Sinabung Bang! Bye Bye…

Propels ash more than 4 miles (7 km) into the sky and blows away much of the mountain’s summit. Includes video.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) says the explosion “completely annihilated” the mountain’s peak, it’s ‘lava dome.’

Images released by PVMBG show what the top of the volcano, with more than a million cubic meters shaved off, looks like. Text on top of frame reads “Before Feb. 19, 2018” and text on bottom reads “After Feb. 19, 2018.

Picktures, videos, and links in the original so “hit the link”…

Thanks to Jerry Duff and Keith Connelly for these links

“This is a major eruption,” says Jerry. “Much of Asia and Malaysia will be affected. Crop loss and possibly no summer. The ash is above both the stratosphere and troposphere. I cannot stress how serious this eruption is.”

Now to me it just looks like one mountain peak. Not seeing how this is going to wipe out Asian crops or end Summer. Then again, I’ve no idea how big Sinabung is, nor how that stacks up to others. Given that, let’s look at an eruption I remember.

During the nine hours of vigorous eruptive activity, about 540,000,000 tons of ash fell over an area of more than 22,000 square miles (57,000 km2). The total volume of the ash before its compaction by rainfall was about 0.3 cubic miles (1.3 km3). The volume of the uncompacted ash is equivalent to about 0.05 cubic miles (210,000,000 m3) of solid rock, or about 7% of the amount of material that slid off in the debris avalanche. By around 5:30 p.m. on May 18, the vertical ash column declined in stature, but less severe outbursts continued through the next several days.

So 540 Mega-tons of ash, about 1/3 cubic mile. 57,000 km^2
Or about 5/100 cubic miles of rock.
210 mega-m^3

Compare Sinabung using numbers in the quote. 1,000,000 km^2 of rock gone.
1 mega-m^3.

Somehow I’m not seeing how that is earth shaking. Maybe the numbers are wrong?

February 2018

An epic gigantic eruption took place on 19 February 2018 with large volumes of ash and debris shot upwards to thousands of feet into the sky. The country’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has confirmed that there were currently no fatalities or injuries. The eruption expelled at least 1.6 million cubic meters of material from the mountain’s summit.

So they say 1.6 mega-m^3 of rock. OK, it’s a big eruption, but if I’ve got the numbers right, much less than Mt. St. Helens. So am I missing something here?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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6 Responses to Sinabung Bang! Bye Bye…

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    When Mt. St. Helens went off we were living 267 miles east and a bit north. (Troy, ID)
    We did not try to drive for 3 days. The “ash” is a fine glass-like material once beyond the close vicinity. It will melt and fuse stuff and shut your autos down. Police and such had a few like that and quickly got filters so they could operate. After 3 days the stuff was pushed off the roads and then we could go. We got 3/8 in. as fine as bread flour.
    Rain gutters and such could clog if not using high pressure to actually move it out. Still, it easily broke up after it dried as there was no cementing action.
    Killed a lot of insects — minute-sharp pieces. Imagine the old style Christmas tree ornaments pulverized. That material scarred and desiccated insects. Many birds eat insects. Follow that reasoning.
    Overall, I don’t remember big issues with crops later in the year. Nor I remember long term weather issues.
    But, WA and ID were not 3rd world regions.
    I think there is some hype here — but we’ll see.

  2. philjourdan says:

    It seems to be a bit over hyped. As Indonesia is probably the most volcanic active nation, it does not seem that big of a deal. So yes, unless we are missing something, it does not appear to be a season stopper.

  3. cdquarles says:

    Heh, it can’t stop the seasons, since those are due to axial tilt and the nearly circular orbit. It might affect the weather somewhat, more nearby and decreasing with distance.

  4. Chris in Calgary says:

    The 1.6Mm^3 number makes this a VEI 2 eruption. Mount St Helens was VEI 5. So the comment on of “Crop loss and possibly no summer” in “Much of Asia and Malaysia” appears to be highly exaggerated. As is the claim that “The ash is above both the stratosphere and troposphere.”; at 7km high (as claimed) the ash would be nowhere near the stratosphere which starts at ~18km in the tropics.

    I don’t consider that achieves a rigorous level of scientific reporting. Compare, which runs detailed analysis of scientific papers. The latter is much more trustworthy, IMO.

    Speaking of trustworthy, though, why is it I’m finding out this news two days late and only on this website? The MSM fails me again, I see. Guess I should know better….

  5. R. de Haan says:

    No “Year without Summer” from this one. Emission volume and altitude don’t even make a dent in the 1815 eruption of Tamborra. We really need to get to a VEI-6/7 level to have infuence global weather conditions like Tamborra did causing frosts, snow and massive crop losses in the summer of 1816.

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