The 1815 Eruption of Mount Tambora

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Mount Tambora, located on the Island of Sumbawa, Indonesia is classified as a Stratovolcano. Also known as a composite volcano, Tambora is a tall conical volcano (cone like structure) where layers of the walls are built by hardened lava and volcanic ash. The term composite is used to describe the volcano due to the composite layered structure built from sequential outpourings of eruptive materials1. Among the most common types of volcanoes, Tambora also shares its destructive prowess with best-known volcanoes such as Krakota (1883) and Vesuvius (79 A.D). The Island of Sumbawa is located in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain (a group of islands in the southern Maritime Southeast Asia) and is in the province of West Nusa Tenggara3. …show more content…
Understanding the eruptive history of Tambora can provide crucial information needed to detect and prepare for future events. Furthermore, it is important to test current understanding of plate tectonics to ensure scientists are adequately prepared to predict where future volcanoes may occur, using past volcanoes like Tambora as a model.

2.0 Plate Tectonics of Indonesia
Indonesia is situated between two tectonically active plates: Australian and Eurasian plate. It is important to understand the amount of fault motion between these plates, as it is the major source of influence regarding eruptions in the region. The result of these tectonically active plates is the creation of the Circum-Pacific belt (termed the Pacific Ring of Fire) and the Alpide Belt. Figure 3 provides a pictorial view of both plates and their relation to the Circum-Pacific belt. The Circum-Pacific belt is the world’s greatest earthquake belt, with a series of fault lines stretching 25,00 miles7. An unfortunate circumstance for the inhabitants of Indonesia who are situated between these two belts, the eruptions of earthquakes and volcanoes are far too common. Essentially, volcanoes erupt either due to divergent tectonic plates pulling apart causing an eruption, or convergent tectonic plates coming together (forming great pressure) causing an eruption8. In the case of Indonesia and the Circum-Pacific belt, the latter is more common. Because Indonesia and
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