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A large round crater lies along our way to Lengai. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Pirgos village in spring (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
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Eruption of Banda Api in 1988 - a large fissure has cut the island in half, producing dense ash emissions and lava flows on both sides that destroyed the village of Batu Angus on the north flank (image: Tom Casadevall / USGS)
Banda Api volcano forms a small isolated 3-km-wide island in the Banda Sea, Indonesia, 130 km south of Makulu Island. The volcano rises 4000 m from the sea floor and is the most recent and very active cone of a 7 km wide volcanic caldera mostly under water.
It is one of the most active volcanoes in the region and is known for violent activity including tall ash emissions, lava fountaining, strombolian explosions and occasional lava flows, some of which which have reached the sea. Because of its (for Indonesia) unusually effusive behavior and frequent activity, Banda Api has also been given the nickname "Etna of the Banda Sea".
|Volcano type||caldera normal or dormant|
|Summit elevation||640 m / 2,100 ft|
|Banda Api volcano eruptions||1988, 1901, 1890, 1855, 1835, 1825 (?), 1824, 1820, 1816, 1778, 1775, 1773,|
1765, 1762, 1749, 1722, 1712, 1690, 1683, 1635, 1632, 1615, 1614 (?), 1609, 1598, 1586
|Typical eruption style||Explosive|
Despite its remote location, Banda Api ranks among the volcanoes in Indonesia with the best documented history (since 1586), thanks to its strategic position at a cross-road of the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade sailing routes.
The caldera has 3 other islands forming the southern and eastern walls: Lonthor, Pisang and Kapal.
Banda Api is the NE-most volcano in the Sunda-Banda volcanic arc. Its lavas are mainly basaltic-to-rhyodacitic in composition.
At least two episodes of caldera formation are believed to have occurred, with the arcuate islands of Lonthor and Neira considered to be remnants of the pre-caldera volcanoes.
Among divers, the surrounding waters are (have been?) famous for the specatcularly large numbers of sea snakes that used to be found here mating in swarms of thousands.
More on VolcanoDiscovery:
Videos taken during our volcano expeditions and tours, showing eruptions, volcanic phenomena and more.
Photo Expeditions & Photography Tours
: We offer you a fine selection of photo tours to exceptional places guided by experienced photographers. These tours are ideal if you are interested in learning or improving photography or, if you are an experienced photographer yourself, to get to the best locations at the best times.
Volcano Calendar 2015
: We're proud to present our new volcano calendar 2015: 13 different and attractive images of volcanoes, volcanic landscapes and phenomena taken during volcano tours over the past few years.
17 days volcano trekking
: This is one of our most exciting volcano tours! Halmahera, North Sulawesi and the Sangihe Islands are not only very scenic and interesting as well as nearly unspoiled by tourism, but also home to some of the country's most active (and often erupting) volcanoes, inclduing Dukono, Ibu, Lokon, Soputan and Karangetang.