Did an earthquake trigger the May 2006 eruption of the Lusi Mud volcano?



On 29 May 2006, a mud volcano, unofficially named ‘Lusi,’ erupted in the Indonesian city of Sidoarjo, in eastern Java, covering an area of several square kilometers with mud [Davies et al., 2007] and displacing more than 24,000 people [Cyranoski, 2007]. Two days earlier, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred approximately 250 kilometers to the southeast. A 2800-meter-deep exploratory gas well, located about 200 meters from the mud eruption, experienced control problems within 5–7 hours of the earthquake (R.J. Davies, personal communication, 2007) indicating changes in fluid pressures soon after this earthquake. This earthquake is coincident with changes in eruptive behavior at nearby magmatic volcanoes [Harris and Ripepe, 2007; Walter et al., 2007]. Did the earthquake trigger the eruption of the Lusi mud volcano?