Report on Tambora (Indonesia) — 24 August-30 August 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 August-30 August 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Tambora (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 August-30 August 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
8.25°S, 118°E; summit elev. 2850 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on visual observation and seismic data, CVGHM reported an increase in activity at Tambora during the previous five months. Ground-based observers at an observation post in Tambora village noted dense white plumes rising 50-75 m above the caldera rim during April and June, but no plumes during May or July. In August dense white plumes rose 20 m above the caldera rim. Seismicity started to increase in April and continued to increase through August. On 30 August the Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geologic Background. The massive Tambora stratovolcano forms the entire 60-km-wide Sanggar Peninsula on northern Sumbawa Island. The largely trachybasaltic-to-trachyandesitic volcano grew to about 4,000 m elevation before forming a caldera more than 43,000 years ago. Late-Pleistocene lava flows largely filled the early caldera, after which activity changed to dominantly explosive eruptions during the early Holocene. Tambora was the source of history's largest explosive eruption, in April 1815. Pyroclastic flows reached the sea on all sides of the peninsula, and heavy tephra fall devastated croplands, causing an estimated 60,000 fatalities. The eruption of an estimated more than 150 km3 of tephra formed a 6-km-wide, 1250-m-deep caldera and produced global climatic effects. Minor lava domes and flows have been extruded on the caldera floor at Tambora during the 19th and 20th centuries.