Wired: April 10, 1815: Tambora Explosion Triggers ‘Volcanic Winter’

Other April 12, 2015 0
Wired: April 10, 1815: Tambora Explosion Triggers ‘Volcanic Winter’

by Randy Alfred

The 200th anniversary of the Tambora eruption and “the year without a summer.”


Tambora’s 1815 eruption created a massive summit caldera. Image: NASA

1815: Tambora volcano in the East Indies erupts with a mighty roar. It sends enough pulverized rock into the atmosphere to disrupt weather around the globe for more than a year.

Tambora sits on Sumbawa Island, east of Java in what is today Indonesia. Geological evidence shows it probably hadn’t erupted in 5,000 years.

But the volcano literally steamed into life sometime in 1814, and perhaps as early as 1812. Molten underground magma interacted with ground water, and the volcano expelled steam, ash and rocks.

Tambora exploded on April 5, 1815 — an eruption of sufficient force to make the history books on its own. Ash fell on eastern Java. More than 800 miles away, people heard a roar that sounded like thunder.

Just a foretaste.

The big show began April 10…

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