Salak

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 6.72°S
  • 106.73°E

  • 2211 m
    7252 ft

  • 263050
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 4 July-10 July 2007 Citation IconCite this Report


According to news articles, sulfur gas poisoning from one of Salak's fume-filled craters was suspected in the deaths of six teenagers on 7 July. Several more poisoned students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The students were part of a group camping on the volcano for the weekend.

Sources: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Reuters


Most Recent Bulletin Report: September 2007 (BGVN 32:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Six gas-related fatalities during July 2007

This is the first Bulletin report on Salak (a stratovolcano near the W end of Java, figure 1). Historical records indicate the last eruption occurred in 1938, and the volcano remains in repose?this report discusses gas-related fatalities. The last section of this report reviews gas exposure limits, gas-mask filters, and monitoring devices to enhance understanding of two sulfurous volcanic gases (SO2 and H2S).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Satellite imagery from Google Earth showing Salak (center, ~ 60 km SSW of Jakarta) and other volcanoes of western Java. Courtesy of Google Earth.

According to news articles, sulfur-gas poisoning from one of Salak's fume-filled craters was suspected in the deaths of six teenagers on 7 July 2007. The victims, who were between the ages of 14 and 16, were part of a group of about 50 students camping on the volcano for the weekend. The bodies were found with blood and foam on their mouths and noses. According to a Reuters report of 9 July 2007, police officer Thomas Alexander reported that "one of the students was found dead with foam on his mouth, a strong indicator of sulfur poisoning." Several more poisoned students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Deadly gases. A data sheet on SO2, a common and potentially hazardous sulfurous gas found at volcanoes appears on the Center for Disease Control website (NIOSH, 2007). The gas's density is 2.26 times heavier than air of the same temperature. (In other words, when near the ambient air temperature, SO2 gas will generally tend to descend into low-lying places such as closed craters, lava tubes, etc.) The NIOSH recommended exposure limit for a 40 hour work-week composed of up to10-hour days is 2 ppm. Their stated recommended exposure limit for short-term (15-minute) exposure is 13 ppm.

These guidelines apply only to healthy adults, and exclude the effects of multiple gases, strong physical exertion, etc. Another hazardous sulfurous gas emitted by volcanoes is H2S. It has a density of 1.2 times that of air and a recommended exposure limit that is a more stringent (NIOSH ceiling) value that should not be exceeded: 10 ppm for 10 minutes. But, this gas is thought to quickly react to form SO2 in many circumstances. The NIOSH website also discusses appropriate filters for gas masks. Small, portable, digital monitors now exist for many gases; some will operate as remote sensors with dedicated telemetry.

Reference. NIOSH, 2007, NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Sulfur dioxide: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (URL: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0575.html).

Information Contacts: Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com/); Asia-Pacific News (URL: http://www.asiapacificnews.com/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/); Deutsche-Presse Agentur (URL: http://www.dpa.de/).

Weekly Reports - Index


2007: July


4 July-10 July 2007 Citation IconCite this Report


According to news articles, sulfur gas poisoning from one of Salak's fume-filled craters was suspected in the deaths of six teenagers on 7 July. Several more poisoned students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The students were part of a group camping on the volcano for the weekend.

Sources: Deutsche Presse-Agentur; Reuters


Bulletin Reports - Index


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

09/2007 (BGVN 32:09) Six gas-related fatalities during July 2007




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


September 2007 (BGVN 32:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Six gas-related fatalities during July 2007

This is the first Bulletin report on Salak (a stratovolcano near the W end of Java, figure 1). Historical records indicate the last eruption occurred in 1938, and the volcano remains in repose?this report discusses gas-related fatalities. The last section of this report reviews gas exposure limits, gas-mask filters, and monitoring devices to enhance understanding of two sulfurous volcanic gases (SO2 and H2S).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Satellite imagery from Google Earth showing Salak (center, ~ 60 km SSW of Jakarta) and other volcanoes of western Java. Courtesy of Google Earth.

According to news articles, sulfur-gas poisoning from one of Salak's fume-filled craters was suspected in the deaths of six teenagers on 7 July 2007. The victims, who were between the ages of 14 and 16, were part of a group of about 50 students camping on the volcano for the weekend. The bodies were found with blood and foam on their mouths and noses. According to a Reuters report of 9 July 2007, police officer Thomas Alexander reported that "one of the students was found dead with foam on his mouth, a strong indicator of sulfur poisoning." Several more poisoned students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Deadly gases. A data sheet on SO2, a common and potentially hazardous sulfurous gas found at volcanoes appears on the Center for Disease Control website (NIOSH, 2007). The gas's density is 2.26 times heavier than air of the same temperature. (In other words, when near the ambient air temperature, SO2 gas will generally tend to descend into low-lying places such as closed craters, lava tubes, etc.) The NIOSH recommended exposure limit for a 40 hour work-week composed of up to10-hour days is 2 ppm. Their stated recommended exposure limit for short-term (15-minute) exposure is 13 ppm.

These guidelines apply only to healthy adults, and exclude the effects of multiple gases, strong physical exertion, etc. Another hazardous sulfurous gas emitted by volcanoes is H2S. It has a density of 1.2 times that of air and a recommended exposure limit that is a more stringent (NIOSH ceiling) value that should not be exceeded: 10 ppm for 10 minutes. But, this gas is thought to quickly react to form SO2 in many circumstances. The NIOSH website also discusses appropriate filters for gas masks. Small, portable, digital monitors now exist for many gases; some will operate as remote sensors with dedicated telemetry.

Reference. NIOSH, 2007, NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Sulfur dioxide: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (URL: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0575.html).

Information Contacts: Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com/); Asia-Pacific News (URL: http://www.asiapacificnews.com/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/); Deutsche-Presse Agentur (URL: http://www.dpa.de/).

Eruptive History


Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1938 Jan 31 ± 5 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kawah Cikaluwung Putri
1935 Feb Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kawah Cikaluwung Putri
1919 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kawah Ratu
1902 1903 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kawah Ratu
1780 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kawah Ratu
[ 1699 Jan 5 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Salak 3

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Photo Gallery


The deeply eroded Gunung Perbakti stratovolcano (center) rises above forests to its north, flanked by Gunung Endut (left) and Gunung Salak (right) volcanoes. Gunung Perbakti and Gunung Endut are part of the Perbatkti-Gagak volcanic complex. The summit ridge of Perbakti is elongated in a NW-SE direction, and Gunung Endut volcano rises to 1474 m above a saddle SW of Perbakti. Phreatic explosions have occurred during historical time at the Perbakti-Gagak complex, which is the site of vigorous geothermal activity.

Anonymous photo, 1989.
See title for photo information.
An aerial view from the west shows the profile of the twin summits of eroded Salak volcano. Two craters trending SW and NE truncate the summit of the volcano.

Anonymous photo, 1989.
See title for photo information.
Gunung Salak is seen here from the village of Karacak Kecamatan Leuwiliang on the NE flank. Satellitic cones occur on the SW flank and at the northern foot of the forested, extensively eroded volcano. Two large breached craters truncate the summit of Gunung Salak. Historical eruptions from Gunung Salak have been restricted to phreatic explosions from craters in a prominent solfataric area at 1400 m on the western flank. Salak volcano has been the site of extensive geothermal exploration.

Photo courtesy of Volcanological Survey of Indonesia, 1982.
See title for photo information.
Two large breached craters truncate the summit of Gunung Salak. Historical eruptions from Salak volcano have been restricted to phreatic explosions from craters in a prominent solfataric area at 1400 m on the western flank. Salak volcano has been the site of extensive geothermal exploration.

Photo by Cahya Patria, 2005 (Centre of Volcanology & Geological Hazard Mitigation, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


The following 1 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 86577 Rhyolite

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