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Soputan volcano
Stratovolcano 1784 m (5,853 ft)
North Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1.11°N / 124.73°E
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
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Soputan volcano eruptions:
1785, 1819, 1833(?), 1845, 1890, 1901, 1906, 1907, 1908-09, 1910, 1911-12, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1923-24, 1947, 1953, 1966-67, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1991-96, 2000-03, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Typical eruption style:
Explosive, construction of lava domes, pyroclastic flows, strombolian activity.
Last earthquakes nearby
Soputan volcano tours
Volcano Special: Ibu - Dukono - Lokon (14 days volcano tour to erupting Dukono and Ibu volcanoes in Halmahera)
Volcanoes and Spices (17 days volcano trekking tour to the Molucca Sea: N-Sulawesi, Karangetang and Halmahera)

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Volcano news: Soputan

Soputan volcano (N-Sulawesi, Indonesia): violent eruption with lava fountains this morning

Sunday Dec 16, 2018 10:44 AM | BY: T

Eruption of Soputan today (image: PVMBG)
Eruption of Soputan today (image: PVMBG)
A new, intense (but probably again short-lived) eruptive phase started at the volcano early this morning, producing tall lava fountains and an ash column that rose at least 5-7 km height.
Following more than two months of relative quiet after the brief eruption during 3-4 October this year, seismic activity increased rapidly from 17:00 local time yesterday afternoon, followed by the start of the eruption at 01:00 local time this morning.
The volcano observatory reports it was "accompanied by thunderous sounds that were heard with a moderate intensity from the Soputan Volcano Observation Post located in Silian Raya (about 10 km southwest of G. Soputan)."
The height of the eruption column was observed because the volcano was covered in fog. At 3:09 a.m. this morning, bright incandescence from lava fountaining was seen above the peak of the volcano and the height of the eruption column could be estimated to be approx. 3,000 m above the summit (i.e. reaching approx 5 km altitude). Being thick gray in color, it bended towards the southeast.

"At 05:40 (local time), the eruption column was ± 7,000 m above the peak (± 8,809 m above sea level) with a column of gray and thick intensity ash leaning to the southeast. ... Until now, continuous tremors continue to be recorded with the maximum amplitude (overscale) indicating that the eruption activity is still ongoing." (PVMBG)
The alert level of the volcano was raised to RED.

The volcano thus follows this year's trend in becoming more active: Monitoring data between August to early October 2018 showed a significant increase. On October 3, 2016 at 01:00 WITA the alert level of Gunung Soputan was increased from Level II (Waspada, "Watch") to Level III (Siaga, "Alert"). An eruption then occurred on October 3-4, 2018.

The status of G. Soputan is still being maintained at Level III (Siaga) and it is recommended not to approach the volcano within a radius of 4 km expanded to 6.5 km for the southwest-western sectors.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Satellite image of Soputan volcano on 16 Dec 2018
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Satellite image of Soputan volcano on 15 Dec 2018
Saturday, Dec 15, 2018
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]
Sunday, Oct 14, 2018
The level of activity is continuing to decline. Seismicity appears to have returned to pre-eruption pattern of low rates. A renewal of high activity remains possible at this highly active volcano, though may be a little less likely than last week. [more]
Seismic activity has dropped off as seen on the official graph. Credit: MAGMA Indonesia
Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018
Activity at Soputan has decreased since the strong eruptive episode on October 3. Seismicity has dropped to pre-eruption levels and only minor steaming from the summit crater has been observed. Activity could, however, increase again at any time, and the alert level remains at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). [more]
Thursday, Oct 04, 2018
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]

Background:

The small Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes.  The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano rises to 1784 m and is located SW of Sempu volcano.  It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents.  During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.


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Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution


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