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Report on Krakatau (Indonesia) — January 2001


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 26, no. 1 (January 2001)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Krakatau (Indonesia) Eruptive activity through late October 2000; infrasonic earthquakes detected

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Krakatau (Indonesia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 26:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200101-262000



6.102°S, 105.423°E; summit elev. 155 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Krakatau activity continued after the previous report (BGVN 25:05) through October 2000 although intensity decreased relative to the 29 May 2000 eruption. The volcano's hazard status, however, did not exceed 2 (on a scale of 1-4) within the report period. During 27 June-2 July explosions sent ash to heights up to 500 m, and booming sounds could be heard on three occasions. VSI reports resumed as of 25-30 July when seismographs recorded 1,961 explosion earthquakes, compared to 441 about a month earlier. An infrasonic sensor detected 37 events. A volcanic ash advisory was issued based on a pilot report of ash observed at an altitude of ~6,100 m. Satellite imagery did not detect a significant plume on this date, and no additional ash advisories were dispatched.

Activity remained similar through 15-21 August. Frequent booming was heard, and high numbers of explosion and infrasonic earthquakes were detected. A volcanic ash advisory was issued on 20 August although it indicated that plumes were sparse, did not reach high altitudes, and dissipated quickly. During 22 August-4 September a white, low-density plume rose 50 m above the summit. No visual observations could be made due to heavy fog, clouds, or smog masking the summit from view during 5 September-30 October, although seismicity indicated persistent activity. During 5-18 September, 3,220 explosions and 17 infrasonic events were recorded. Audible booming, however, ceased on 12 September, and activity decreased dramatically through the end of October. Deep volcanic (A-type) earthquakes stopped occurring as of 10 October, although a low number of small explosion earthquakes and tectonic earthquakes continued through 30 October. No further VSI reports were issued for Krakatau in 2000.

Geological Summary. The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of that volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).