Braving inclement weather and choppy seas, a team of scientists from the Geological Survey of India carried out the first field investigations of the eruption of the volcano on 13 June.
According to the GSI team, the intensity of volcano eruption has increased since it was first observed by the Coast Guard patrol last month.
Unlike earlier eruptions, the present ones were explosive in nature throwing up lava in the form of pyroclasts, comprising cinders, boulders, and lapilli, with great force upto 100 metres.
A thick column of smoke, gas vapours and ash accompanied the pyroclasts which were being blown in a north-easterly direction due to the prevailing wind conditions.
The temperature of the fresh pyroclasts and ash at the bottom of the volcanic cone was registered at 200 degree centigrade.
The present eruption is from a new vent on the south-western rim of the earlier crater. This vent, according to the geo-scientists, is likely to form a new crater.
The flora and fauna of Barren Island have by and large remained unharmed by the latest eruption. The Monsoon rains have washed away the accumulated ash particles.The scientists could see the excreta of feral goats that live on the island. They believed the goats might have shifted to safety on the other side the island. Marine life too has remained unaffected as molten lava has not coursed down to the sea.
The team of multi-disciplinary scientists comprising Sanjeev Raghav, Dr Sumit Kumar Mitra, Dr P C Bandopadhyay and Dr Tapan Pal have ruled out a link between the devastating earthquake on December 26 last year and the volcanic activity on the island.
About the mud volcano on Narcondum island, which also erupted recently, the scientists said the seepage of mud and water from it was insignificant. The seepage from very small vents stopped within two days on June 11.
The samples collected by the scientists from the Barren Island volcano as well as those from mud volcano procured by the Coast guard from Narcondum Island have been sent to the Kolkata laboratory of GSI for detailed study.
The investigation report of the present eruption will be submitted to the Andaman and Nicobar administration soon. GSI, they said, has a comprehensive programme for study of the Barren and Narcondum chain of volcanoes.