Since 29 May 2006, a mud volcano has been spewing out a hot, viscous and foul-smelling slurry in the district of Sidoarjo, on the eastern side of the island of Java, Indonesia.
Between 5,000 m³ and 150,000 m³ of mud is erupting from the volcano every day. The mud is coming from a pocket of pressurized hot water 2,700 metres below the surface. As it rises, the water mixes with sediments to form a viscous slurry of mud that is spreading around the volcano crater and forming a peak. Many experts believe it is impossible to tell how long the eruption will last. The volcano could continue spewing mud for years or decades to come.
The extent of the Lusi mud volcano and the efforts of the Indonesian authorities to contain its inexorable advance convinced Airbus Defence and Space to monitor it.
An archive SPOT 5 image mapped the site’s status before the volcano’s eruption. A 2nd SPOT 5 image captured what was happening 2 months after the eruption began. The first risk assessments indicated that the authorities had an exceptional event on their hands. Airbus Defence and Space therefore decided to monitor the site.