“Eruption” in Azerbijian

A 2010 mud flow from Lok-Batan, a mud volcano in Azerbijian.

So, first there was all the Yellowstone talk. Then the unsubstantiated reports of a volcanic eruption in a decidedly unvolcanic part of Pakistan (what part isn’t), then submarine volcanism off Japan. Now, we have a nrews report about an eruption in Azerbijian. Luckily, although the headline implies a magmatic event, the text of the article shows that this is, in fact, a mud volcano. The mud volcano is called Lok-batan (or Lokbata) and has erupted quite a few times over the last 150 years, as recently as 2005. Azerbijian has quite a few mud volcanoes, some of which are quite impressive. Remember, “mud” in the ground is just a viscous fluid – water and soil more or less – so it too can behave like lava if it becomes pressurized, especially thanks to heating of the mud. Earthquakes (common along the shores of the Caspian Sea in Azerbijian) could provide a route to the surface for the pressurized mud, leading to the “eruption”. The most famous mud volcano in the world is like the Lusi Mud Volcano in East Java, Indonesia – a feature that was likely triggered by man-made action.

Quite the volcano week, eh?


  1. #1 Greg Laden
    February 4, 2010

    This is totally going to get on the carpet.

  2. #2 Passerby
    February 4, 2010

    Finally found a photo of a large mud volcano ‘eruption’. The substantial flare (estimated to be as high 300 m) was reported by the BBC in 2001, in Azerbaijan. Although the exact location wasn’t named in the article, it may be the Lokbatan mud volcano, as the last large emission event was also reported in 2001.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    February 4, 2010

    Is it really a “mud” volcano if it is on fire? Wouldn’t that be a “burning gas” volcano?

  4. #4 Fiona
    February 4, 2010

    Hot,hot hot magama. ouch,that mucho hot!

  5. #5 F.Khan
    February 5, 2010

    There is a movie on the Indonesian mud volcano running on National Geographic Channel, after nearly 4 years its still erupting and destroying homes. You can see the promo for the move on You Tube:

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