Report on Gamalama (Indonesia) — 28 December-3 January 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 December-3 January 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Gamalama (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 December-3 January 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to news articles, at least three people were killed and 1,000-2,600 more from several villages were displaced by lahars from Gamalama during on 27-28 December. The lahars destroyed many homes in the Tubo and Tofure villages and along the Togorara and Marikurubu rivers. The Alert Level remains at 3 (on a scale from 1-4).
Geologic Background. 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.