Report on Gamalama (Indonesia) — 17 December-23 December 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 December-23 December 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Gamalama (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 December-23 December 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to a news article, an eruption at Gamalama on 18 December generated an ash plume that rose 2 km. Nine hikers fell as they ran to safety; four were injured and one was missing. Slow-moving lava at the summit was visible, and ashfall occurred in local villages. The Sultan Baabulah airport, 6 km NE, was closed along with schools and businesses.
Geologic Background. Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera, and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.
Source: Associated Press