Overview of the eruptions of Sinabung Volcano, 2010 and 2013-present, and details of the 2013 phreatomagmatic phase

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 



A small phreatic eruption of Sinabung Volcano, North Sumatra on August 28, 2010, at 18:30 local time marked the first eruption in the past ~1200 years. The eruption took place from two small vents in the south crater area. Explosions and ash emissions from these vents generated multiple ash plumes that reached altitudes of up to 5 km during early- to mid-September. By the end of September, only low level steam plumes were visible and the alert level was reduced from Level 4 (highest) to Level 3. The 2010 eruption effectively ended at this time. Beginning two days after the initial 2010 eruption, activity of the eruption has been monitoring continuously by a telemetered seismic network surrounding the volcano and by remotely sensed observations. This monitoring system was supplemented with a near-field continuous GPS network, beginning in February 2011. Persistent fumarolic emissions continued for almost 3 years following the 2010 eruption, before a new eruption began on 15 September 2013. This eruption continues to the present. The ongoing eruption is divided into 5 major phases: 1) phreatomagmatic phase (July 2013 - 18 December 2013); 2) first dome and collapse phase with pyroclastic density currents (PDCs; block-and-ash flows and related surges) to south (18 December 2013 - 10 January 2014); 3) lava-flow and collapse phase (10 January 2014 - mid-September 2014); 4) second lava dome and collapse phase with PDCs to south (mid-September 2014 - July 2015); 5) lava dome collapse and ash explosion phase with PDCs to southeast and east (August 2015 - present). The volcano erupted intermittently during the early phreatomagmatic phase with small vertical ash explosions. Then the eruption became increasingly vigorous with more repetitive and intense vertical ash explosions during late October through November. The first small pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) began on November 1. These pyroclastic flows descended the southeastern flank to a distance of 2 km.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Overview of the eruptions of Sinabung Volcano, 2010 and 2013-present, and details of the 2013 phreatomagmatic phase
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.08.005
Volume 382
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 103
Last page 119
Country Indonesia
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