geologyMcAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Home » NASA » Tambora: The Largest Volcanic Eruption

Tambora Volcano: The Largest Eruption in Recorded History


A July, 2009 satellite image released by NASA's Earth Observatory.

Tambora Volcano
Astronaut photograph of Tambora Volcano's summit caldera acquired on June 3, 2009. Image credit NASA / Earth Observatory

Tambora Volcano location map
Tambora Volcano is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. When it erupted in 1815 the blast was powerful enough to be heard over 3000 miles away in India. More surprising: the sound was heard in India four hours after the eruption occurred.

Largest Eruption in Recorded History



On April 10, 1815, Tambora Volcano produced the largest eruption in recorded history. An estimated 150 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of tephra (exploded rock and ash) resulted, with ash from the eruption recognized at least 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) away to the northwest. While the April 10 eruption was catastrophic, historical records and geological analysis of eruption deposits indicate that the volcano had been active between 1812 and 1815. Enough ash was put into the atmosphere from the April 10 eruption to reduce incident sunlight on the Earth's surface, causing global cooling, which resulted in the 1816 "year without a summer."


Tambora Volcano in Satellite View



This detailed astronaut photograph depicts the summit caldera of the volcano. The huge caldera is 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) in diameter and 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) deep. It formed when Tambora's estimated 4,000-meter- (13,123-foot) high peak was removed, and the magma chamber below emptied during the April 10 eruption. Today the crater floor is occupied by an ephemeral freshwater lake, recent sedimentary deposits, and minor lava flows and domes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Layered tephra deposits are visible along the northwestern crater rim. Active fumaroles, or steam vents, still exist in the caldera.


Archaeology: Pompeii of the East



In 2004, scientists discovered the remains of a village, and two adults buried under approximately 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) of ash in a gully on Tambora's flank-remnants of the former Kingdom of Tambora preserved by the 1815 eruption that destroyed it. The similarity of the Tambora remains to those associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius has led to the Tambora site's description as "the Pompeii of the East."


World's Biggest Tsunami
Diamonds Don't Form From Coal
Vesuvius
San Andreas Fault
Volcanoes!
Marcellus Shale
What is Geology?
Mineral Rights





Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Diamonds from Coal
Biggest Misconception: Lots of people think that diamonds form from coal. Not True!
volcanic explosivity index
Volcanic Explosivity: Learn about some of the most explosive volcanic eruptions.
Plate Tectoncs
Zoom in on Plate Boundaries: See the details of plate tectonics in satellite view.
Fossils
Fossils: Learn about fossils and fossil discoveries around the world.
Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements are used in cell phones, DVDs, batteries, magnets & many other products.
Volcanoes
Volcanoes: Articles about volcanoes, volcanic hazards and eruptions past and present.
Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors under ultraviolet light.



© 2005-2014 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code and content of this website are property of Geology.com. Use without permission is prohibited. Pages on this site are protected by Copyscape.