When Did The Greatest Volcanic Eruption Occur?


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Mehreen Misbah Profile
Mehreen Misbah answered
It was on August 27th, 1883 that the volcano of Krakatoa erupted with a sudden motion and an ear-splitting explosion making it the greatest volcanic eruption ever to happen in the world till this date. The explosion that is estimated to be the equivalent of 26 large atomic bombs in terms of strength and substance, took place on an island in the Sundra Strait between Sumatra and Java. Half of the island was blown away and rocks and other material hurled up in heavily hazy plumes up to 12 miles in the air. It is estimated that more than 160 villages were destroyed and about 36000 people died as a result of that massive explosion. Although the sound of the eruption was heard 3000 miles away four hours after it exploded.

The eruptions lasted two days and caused a crater to form in the highest part of the island, which was filled by the sea. The remaining space in the crater was crammed with lava and ash that stayed red hot for several weeks.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
Krakatau is actually a rather small eruption. It is not even the largest in the last 200 years. Its eruptive products are estimated to 15-25 cubic kilometers. As a reference, the Tambora eruption in 1815 ejected some 150 cubic kilometers of ash. Both the Yellowstone (~700,000 BP) and Toba (~70,000 BP) eruptions ejected an estimated 500 cubic kilometers, i.e. 25 times larger than the 1883 Krakatau! And these are just a few relatively recent eruptions.

That is not to say that the Krakatau eruption was small, it just happens to be an Ogre among Giants...

All the best!
Börje Dahrén
Geology student, (Igneous Petrology)
Uppsala University, Sweden.

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