Volcanic Tsunamis - John Seach

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How Do Volcanoes Produce Tsunamis?

Volcanoes produce tsunamis through nine different mechanisms. Volcanic earthquakes, undersea eruptions, pyroclastic flows, caldera collapse, landslides, lahars, phreatomagmatic eruptions, lava bench collapse, and airwaves from large explosions.

Waves produced by volcanic tsunamis can be as high as those produced by the largest earthquakes. The most devastating volcanic tsunami recorded was that produced by the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. The waves had runup heights of 40 m and killed 36,000 people.

Tsunami Date

Volcano

Comments

1638 BC

Santorini (Greece)

Waves 50 m. Destroyed population on Crete.

79

Vesuvius (Italy)

Caused by caldera collapse.

1640

Komaga-take (Japan)

Caused by volcanic earthquake.

1660

Long Island (Papua New Guinea)

Deaths from tsunami.

1693

Hekla (Iceland)

Tsunami caused by volcanic earthquake.

1715

Taal (Philippines)

Tsunami caused by base surge.

1741

Oshima-Oshima (Japan)

Mag 6.9 volcanic earthquake caused tsunami.

1749

Taal (Philippines)

Tsunami caused by base surge.

1754

Taal (Philippines)

Tsunami caused by volcanic earthquake.

1780

Sakura-jima (Japan)

Wave 6 m.

1792

Unzen (Japan)

Waves 55 m. Caused by avalanche. Over 10,000 killed.

1815

Tambora (Indonesia)

Waves over 10 m. Caused by pyroclastic flows. Over 10,000 killed.

1827

Avachinsky (Russia)

Tsunami caused by volcanic earthquake.

1845

Soputan (Indonesia)

Tsunami caused by volcanic  earthquake.

1871

Ruang (Indonesia)

Wave 26 m. Caused by pyroclastic flow.

1878

Yasur (Vanuatu)

Wave 16 m. Caused by volcanic earthquake.

1878

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Wave 4 m.

1878

Okmok (Alaska)

Caused by volcanic earthquake.

1883

Augustine (Alaska)

Waves 9 m. Caused by avalanche.

1883

Krakatoa (Indonesia)

Waves 40 m. lethal volcanic tsunami on record with 36,000 killed.

1888

Ritter (Papua New Guniea)

Waves 12 m. Casued by avalanche. Many killed.

1889

Banua Wuhu (Indonesia)

Tsunami caused by volcanic earthquake.

1889

Banua Wuhu (Indonesia)

Unknown wave height.

1892

Awu (Japan)

Pyroclastic flow generated tsunami.

1902

St Vincent (Caribbean)

Pyroclastic flow generated tsunami.

1902

Pelee (Caribbean)

Pyroclastic flow generated tsunami.

1906-07

Savai'i (Samoa)

Tsunamis caused by lava entering the sea.

1911

Taal (Philippines)

Tsunami caused by base surge.

1913

Ambrym (Vanuatu)

Underwater eruption.

1913

Taal (Philippines)

Unknown wave height.

1915

Bayonnaise Rocks (Myojin Reef) Japan

Unknown wave height.

1928

Paluweh (Indonesia)

Waves 10 m. Caused by avalanche. 150 killed.

1929

Anak Krakatau (Indonesia)

Wave 4 m.

1930

Stromboli (Italy)

Wave 2 m. Caused by volcanic earthquake and landslide.

1933

Severgin (Kurile Islands)

Waves 10 m. Caused by volcanic earthquakes.

1937

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Wave over 4 m, caused by volcanic earthquake.

1951

Kavachi (Solomon Islands)

Unknown wave height.

1952

Bayonnaise Rocks (Myojin Reef) Japan

Submarine eruption. Wave 2 m.

1953

Tuluman (Papua New Guinea)

Small wave.

1956

Bezymianny (Russia)

Tsunami caused by shockwave.

1965

Taal (Philippines)

Tsunami caused by base surge.

1969

Didicas (Philippines)

Three killed.

1971

Tinakula (Solomon Islands)

Unknown wave height.

1972

Ritter (Papua New Guniea)

Subsidence. Small tsunamis.

1974

Ritter (Papua New Guniea)

Subsidence. Small tsunamis.

1979

Illiwerung (Indonesia)

Waves 9 m. Caused by avalanche. Over 500 killed.

1980's

Ruapehu (New Zealand)

Wave < 2 m.

1980

St Helens (USA)

Waves 260 m. Caused by avalanche into lake.

1983

Illiwerung (Indonesia)

Submarine eruption. Some deaths.

1986

Nyos (Cameroon)

Waves 75 m. Caused by underwater eruption of CO2.

1988

Vulcano (Italy)

Waves 5.5 m. Caused by avalanche. 

1994

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Wave 1.2 m. Caused by pyroclastic flow.

1996

Karymsky (Russia)

Waves 30 m. Caused by phreatomagmatic eruption.

1997

Soufriere Hills (Montserrat)

Waves 3 m. Caused by volcanic debris slide.

2002

Stromboli (Italy)

Landslide.

Various years

Kick 'em Jenny (Caribbean)

Waves 5 m. Caused by underwater eruption.

Undated

Augustine (Alaska)

Pyroclastic flow generated tsunami.