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“Eruption” in Azerbijian

If this week couldn't get much stranger, now we have mud volcanoes in Azerbijian erupting.

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?

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