Short-lived, high-level eruption at Ibu volcano, ash to 13.7 km (45 000 feet) a.s.l., Indonesia


A short-lived, high-level eruption took place at Indonesian Ibu volcano, Halmahera at 09:20 UTC on May 16, 2020. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red.

According to the Darwin VAAC, the eruption to 13.7 km (45 000 feet) above sea level moving S was short-lived and appears to have ceased and detached from the volcano. Volcanic ash is expected to dissipate in 6 to 12 hours.

Height and forecast were based on Himawari-8 imagery acquired 10:20 UTC and model guidance.

Geological summary

The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km (0.62 miles) wide and 400 m (1 312 feet) deep, contained several small crater lakes through much of historical time.

The outer crater, 1.2 km (0.74 miles) wide, is breached on the north side, creating a steep-walled valley.

A large parasitic cone is located ENE of the summit. A smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks.

Only a few eruptions have been recorded in historical time, the first a small explosive eruption from the summit crater in 1911.

An eruption producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater began in December 1998. (GVP)

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA. Acquired 10:20 UTC on May 16, 2020


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