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Report on Soputan (Indonesia) — August 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 8 (August 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Soputan (Indonesia) Lava avalanches and ash explosions during 18-22 July 2003

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Soputan (Indonesia) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200308-266030



1.112°N, 124.737°E; summit elev. 1785 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 18 July 2003, large glowing lava avalanches resulted in a pyroclastic surge towards the W and NW. An ash column rose up to 2,000 m above the summit, and the Alert Level was raised to 3. Lava avalanches and ash explosions continued over the next few days, but by 21 July volcanic activity had started to decrease. Night observations showed that areas where glowing lava had illuminated the W slope on 18 and 19 July became dull and gradually disappeared over the three days following the eruption. Volcanic tremor due to fluid movement also ceased as of 22 July. Ash explosions continued sporadically, but were not as thick or as high as during previous observations. On 22 July between 20 of these minor ash explosions were recorded; another 50 ash explosions were reported after that time. No volcanic earthquakes were recorded, although small-amplitude tremor (0.25 mm) was recorded continuously. After 25 July the volcano was lowered to Alert Level 2.

During the week of 28 July-3 August, lava avalanches on the W slope continued, and emissions and avalanche earthquakes dominated seismic records. In addition, a white gas plume rose 50 m.

Geological Summary. The Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano is the only active cone in the Sempu-Soputan volcanic complex, which includes the Soputan caldera, Rindengan, and Manimporok (3.5 km ESE). Kawah Masem maar was formed in the W part of the caldera and contains a crater lake; sulfur has been extracted from fumarolic areas in the maar since 1938. Recent eruptions have originated at both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.

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