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Report on Sinabung (Indonesia) — 6 November-12 November 2013


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 November-12 November 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Sinabung (Indonesia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 November-12 November 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (6 November-12 November 2013)



3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on information from the Jakarta Meteorological Watch Office, webcam data, wind data, and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 November an ash plume from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The next day an ash plume rose to the same altitude but was not observed in satellite images due to meteorological cloud cover. According to webcam views an eruption on 8 November produced a low-level ash plume. The Jakarta Meteorological Watch Office, the webcam, and satellite data detecting sulfur dioxide indicated two explosions on 10 November. The first one, at 0720, generated an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. The altitude of the second plume, from an explosion at 1600, was unknown. An ash plume on 11 November rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted less than 20 km SW. The next day an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 40 km NW.

According to a news article posted on 12 November, more than 5,000 people from seven villages had evacuated their homes in recent days. The article noted that the government had called for an evacuation of people living within a 3-km radius of Sinabung, but people outside of that zone had also been evacuating.

Geological Summary. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical andesitic-to-dacitic edifice is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. The youngest deposit is a SE-flank pyroclastic flow 14C dated by Hendrasto et al. (2012) at 740-880 CE. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Agence France-Presse (AFP)