Report on Lokon-Empung (Indonesia) — 6 July-12 July 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 July-12 July 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Lokon-Empung (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 July-12 July 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.358°N, 124.792°E; summit elev. 1580 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
CVGHM reported that during 28 June-9 July white plumes rose 50-400 m above Tompaluan crater, in the saddle between the Lokon-Empung peaks, and gray ash plumes rose 100-500 m above the crater. An ash eruption on 10 July produced white-to-gray plumes that rose 200-400 m above the crater. Fluctuations in the sulfur dioxide gas emission rate were noted during 30 June-10 July. Based on gas flux, seismicity, visual observations, and hazard assessment CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 4 (on a scale of 1-4). On 11 July, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes detected in satellite imagery rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. According to news articles, close to 1,000 residents were evacuated from the area during 11-12 July.
Geologic Background. The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung, rising about 800 m above the plain of Tondano, are among the most active volcanoes of Sulawesi. Lokon, the higher of the two peaks (whose summits are only 2 km apart), has a flat, craterless top. The morphologically younger Empung volcano to the NE has a 400-m-wide, 150-m-deep crater that erupted last in the 18th century, but all subsequent eruptions have originated from Tompaluan, a 150 x 250 m wide double crater situated in the saddle between the two peaks. Historical eruptions have primarily produced small-to-moderate ash plumes that have occasionally damaged croplands and houses, but lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows have also occurred. A ridge extending WNW from Lokon includes Tatawiran and Tetempangan peak, 3 km away.