Report confirms drilling, not earthquake, caused Java mud volcano

The main vent of the Lusi mud volcano taken within a few months of eruption. (Durham University photo) Report confirms drilling, not earthquake, caused Java mud volcano

The main vent of the Lusi mud volcano taken within a few months of eruption. (Durham University photo)

A two-year old mud volcano which is still spewing huge volumes of mud, has displaced more than 30,000 people and caused millions of dollars worth of damage was caused by the drilling of a gas exploration well, an international team of scientists has concluded.

The most detailed scientific analysis to date disproves the theory that an earthquake that happened two-days before the mud volcano erupted in East Java, Indonesia, was potentially to blame.

The report by British, American and Indonesian and Australian scientists is published this week in the academic journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. It outlines and analyses a detailed record of operational incidents on the drilling of a gas exploration well, Banjar-Panji-1.

Lead author, Prof Richard Davies of Durham University, UK, published research in January 2007 which argued the drilling was most likely to blame for the eruption of the ‘Lusi’ mud volcano on May 29 2006.

This theory was challenged by the company that drilled the well and some experts who argued that the Yogyakarta earthquake two days before the eruption, which had an epicentre 250km from the mud volcano, was the cause.

Graduate student Maria Brumm and Prof Michael Manga of University of California, Berkeley undertook a systematic study to test the claims that the eruption was caused by this earthquake. They found that none of the ways earthquakes trigger eruptions could have played a role at Lusi.

Prof Michael Manga, of University of California, Berkeley, said: “We have known for hundreds of years that earthquakes can trigger eruptions. In this case, the earthquake was simply too small and too far away.”

The new report concludes the effect of the earthquake was minimal because the change in pressure underground due to the earthquake would have been tiny. Instead, scientists are “99 per cent” certain drilling operations were to blame.

Prof Davies, of Durham University’s Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES) explained: “We show that the day before the mud volcano started there was a huge ‘kick’ in the well, which is an influx of fluid and gas into the wellbore. We show that after the kick the pressure in the well went beyond a critical level.”

“This resulted in the leakage of the fluid from the well and the rock formations to the surface – a so called ‘underground blowout’. This fluid picked up mud during its accent and Lusi was born.

He said chances of controlling this pressure would have been increased if there was more protective casing in the borehole.

Prof Davies added: “We are more certain than ever that the Lusi mud volcano is an unnatural disaster and was triggered by drilling the Banjar-Panji-1 well.”

Prof Manga added: “While this is a most unfortunate disaster, it will leave us with a better understanding of the birth, life and death of a volcano.”

Lusi is still flowing at 100,000 cubic metres per day, enough to fill 53 Olympic swimming pools.

Recent research which Prof Davies was involved in showed it is collapsing by up to three metres overnight and could subside to depths of more than 140 metres, having a significant environmental impact on the surrounding area for years to come.

Citation: “The East Java Mud Volcano (2006 to Present): An Earthquake or Drilling Trigger?”; Davies, Richard J. et al, Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Source: Durham University
This news is brought to you by PhysOrg.com

2 Balasan ke Report confirms drilling, not earthquake, caused Java mud volcano

  1. firstiar mengatakan:

    sudahlah …. terserahlah mau karena mall-drilling kek, mau karena gempa kek. yang rakyat tau, yang penderita tau (saya termasuk yang dirugikan, btw), bahwa lumpur keluar gara2 ada pengeboran di sana. kalo ga dibor, biar ada gempa juga ga bakal keluar kan? intinya gara2 dibor, lumpur jadi punya jalan untuk keluar. gitu kan?

    jadi nasib kami gmn ini? kebutuhan keuangan semakin mencekik paska pemerintah menaikkan harga BBM, lha ini malah penggantian diisukan mau diundur. mau sampe kapan? nunggu kami mati kelaparan? kalau nunda-nunda lagi … kami juga hanya bisa berdoa bahwa yang berkepentingan terhadap tertahannya arus ganti-rugi tersebut benar-benar diberi balasan yang setimpal dari “ALAM-INI” …. AMIIINNN…!!!

  2. PATAS mengatakan:

    Lumpur Sidoarjo Bukan Karena Pengeboran Sumur BJP – I
    Ditulis Oleh riz
    Senin, 16 Juni 2008
    Porong – Berdasarkan hasil studi tim pakar independen yang terdiri dari para ahli di bidang pengeboran, mekanika batuan, mud vulcano dan ahli geologi, menyimpulkan data pengeboran dan fakta di lapangan menunjukkan bahwa semburan lumpur panas di Sidoarjo bukan disebabkan pengeboran di Sumur BJP – I, di Desa Renokenongo, Kecamatan Porong.
    Fenomena semburan lumpur sangat menyedot perhatian, tidak hanya masyarakat Indonesia, namun juga internasional. Beberapa peneliti dari luar negeri pun ikut penasaran untuk melakukan penelitian mengenai semburan tersebut. Sebut saja Prof. Jim Mori, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Jepang. Kemudan Adriano Mazzini, peraih gelar Phd bidang hydrocarbon seepage system dari University of Aberdeen. Juga Dr Amanda Clarke, pakar geologi dan gunung berapi dari Arizona State University, Amerika Serikat.
    Penelitian yang mereka lakukan untuk mengetahui apakah ada kaitannya semburan lumpur Sidoarjo dengan mud vulcano yang memang bisa keluar di daerah lembek terkait adanya aktifitas magmatik. Mengingat daerah Porong banyak rekahan yang berhubungan dengan Gunung Arjuno, Welirang dan jika ditarik garis lurus tembus hingga ke Arosbaya di Bangkalan, Madura.
    Adriano Mazzini, beberapa waktu lalu mengatkaan bahwa keluarnya lumpur bisa saja di picu oleh gempa bumi di Jogjakarta atau faktor lainnya. Meski begitu, dari penelitian yang pernah dilakukan di bebarapa tempat yang muncul mud vulcano seperti di Azerbaijan, Laut Tengah, Laut Hitam, dan Laut Norwegia, dipastikan bahwa semburan yang ada di Porong merupakan kejadian mud vulcano terkait dengan aktifitas magmatik.
    Prof Jim Mori, yang melakukan penelitian juga mencotohkan tentang terjadinya semburan mud vulcano yang di picu oleh guncangan gempa bumi, seperti yang pernah terjadi di Niikappu, Jepang.
    Sedangkan Amanda Clarke, dalam penelitiannya mengatakan bahwa jika dilihat dari peta geologi, posisi semburan berada di garis lurus antara Gunung Penanggungan dan Gunung Arjuno, yang biasa dikenal dengan Sesar Watukosek. Dimana diantara dua gunung tersebut terdapat lapisan tanah yang lemah dan tipis, dan bisa memicu keluarnya air menembus ke atas, seperti yang terjadi di Porong. Sebab lumpur panas ada hubungannnya dengan gempa bumi, lapisan tanah, maupun gunung berapi.
    Sampai dengan saat ini semburan terjadi tidak hanya ada di pusat semburan di Siring, Porong, namun juga terjadi di kawasan lain. Bahkan lokasinya jauh dari pusat semburan, seperti di Mindi, Pejarakan, Renokenongo dan Jatirejo.

    INI CUPLIKAN INFORMASI HARI INI DARI SALAH SATU WEBSITE LAPINDO, UNTUK “MENYANGGAH” PENDAPAT PAKAR DURHAM UNIVERSITY, DIMANA LAPINDO SUDAH BISA “MENYEWA” DAN “MEMBAYAR-TUNAI”, “PAKAR-PAKAR” DALAM NEGERI MAUPUN LUAR NEGERI UNTUK MEMBELA “LAPINDO DAN PEMERINTAH” AGAR DI NYATAKAN TIDAK BERSALAH, DAN ALAM-LAH YANG MENJADI PENYEBAB INI.
    KAMI HANYA BISA BERDOA MUDAH-MUDAHAN YANG MENULIS ARTIKEL TERSEBUT BENAR-BENAR DI BERI BALASAN YANG SETIMPAL DARI “ALAM-INI”… AMIN.

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