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Report on Karangetang (Indonesia) — July 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 7 (July 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Karangetang (Indonesia) June 2003 ash plumes and two lava avalanches

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Karangetang (Indonesia) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200307-267020



2.781°N, 125.407°E; summit elev. 1797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Karangetang was the scene of volcanic and seismic unrest during early June 2003. The volcano produced ash plumes up to 400 m high and two lava avalanches.

In reports from the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), activity for the week of 2-8 June 2003 was characterized by emissions of white-to-dark gray colored ash from the S crater, rising to 400 m. Observers at night noted a red glow up to 25 m over the crater. In the N crater, a white-colored gas emission rose to 150 m. During this week, a lava avalanche that occurred in the direction of the Batang river reached as far as 1000 m from the crater. There was a decrease in multiphase earthquakes compared to the previous week, but an increase in shallow volcanic earthquakes.

During the week of 9-15 June, white-colored gas emissions came from both the N and the S craters. Observers at night noted a continued red glow up to 25 m over the crater. Another lava avalanche occurred, this time traveling in the direction of the Beha river as far as 1000 m and toward the Batu Awang river as far as 250 m from the crater. There were increases in volcanic earthquakes and avalanche events.

The seismic record for 2-8 June suggested 11 deep volcanic earthquakes, 348 shallow volcanic earthquakes, 233 multiphase earthquakes, 46 emission earthquakes, 110 avalanches, and 26 tectonic earthquakes. The seismic record for 9-15 June noted 32 deep volcanic earthquakes, 438 shallow volcanic earthquakes, one explosion event, 228 multiphase earthquakes, 21 emission earthquakes, 447 avalanches, and 20 tectonic events. The volcano remained at alert level 2 (on a scale reaching a maximum of 4).

Geological Summary. Karangetang (Api Siau) volcano lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, about 125 km NNE of the NE-most point of Sulawesi. The stratovolcano contains five summit craters along a N-S line. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, with more than 40 eruptions recorded since 1675 and many additional small eruptions that were not documented (Neumann van Padang, 1951). Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosive activity sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Lava dome growth has occurred in the summit craters; collapse of lava flow fronts have produced pyroclastic flows.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad and Nia Haerani, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).