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Report on Kie Besi (Indonesia) — October 1988

Kie Besi

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 10 (October 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Kie Besi (Indonesia) Satellite data on July plumes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Kie Besi (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198810-268070

Kie Besi


0.32°N, 127.4°E; summit elev. 1357 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

New data from Japan's GMS satellite.... An image at 1200 on 29 July (figure 1) shows a dense plume with a surface temperature of -70°C (figure 2), suggesting an altitude of 15.2 km (table 1).

Table 1. Analysis of GMS satellite data by Yosihiro Sawada, with parameters of the 29 July Makian plume and possible eruption clouds on 31 July 1988.

Date Local time Attached to volcano? Width (km) Length (km) Direction Surface Temp. Height (km)
29 Jul 1988 1200 yes 60 110 SW -70°C 15.2
29 Jul 1988 1500 no 90 310 SW-W -61°C 13.5
29 Jul 1988 1800 no 80 430 SW-W -50°C 12.1
29 Jul 1988 2100 no 90 450 SW-W -- --
31 Jul 1988 0300 no 30 130 SW-W -49°C 11.9
31 Jul 1988 0600 no 20 60 SW -20°C 7.6
31 Jul 1988 0900 yes 50 210 SW -14°C 6.8
31 Jul 1988 1200 yes 40 130 W-SW -73°C 15.6

By the time of the next image, three hours later, the plume was detached from the volcano and was noticeably more diffuse. Possible volcanic plumes were also detected on GMS imagery returned 31 July (figures 1 and 3), but no ground reports of large eruption clouds are known at those times.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Temperature gradients in the clouds shown in figure 1. Makian is marked by a solid triangle. Courtesy of Y. Sawada.

Geological Summary. Kie Besi volcano, forming the 10-km-wide Makian island off the west coast of Halmahera, has been the source of infrequent, but strong eruptions that have devastated villages on the island. The large 1.5-km-wide summit crater, containing a small lake on the NE side, gives the peak a flat-topped profile. Two prominent valleys extend to the coast from the summit crater on the north and east sides. Four cones are found on the western flanks. Eruption have been recorded since about 1550; major eruptions in 1646, 1760-61, 1861-62, 1890, and 1988 caused extensive damage and many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Y. Sawada, JMA.