The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. Some of the volcanoes are notable for their eruptions, for instance, Krakatau for its global effects in 1883, Lake Toba for its supervolcanic eruption estimated to have occurred 74,000 Before Present which was responsible for six years of volcanic winter, and Mount Tambora for the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1815.
The relatively inconspicuous, 1731-m-high Kelut stratovolcano contains a summit crater lake that has been the source of some of Indonesia's most deadly eruptions. A cluster of summit lava domes cut by numerous craters has given the summit a very irregular profile. Satellitic cones and lava domes are also located low on the eastern, western, and southwestern flanks.
Eruptive activity has in general migrated in a clockwise direction around the summit vent complex. More than 30 eruptions have been recorded from Gunung Kelut since 1000 AD. The ejection of water from the crater lake during Kelut's typically short, but violent eruptions has created pyroclastic flows and lahars that have caused widespread fatalities and destruction.
After more than 5000 persons were killed during an eruption in 1919, an ambitious engineering project sought to drain the crater lake. This initial effort lowered the lake by more than 50 meters, but the 1951 eruption deepened the crater by 70 meters, leaving 50 million cubic meters of water after repair of the damaged drainage tunnels. After more than 200 deaths in the 1966 eruption, a new deeper tunnel was constructed, and the lake's volume before the 1990 eruption was only about 1 million cubic meters.
Distances to Mount Kelud
Batu: 25 kilometer northeast
Blitar: 21 kilometer northwest
Kediri: 35 kilometer westnorthwest
Malang: 35 kilometer east
Pare: 22 kilometer northwest
Surabaya: 85 kilometer northeast
A strong and explosive eruption on early February 1990 produced a 7 kilometer high column of tephra, heavy tephra falls and several pyroclastic flows. More than 30 people were killed. Workers continued to quarry the still hot (90 - 400°C) pyroclastic-flow deposits which reached as high as 25 meters that buried the mouth of the Ampera Tunnel, at the southwestern side of the crater. The tunnel was constructed to drain the crater lake after the 1966 eruption and thus to reduce the lahar hazard.
Location map of Kelut
Last revised on November 11, 2009
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