activity. 
  • This is an uninhabited island that is only limited to a small part of vegetation, so not suitable for humans. 
  • Visiting this is strictly prohibited without an Indian Coast Guard or Indian Navy permit.
  • Many experiments have been made with the rubble collected from this volcano. 
  • The island’s geometrics, and geothermal activity, including hot springs, add to its significance. 
  • The Geological Survey of India has been in continuous pursuit of the volcanic processes and potential implications for the surrounding environment. 

According to the Global Volcanism Program, this island has been showing signs of activity in recent years. Continuous ash plumes from the volcano were identified in satellite images during 06:20-12:50 on May 2023, rising to 4.6kms (15,000 ft). 

Potential Volcanoes 

Dormant volcanoes are those that have been inactive for several years and later turned out to be famous tourist spots. The other name for these dormant volcanoes is potential volcanoes, which have the potential to switch on erupting lava. Such eruption is possible if there’s a climate change, geographical shift, or any seismic activity of a great scale. Well, here are some of them.

Narcondam Island

This is located to the northeast of Barren Island. This is one of those within the house of a potentially active volcano. The recent limited information about small and minute eruptions suggests that the volcanic nature could be intact. The ongoing geothermal activity and presence of hot springs have altered scientists to monitor the activity and assess if there is any change in its volcanic behavior. 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Apart from Barren Island, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago is associated with several dormant volcanic features. Well, the region has left a history of many eruptions with enough debris around to conduct research, yet surveys suggest that any huge Geological impact can bring back the possibility. 

Potential Underwater Volcanoes 

Beyond the above-discussed active or potentially active volcanoes, various scientists and studies showcase that the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal might be hiding some of the underwater volcanic structures. The ongoing pursuit of technology can give us more details to look into further.

Implications of an Active Volcano

The view of any erupting volcano can give an impending fiery view, that is almost like a dramatic event in a scenic context, but there is always an overlook regarding the aftermath of a just erupted volcano within the surroundings. Let’s look at some of the most immediate and important here.

Lava Flows

The most immediate impact shall be local destruction caused by the lava flows. The molten rocks can engulf and destroy everything that is their way. This shall include vegetation, infrastructure, and settlements.

Pyroclastic Flows

The eruption spews out hot gases, ash, and volcanic fragments that travel at high speed. These speed down the slopes of volcanoes which incinerate everything in their way.

Ashfall

A huge eruption also causes ash to spray around into the atmosphere. The ash-like huge mushroom cloud just disappears in the atmosphere affecting air quality, visibility, and also soil fertility, as the height of the ash cloud covers the distance within its permiter and later settles on the ground.

Volcanic Gases

Gases like sulfur dioxide can lead to poor air quality, risking the lives of both humans and animals. These later lead to climatic changes contributing to the formation of aerosols and temperature.

Displacement of Humans

Evacuation of the humans in the surroundings ahead of the eruption is the only possible way to avoid any human loss. This Evacuation leads to human displacement and resettlement to the new living conditions which shall be challenging.

Impact on Agriculture

Volcanic eruptions can create fertile soils, beneficial for agriculture in the long run. Though the ash leads to disruption, a huge eruption leads to the minerals excavated into the air later settling onto the ground helping vegetation.

Economic Consequences

There shall be potential damage to infrastructure, if any, leading to loss and dealing with economic issues. These can create a few economic setbacks in the long term affecting the local economy.

Scientific & Environmental Research

Active volcanoes provide valuable opportunities for scientific research, helping to understand the Geological processes and monitor the activity. These lead to an idea or an assertion to prepare the surroundings for emergency evacuation, reducing all kinds of losses.

Conclusion

Though India is not known as well as the other countries on the subject of active volcanoes, Barren Island and other potential volcanoes remind us that it has its share of Geological wonders beneath the surface. 

FAQs

  1. Which country has more volcanoes?

Indonesia has more volcanoes at a staggering number of 76.

  1. What is the longest Lava flow on the earth?

Near the east coast of peninsular India, Rajahmundry trap lavas are considered to be the longest lava flow recognized on the earth 1000 km long, belonging to the Deccan Traps.

  1. How many volcanoes are there in India?

Barren Island, Baratang Island, Narcondam Volcano in the Andaman Islands, Dhosi Hill and Tosham Hill in Haryana, Loktak Lake in Manipur, and Dhinodhar Hills in  Gujarat are a total of seven volcanoes in India.