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Lake Toba, Sumatra Island, Indonesia

April 1st, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Lake Toba is a large lake, 100 km long and 30 km wide, in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

In 1949 the Dutch geologist Rein van Bemmelen reported that Lake Toba was surrounded by a layer of ignimbrite rocks, and was a large volcanic caldera. Later researchers found rhyolite ash similar to that in the ignimbrite around Toba (and now called Young Toba Tuff) in Malaysia and India, 3000 km away. Oceanographers discovered Toba ash on the floor of the eastern Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.

Landsat photo of Lake Toba


Landsat photo of Lake Toba

Landsat photo of Sumatra surrounding Lake Toba


Landsat photo of Sumatra surrounding Lake Toba

The Toba eruption (the Toba event) refers to a volcanic eruption at Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia which occurred 74,000 years ago. It was the largest volcanic eruption on Earth within the last 2 million years[1], and was also the most recent Volcanic Explosivity Index 8 (i.e. supervolcano-sized) eruption.

The eruption occurred at what is now Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra about 71,500 ± 4000 years ago. It had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8, making it the most recent supervolcano-sized and probably the largest volcanic eruption within the last two million years. Bill Rose and Craig Chesner of Michigan Technological University deduced that the total amount of erupted material was about 2,800 cubic km — around 2,000 km3 of ignimbrite that flowed over the ground and around 800 km3 that fell as ash, with the wind blowing most of it to the west.

This eruption was the last of a series of at least three caldera forming eruptions which have occurred at the volcano. Earlier calderas were formed around 700,000 and 840,000 years ago

(Source: Wikipedia)

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