Submarine landslide megablocks show half of Anak Krakatau island failed on December 22nd, 2018

J. E. Hunt, D. R. Tappin, S. F.L. Watt, S. Susilohadi, A. Novellino, S. K. Ebmeier, M. Cassidy, S. L. Engwell, S. T. Grilli, M. Hanif, W. S. Priyanto, M. A. Clare, M. Abdurrachman, U. Udrekh

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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As demonstrated at Anak Krakatau on December 22nd, 2018, tsunamis generated by volcanic flank collapse are incompletely understood and can be devastating. Here, we present the first high-resolution characterisation of both subaerial and submarine components of the collapse. Combined Synthetic Aperture Radar data and aerial photographs reveal an extensive subaerial failure that bounds pre-event deformation and volcanic products. To the southwest of the volcano, bathymetric and seismic reflection data reveal a blocky landslide deposit (0.214 ± 0.036 km3) emplaced over 1.5 km into the adjacent basin. Our findings are consistent with en-masse lateral collapse with a volume ≥0.175 km3, resolving several ambiguities in previous reconstructions. Post-collapse eruptions produced an additional ~0.3 km3 of tephra, burying the scar and landslide deposit. The event provides a model for lateral collapse scenarios at other arc-volcanic islands showing that rapid island growth can lead to large-scale failure and that even faster rebuilding can obscure pre-existing collapse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2827
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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