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Report on Gamalama (Indonesia) — October 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 10 (October 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Gamalama (Indonesia) Small ash explosions August to early October; seismicity normal by mid-October

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Gamalama (Indonesia) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200310-268060



0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A series of explosive eruptions on 31 July 2003 produced ashfall and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 28:07). Several small ash explosions occurred throughout August and September (BGVN 28:09). Activity was similar during 29 September-5 October 2003, with white gas emissions rising 25-100 m and some small ash explosions. Volcanic seismicity consisted of one deep earthquake, two shallow earthquakes, and 24 emission events. Activity remained low the following week, 6-12 October, with gas emissions rising 25-50 m. The number of daily seismic events this week had returned to normal levels, so the hazard status was downgraded to Alert Level 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 13 October.

Geological Summary. Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera, and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.

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