Report on Makian (Indonesia) — October 1988

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 10 (October 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Makian (Indonesia) Satellite data on July plumes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Makian (Indonesia). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:10. Smithsonian Institution.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin



0.32°N, 127.4°E; summit elev. 1357 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

New data from Japan's GMS satellite . . . . An image at 1200 on 29 July (figure 1) shows a dense plume with a surface temperature of -70°C (figure 2), suggesting an altitude of 15.2 km (table 1).

Table 1. Analysis of GMS satellite data by Yosihiro Sawada, with parameters of the 29 July Makian plume and possible eruption clouds on 31 July 1988.

[Skip text table]
Date     Local  Attached     Width  Length  Direction  Surface  Height
         time   to volcano?  (km)    (km)               Temp.   (km)

29 July  1200     yes         60     110       SW      -70°C     15.2
         1500     no          90     310      SW-W     -61°C     13.5
         1800     no          80     430      SW-W     -50°C     12.1
         2100     no          90     450      SW-W      --        --
31 July  0300     no          30     130      SW-W     -49°C     11.9
         0600     no          20      60       SW      -20°C      7.6
         0900     yes         50     210       SW      -14°C      6.8
         1200     yes         40     130      W-SW     -73°C     15.6

By the time of the next image, three hours later, the plume was detached from the volcano and was noticeably more diffuse. Possible volcanic plumes were also detected on GMS imagery returned 31 July (figures 1 and 3), but no ground reports of large eruption clouds are known at those times.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Temperature gradients in the clouds shown in figure 1. Makian is marked by a solid triangle. Courtesy of Y. Sawada.

Geologic Background. Makian volcano forms a 10-km-wide island near the southern end of a chain of volcanic islands off the west coast of Halmahera and has been the source of infrequent, but violent eruptions that have devastated villages on the island. The large 1.5-km-wide summit crater, containing a small lake on the NE side, gives the peak a flat-topped profile. Two prominent valleys extend to the coast from the summit crater on the north and east sides. Four parasitic cones are found on the western flanks. Eruption have been recorded since about 1550; major eruptions in 1646, 1760-61, 1861-62, 1890, and 1988 caused extensive damage and many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Y. Sawada, JMA.