Monday, December 5, 2011

Indonesia's Mount Gamalama Erupts, Closing Airports

Another of Indonesia's volcanoes erupted today, causing airports to shut down near Halmahera. Mount Gamalama sent clouds of gray ash high into the air, while locals reported seeing lava descent from the summit down the volcano's flanks. The last major eruption of Gamalama was in 2003, and had similar affects on the local population.

From Smithsonian GVP:

Gamalama (Peak of Ternate) 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 of Ternate 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 of Gamalama, which reaches 1715 m. 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.

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