Additional Report for Ham Rong

Land Subsidence near Ham Rong

Gia Lai Province, Vietnam


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08/1997 (BGVN 22:08) News report of alleged volcanic subsidence near "Ham Rong"


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08/1997 (BGVN 22:08) News report of alleged volcanic subsidence near "Ham Rong"

A 21 February Reuters news report described land subsidence near Ham Rong (Dragon's Mouth) in Gia Lai province in the central highlands of Vietnam. The report stated that several thousand square meters of cropland had subsided up to 3 m beginning between September and November 1996. The ground around the sunken patches, some of which were kilometers apart, was covered with small cracks. The news report stated that movement of underground gases was being investigated as a possible cause of the ground subsidence and that the spot lies near a volcano that has reportedly been extinct for about 1,000 years.

Attempts to corroborate this story with Vietnamese authorities having failed, we tried to ascertain the location of Ham Rong. To do this, we queried the National Imagery and Mapping Agency GEOnet Names Server, a searchable database of 3.3 million non-US geographic-feature names. No feature by the name "Ham Rong" was listed in the Gia Lai province. However, there is a mountain feature by the name "H?drông" near Pleiku-Bantour, a catalogued volcanic area at 14°N, 108°E. Pleiku-Bantour is an area of extensive basaltic lava containing five calderas and two basaltic lava cones (Whitford-Stark, 1987). A second possibility for the location of the volcanic activity is Toroeng Prong, a basaltic volcano at 14.9°N, 108°E (Whitford-Stark, 1987).

Reference. Whitford-Stark, J.L., 1987, A survey of Cenozoic volcanism in mainland Asia: Geological Society of America Special Paper 213, p. 16-19.

Information Contacts: Reuters News Service; National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), General Help Desk (L-52), 3200 South Second St., St. Louis, MO 63118-3399 USA (Email: chdesk@nima.mil).