Sunday 3 November 2013

Eruption on Mount Sinabung.

Mount Sinabung, a 2475 m volcano on Northern Sumatra, underwent a major explosive eruption slightly after midnight local time on Sunday 3 November 2013 (slightly after 5.00 pm Saturday 2 November GMT), producing a 7000 m high ash column. The volcano has continued to rumble since the main explosion, and local authorities have set up a 3 km exclusion zone, leading to the evacuation of four villages. Sinabung began erupting intermittently in September this year, after a three year gap following a series of eruptions in August-September 2010. Prior to this is had been inactive for around 400 years.

Ash issuing from Mount Sinabung. Rony Muharrman/Antara.

Sinabung, like most of the volcanoes of northern Sumatra, lies on the boundary between the Burma Plate to the west and the Sunda Plate to the west. The Burma Plate is being pushed northward relative to the Sunda Plate, by the northward motion of the Indo-Australian Plate to the southeast, creating a transform fault (the Great Sumatran Fault) which bisects northern Sumatra. To the west the Indo-Australian Plate is being subducted beneath the Burma Plate along the Sunda Trench, passing under the island of Sumatra as it sinks into the Earth. As this happens the plate is melted by the heat of the planet's interior, creating liquid magma which rises easily through the fault zone, fueling the volcanoes of Sumatra.

The location of Mount Sinabung. Google Maps.

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