East Halmahera, Indonesia

Volcano Dukono, Soputan, Lokon 2014

  10th to 19th June 

 M. Szeglat, R.Roscoe,Th.Boeckel

in deutsch



Dukono Volcano

Away from the usual volcano trouble the visit of the nearly two years active volcano Dukono was planned. Among other things, our attention turned to the country and its people. Actually, I expected in East-Halmahera a completely simple infrastructure and a more or less larger village. But it was not like that, and the road to the 80 km distanced airport Kao was brand new and Tobelo presented itself to be a modern town.

   

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel
The ash cloud from the volcano seen from the city of Tobelo.

       

The spectacular drive by mopeds turned out as highly adventurous. Two people plus two thick backpacks on one moped. Is that possible? Yes it’s possible. Because of the rough terrain the moped rallye came to an end around 5 km and the further way was taken by foot. Technically, the jungle path can be classified as not too heavy at all. Alternately you pass deep stream gullies and hidden jungle landscapes. In the upper part dense reeds with lush ferns are present. However, the upper part had prepared us a surprise and we were faced with a special of the grubbiest form.


Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Resting camp after 3h walk.

Black rain...

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel   

... sound like a catastroph film, and was experienced real at the volcano Dukono. But for this condition you need some assumtions.

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel      Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel  

1. The jungle ascend path should be at the end strikt under the strong ash cloud for one hour

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel
2. The plants shoud be so exuberant, that the height of the fearns and reed is is up to 3-4m. So the ash can adhere successful on the participants.
    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel
 
3.And now the most important. The strong rain. This rain is may bonding the airial ash and you miss the rabbling in you eyes or the common gnashing, but the ash cover on your skin increases with every minute and you will be really amazed when the ash layer grows up to an half centimetre.
Now the dirt composition is perfect.

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel     Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel
Also when this layer gets dry, you will be surprised how strong the cement like ash shell can be. Not to clean with normal lavation procedures.


Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel     Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel
Ash is your best companion at the camp all the time.

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Eruptions with lightning

Unexpectedly in the afternoon and in the first night of the 10th to the 11th of June lightning eruptions were detected by us. Unlike volcanic hydrogen explosive these flash eruptions were recognized by short and loud bangs. Initially, the eruptions were monotonous dull and gray. In the twilight hour there was no sign of red. Flashes were rare again. And so the cameras were wrapped up in frustration overnight.

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel   

Lightning Video  (14MB)

In the morning of the 11th June an extremely violent and powerful eruption impressed me in its beauty. Ultimately, our guess was correct. During a fierce growl I was torn out at 4:00 from sleep and completely drowsy I stared at the spectacular natural wonder. Hundreds of glowing bombs and micro flashes lined the crater rim (similar Eyjafjallajöküll) and pushed it up to a powerful lightning ash cloud of the height of estimated two or three kilometers. However, the moon had already set, and thus the spectacle could not to be photographed due to the lack of illumination. Also bad if the cameras were crisscrossing scattered in the tent. Luckily the Dukono had in the blue hour still a violent eruption again. Combined with the divine lightning and the stars in the background it was a fantastic sight. Once in retrospect it was almost the only clear sky night in our time and I can say, well done.

Strombolian activity

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel
In the third night the activity changed into a Strombolian activity. In comparision of the mighty crater this activity seems weak, but some bombs were ejected may up to 300m and also behind the crater rim.
      
Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel


Ascend to the crater

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Much noisier was the position at the crater rim. Was the characteristic of the crater about one kilometer in diameter already impressive you will be surprised to get a stony welcome and you will loose laughing when you see that the bombs are impacting far behind the rim. O.K here we go…L At the edge of the crater a misty overview inside the crater expected us, but during the clear observation gaps we got an extra demonstration how powerful and full of energy this tube was blowing out..

By persistently increasing seismic and an alert status of the second highest level since about two months the observation of the Soputan volcano in North Sulawesi was of a great interest. Also by volcanologists a major eruption was expected since a longer time.

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel  Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel  Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Again, the jungle trail was technically feasible, but you should not
clamor wading half an hour barefoot through ankle- deep mud and streams. Note the "duck feet of Richard, tinkered from a disused air mattress. O.K, rubber boots are quite on demand.


Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel   Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel   
Orchids and other floristic works of art are seaming the jungle path. 

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel
    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

But which volcano behaves on command, and thus we had the pleasure to photograph the sparse red glow. This was true not visible for the human eye at night, but yet we were sure that something was going on at the summit. Among other things, the mighty bloated-crackly dome cap really seemed that it would blow up itself at any moment. Unfortunately, we waited in vain for the volcanic Take-Off and this meant that we were allowed thoroughly to enjoy the lush flora. Indeed the beauty and variety of the flora was very impressive.

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel
Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

LOKON VOLCANO

Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel     Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel
2014: The quiet volcano (Th. Boeckel).

 
2009: The volcano with a side glowing mini dome (Th. Boeckel).

     

2012: Lokon in eruption (R. Roscoe)


Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel   Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel    Dukon, Sopotan Vulkan 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Soccer World Champion Ship, Brasil 2014


Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel   Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Soccer enjoys also in the remotest places in the world a significant popularity

Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel        Dukono Volcano 2014 by Th. Boeckel

Indonesian football fans.  During the streets public viewing Richard was really confident with his English team in the first half. In the second no longer so... However during the England - Italy match we had in the second half a change of religion. As the Christian followers actually had to turn of the TV during the morning praying time (7:15??),we went to the Muslim football fans and looked further. It was obvious that in whole Sulawesi and Halmahera the German-fans were in majority number.

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