Report on Soputan (Indonesia) — 21 December-27 December 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
21 December-27 December 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Soputan (Indonesia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 December-27 December 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
1.112°N, 124.737°E; summit elev. 1785 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
A phreatic eruption began at Soputan on 26 December around 1230 following heavy rain that contacted lava at the volcano's summit. On 27 December at 0400, a Strombolian eruption began that lasted ~50 minutes. Incandescent volcanic material was ejected ~35 m, and avalanches of volcanic material traveled as far as 750 m E. Around 0640 the avalanches became larger, as pyroclastic avalanches occurred from the edge of the lava. The avalanches extended 200 m E, and booming noises were heard as far as 5 km from the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume reached a height of ~5.8 km (~19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.
As of 28 December, eruptive activity continued at Soputan, producing ash plumes to a height of ~1 km above the volcano (or 9,100 ft a.s.l.). Strombolian eruptions continued, ejecting incandescent volcanic material up to 200 m above the summit (or 6,500 ft a.s.l.). Pyroclastic avalanches traveled ~500 m E and SW. This was the fourth event at Soputan in 2005, with previous activity on 14 and 20 April, and on 12 September. The Alert Level remained at 2, since the volcano is about 11 km from the nearest settlement. Visitors are prohibited from climbing Soputan's summit and camping around Kawah Masem.
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.