Signs of unrest at the famous Tambora Caldera in Indonesia

August 30, 2011INDONESIA – I originally had this information in today’s first post, but it likely deserves its own post, so here it is. Eruptions reader Martin pointed out an new report (Indonesian) from the volcanological survey in Indonesia, the PVBMG, that raises the alert level at one of Indonesia’s most famous volcanoes, Tambora. Now, many of you volcano enthusiastics would remember Tambora for 1815, when it produces one of the largest eruptions in the past few thousand years. This eruption threw enough material and aerosols into the atmosphere to cause significant global cooling, producing the “Year without a Summer” documented across the globe. What most people don’t know is that after the 1815 eruption, Tambora has erupted at least 3 known times, all in the scale of VEI 0-2 (rather than the VEI 7 of 1815). Why do I mention this? Well, with any news of increased seismicity and steam plumes at a volcano like Tambora, you can be sure the fear/panic-mongers will come out in full force. The PVBMG reports says that since April 2011, the volcano has seen intermittent swarms of earthquakes and now at the end of August, there seems to be an increase in these shallow, volcanic earthquakes along with the presence of tremor. Combine that in observations of steam plumes rising tens of meters over the edge of the caldera rim, then you might have the signs of impending activity – thus the elevation of the alert status from Level I to II. Now, what kind of activity might we expect? Most likely we would expect something small, akin to the VEI 0-2 eruptions in 1819, 1880 and 1967, which were mainly lava flows and domes confined to the caldera floor, and most definitely not another VEI 7 event like the 1815 eruption. So, an eruption at Tambora would definitely get a lot of people’s attention, but don’t expect it to bring about a summerless 2012. –The Big Think
contribution by Luisport
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Signs of unrest at the famous Tambora Caldera in Indonesia

  1. Michele B says:

    Thanks to reading the book _The Extinction Protocol_ (still in process) I now have an idea about what these VEI numbers mean. Nice to be “in the loop.” Even if it’s not exactly a “great news for the earth” kind of loop. Problem is I’m starting to have almost as many questions as answers. Ah well, wait and see, and more will be revealed, no doubt. Thanks Alvin and Luisport!


  2. This one will be interesting to watch, mostly for it’s notoriety. I suppose it would be like a VEI 0-2 eruption at Yellowstone, which would definitely get everyone’s attention. Am I correct in that assumption? I surely do not want to see a summerless 2012. Not a fan of cold weather here.

    Be blessed and Maranatha


  3. Brandon says:

    Who do these people think they are? God Almighty? Alvin, we’re just that arrogant aren’t we? If this thing decides to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and produce a VE-8 eruption it will and without our permission. I pray it doesn’t, but if it can do it in 1815 it can do it now.


    • One of the cardinal rules of geology is what happened in the past is capable of happening again. Yes, let’s pray it does not. The forces of nature are ambivalent and unpredicatable. Controlling the power of the atom has given man hubris to think nature’s forces are also easily interpreted, syphoned and harnessed but she marches under the commanding whispers of the Almighty along. His hand along is responsible for perserving the life of a tiny blue ball with a paper thin atmosphere and a failing magnetic field in a irradiated part of the universe for so long whether men ever acknowledge it or not.


  4. Whirlwind says:

    I can’t even imagine if there were an eruption like 1815. The food shortages were wide spread across the entire northern hemisphere…..something of that magnitude happening today with the population we have, would be devastating (to say the least).


  5. Alex says:

    Ok hi I been looking at this site for some time great site and never felt the need to post till now let me first say I’m not a doomer but to say this volcano definitely won’t give the world a 1815 eruption does seem rather presumptuous let hope not but nature has a way off putting the human race in its place.


  6. David J. says:

    Tambora will not produce a VEI 7 volcano, before 1815 it took centuries and centuries, even thousands of years to fill with that much magma, I think the biggest eruption it could produce now would be a VEI 4 or maybe 5.


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