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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

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Trigger behind Lusi mud volcano 'far simpler' expert says

(25 July 2013)

Professor Richard Davies, Durham Energy Institute, comments on new research relating to the Lusi Mud Volcano in Indonesia

The trigger behind the Lusi mud volcano eruption in Indonesia “is far simpler” than an “elaborate earthquake trigger mechanism”, according to a Durham University scientist.

Professor Richard Davies, Durham Energy Institute, was commenting on research published in Nature Geoscience.

Professor Richard Davies, Durham Energy Institute, comments on new research relating to the Lusi Mud Volcano in Indonesia

The trigger behind the Lusi mud volcano eruption in Indonesia “is far simpler” than an “elaborate earthquake trigger mechanism”, according to a Durham University scientist.

Professor Richard Davies, Durham Energy Institute, was commenting on research published in Nature Geoscience.

The research published by a team from Germany and Switzerland suggests that Lusi, which erupted in May 2006, was caused by the Yogyakarta earthquake a few days earlier.

Professor Davies said: “The new study provides an elaborate earthquake trigger mechanism. But the trigger is far simpler.

“On the 28May, 2006, as the drill bit was being pulled out of the hole an influx of water from surrounding rocks took place. This is termed a kick.

“When the blowout preventers at the surface were shut to prevent the influx coming up the well, the pressure in the hole was sufficient to cause rocks to crack and several leaks were spotted near the Banjar Panji-1 well.

“This was how Lusi was born.”

To read more of Professor Davies' research click on the links below:

February 2011: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=11636

February 2010: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=9553&rehref=%2Fnews%2Farchive%2F&resubj=%20Headlines

October 2008: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=7136

June 2008: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/?itemno=6609

May 2008: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=6575

January 2007: http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=5090