Gamalama

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  • Indonesia
  • Halmahera
  • Stratovolcano(es)
  • 2012 CE
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.8°N
  • 127.33°E

  • 1715 m
    5625 ft

  • 268060
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

10 October-16 October 2012

CVGHM reported that eruptions at Gamalama during 15-16 September prompted CVGHM to raise the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 16 September. An eruption on 17 September produced a white-and-gray plume that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted E and SE. Ashfall was reported in the ESE part of Ternate (S, SE, and E part of island). After the eruption through 8 October white plumes rose 10-50 m high. Seismicity decreased in early October. The Alert Level was decreased to 2 on 9 October. Visitors and residents were warned not to approach the crater within a radius of 1.5 km.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM



 Available Weekly Reports


2012: January | September | October
2011: November | December
2008: May
2007: August | October
2003: July | October


10 October-16 October 2012

CVGHM reported that eruptions at Gamalama during 15-16 September prompted CVGHM to raise the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 16 September. An eruption on 17 September produced a white-and-gray plume that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted E and SE. Ashfall was reported in the ESE part of Ternate (S, SE, and E part of island). After the eruption through 8 October white plumes rose 10-50 m high. Seismicity decreased in early October. The Alert Level was decreased to 2 on 9 October. Visitors and residents were warned not to approach the crater within a radius of 1.5 km.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


12 September-18 September 2012

CVGHM reported that during 1-14 September cloudy weather and fog at Gamalama mostly prevented observations from the post in Marikurubu and from S Ternate (S, SE, and E part of island); white plumes were sometimes observed rising 10 m above the crater. A phreatic eruption on 15 September at 2027 produced ashfall in Ternate. An eruption at 1415 the next day was accompanied by rumbling sounds. A plume rose 1 km and drifted SE and S, producing ashfall at the Gamalama observation post five minutes later. Neither eruption was observed due to fog. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 16 September. Visitors and residents were warned not to approach the crater within a radius of 2.5 km.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


25 January-31 January 2012

CVGHM lowered the Alert Level for Gamalama from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 24 January based on visual observations of white plumes rising as high as 100 m above the crater and a decrease in seismicity since the last eruption on 23 December 2011.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


28 December-3 January 2012

According to news articles, at least three people were killed and 1,000-2,600 more from several villages were displaced by lahars from Gamalama during on 27-28 December. The lahars destroyed many homes in the Tubo and Tofure villages and along the Togorara and Marikurubu rivers. The Alert Level remains at 3 (on a scale from 1-4).

Sources: BBC News, The Jakarta Post


14 December-20 December 2011

Based on a SIGMET and information from the Ujung Pandang City MWO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 December an ash plume from Gamalama rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 140 km S.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


7 December-13 December 2011

Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-10 December ash plumes from Gamalama rose to altitudes of 2.1-6.1 km (7,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. The Alert Level for Gamalama remains at 3 (on a scale from 1-4).

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


30 November-6 December 2011

CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Gamalama from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 4 December based on seismicity and visual observations during 1-4 December. On 1 and 4 December white plumes rose to an altitude of 0.15 km (492 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Clouds obscured views on the other days.

Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-6 December ash plumes from Gamalama rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.0 km (8,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


7 May-13 May 2008

CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Gamalama to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 11 May based on seismicity and visual observations during 10-11 May. On 10 May, white to gray plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (5,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Residents and tourists were not permitted within 2 km of the summit.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


10 October-16 October 2007

CVGHM lowered the Alert Level for Gamalama to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 9 October based on visual observations of plume altitudes and a decline in seismicity.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


22 August-28 August 2007

CVGHM raised the Alert Level of Gamalama on 24 August from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) due to an increase in activity. Prior to 10 August, diffuse white plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (5,900 ft) a.s.l. then increased in altitude to 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. during 10-23 August. On 23 August, white and gray plumes rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (6,900 ft) a.s.l. Concurrent with the increased Alert Level, government officials banned access within a 2-km radius of the active crater.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


29 October-4 November 2003

Volcanic activity decreased at Gamalama during 6-12 October, leading DVGHM to reduce the Alert Level from 2 to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 13 October. During the report period, gas emissions rose to ~50 m above the summit and the number of daily earthquakes decreased to normal levels.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM


30 July-5 August 2003

VSI raised the Alert Level at Gamalama to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) after an explosion on 31 July around 1430 produced an ash column that rose 0.5-1 km above the volcano and drifted E. Another explosion occurred at 1439 that rose to 1-1.5 km above the volcano, and deposited ash in the town of Ternate ~30 km N of the volcano. The next large explosion occurred at 1625 and ejected incandescent material, produced an ash column that reached 1-2 km above the summit and drifted E, and was accompanied by a pyroclastic flow that traveled ~1 km into the Togorara Valley. VSI raised the Alert Level to 4, the highest level, and some residents near the volcano were evacuated. After an explosion at 1704 produced an ash cloud to 1-1.5 km above the volcano, low-level ash and gas emissions occurred at Gamalama through 1 August.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) also known CVGHM, Associated Press


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2012 Sep 15 2012 Sep 17 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Summit crater
2011 Dec 5 2011 Dec 23 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 2008 May 10 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 2007 Aug 23 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
2003 Jul 31 2003 Oct 2 ± 3 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1996 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1994 Jan 1994 Oct 15 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1993 May 6 1993 May 21 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1991 Jun 15 ] [ 1991 Jun 15 ] Uncertain 1  
1990 Apr 25 1990 Apr 26 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1988 Feb 12 1988 Mar (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1983 Aug 9 1983 Aug 12 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1980 Sep 4 1980 Sep 23 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1962 Dec 31 1963 Jan 2 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East flank
1938 Sep 8 1938 Sep 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1933 Nov 12 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1932 Nov 10 1932 Nov 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1923 Apr 13 1923 May 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1918 Aug 1918 Sep 4 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1911 Sep 2 1911 Sep 6 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1907 Nov 17 1907 Nov 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1900 May ] [ 1900 Jun 4 ± 4 days ] Uncertain 1  
1898 May 14 1898 May 28 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1897 Sep 7 1897 Sep 24 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1896 Aug 3 ] [ 1896 Aug 4 (?) ] Uncertain 1  
1895 Dec 19 1895 Dec 19 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1884 Dec 8 ] [ 1884 Dec 9 (?) ] Uncertain 1  
1884 May 1884 May Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1871 Aug 7 1871 Sep 25 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1870 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1868 Nov 13 1869 Feb 10 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1868 Mar 13 1868 Mar 13 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1864 Dec 27 1865 Jan 2 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1864 Jun 4 ± 4 days ] [ 1864 Jun 25 ± 5 days ] Uncertain 1  
1864 Jan 20 1864 Feb 17 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1863 May 1 (?) ] [ 1863 Jun (?) ] Uncertain 2  
1862 Jul 15 1862 Oct Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1860 Jun ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1858 Nov ] [ 1859 Sep ] Uncertain 1  
1849 Nov 27 1850 Nov 19 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1847 Sep 7 1847 Sep 7 Confirmed   Historical Observations
1847 Feb 7 1847 Feb 7 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1846 May 19 1846 May 19 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1845 Apr 23 ] [ 1845 Sep 3 ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1844 Mar 24 ] [ 1844 Nov 14 ] Uncertain 1  
1843 Apr 10 1843 May 27 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1842 Oct 6 1842 Dec 31 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1841 Mar 30 ] [ 1841 Nov 20 ] Uncertain 1  
1840 Feb 2 1840 Sep 29 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1839 Jan 29 1839 Mar 26 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1838 Feb 26 1838 May Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1835 Jan 4 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1833 Jun 15 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1831 May 27 1831 Jun 27 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1830 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1821 Aug 22 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1815 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1814 Nov 27 1814 Nov 28 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1812 Sep 7 1812 Sep 7 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1811 Feb 1 1811 May Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1781 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1775 Aug 20 1775 Nov 6 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Summit and NW flank (100 m)
1773 Oct 21 1774 Jan 22 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1773 Feb 2 1773 Feb 7 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1771 Aug 28 1772 Oct 9 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1770 Jul 6 1770 Dec 9 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1763 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank
1739 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1737 Mar 10 1737 Mar 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1687 May 10 1687 May 11 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1686 Sep (?) 1686 Oct 13 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1676 Dec 31 ± 365 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1673 Aug 12 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1659 Jun Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1653 Dec 31 ± 365 days Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1648 Jun 15 1648 Jun 18 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1643 Jun 15 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1635 Mar 29 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1608 Jul 18 1608 Jul 19 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1605 May Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1561 Dec 31 ± 365 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1538 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1510 ± 10 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Apandi T, Sudana D, 1980. Geologic map of the Ternate quadrangle, north Maluku. Geol Res Devel Centre Indonesia, 1:250,000 scale map and 9 p text.

Bronto S, Hadisantono R D, Lockwood J P, 1982. Geologic map of Gamalama volcano, Ternate, North Maluku. Volc Surv Indonesia, 1:25,000 geol map.

Gogarten E, 1918. Die Vulkane der Nordlichen Molukken. Zeit Vulk, 2: 1-298.

Kusumadinata K, 1979. Data Dasar Gunungapi Indonesia. Bandung: Volc Surv Indonesia, 820 p.

Morris J D, Jezek P A, Hart S R, Gill J B, 1983. The Halmahera Island arc, Molucca Sea collision zone, Indonesia: a geochemical survey. In: Hayes D E (ed) The Tectonic and Geologic Evolution of Southeast Asia Seas and Islands, part 2, {Amer Geophys Union, Geophys Monogr}, 27: 373-387.

Neumann van Padang M, 1951. Indonesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 1: 1-271.

Sudradjat A, 1977. . (pers. comm.).

Gamalama (Peak of Ternate) is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island of Ternate was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit of Gamalama, which reaches 1715 m. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.