Toba emitting hot steam and gas fumes

Villagers in Toba Samosir, North Sumatra, are troubled by unusual events. The ground beside the houses is steaming hot and smelling like gas.

Suspected hazardous vapors appeared on Wednesday, May 27, in the yard beside a house about ten kilometers (6 miles) from Balige, the Toba Samosir regency capital.

“Hot steam and smelling like gas coming out of the pores of the soil it is feared to threaten the safety of people around, so we report them to the government,” said the resident, Purasa Silalahi in Sitoluama, Saturday, May 30.

The temperature around the house has been very hot, both day and night, for the past three weeks, said Purasa. In fact, the ceramic floors in the house feel hot.

“Steam and smell make us feel fear gas that can be burned, so that the findings are reported directly to the head of the local village,” explained Purasa.

Village Head Sitoluama, Moppo Old Pangaribuan said hot steam disturbing residents had been reported to the Department of Environment Toba Samosir.

Toba spewed out more than 2500 cubic kilometers of magma about 75,000 years ago, forming one of earths largest calderas, the 18×60-mile (35×100-km) Toba caldera, and present-day Lake Toba  (see Landsat satellite photo above).

After the that eruption, resurgent doming formed the massive Samosir Island

The Toba eruption is estimated to have been 100 times greater than the 1815 Mount Tabora eruption in Indonesia that caused the following “Year Without Summer” in the northern hemisphere.

Or compare it to the last major eruption of Yellowstone, about 640,000 years ago, which produced “only” 1,000 cu km of ash.

For perspective, the May, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens produced about 1 cu km of ash.

Thanks to George Martinez for this info

Note: Yellowstone emits hot steam and foul smells every day … and no one seems overly concerned about that.

20 thoughts on “Toba emitting hot steam and gas fumes”

  1. It isn’t the geothermal features that are the real concern. It is the nature of the seismic activity that should be of concern.
    LP events would indicate a pressurizing magma chamber because it is the resonance sound of magma on the move.
    Watch the volcano hell video for details.

  2. The note is interesting – but the difference between Yellowstone and Toba is the activity of the volcanic field. Yellowstone is shallow and has been persistent for eons. Toba is not. To my knowledge it does not have fumaroles, geysers, or mud vents with steam venting in its caldera. Comparing the two is not remotely equivalent. For perspective, imagine if the floor in the Yellowstone Lodge began to get hot on the feet of tourists and they could smell gas infiltrating into the rooms. What do you think our USGS response would be?

    • Toba has a lake 100 kilometers long, 30 kilometers wide (at points) and is up to 550 meters deep. So, who knows what is going on down at the floor.
      There are fumaroles on the west side of Toba adjacent to the land bridge that goes to the Samosir “Island”. (Samosir being a resurgent dome).
      There are many surrounding eruption cones and craters around lake Toba itself. There are no apparent Holocene large eruptions evident in any of these larger cones or craters.
      As per a previous thread on Sinabung. Sinabung is part of the greater Toba structure and is currently under eruption status – This has been established by the Volcanic Institute of Indonesia in a 2011 – 2012 study. I have observed Sinabung for over 40 years and it’s always had fumaroles. There are even very old photographs of the Sinabung fumaroles.
      Another adjacent active volcano – Sibayak – is around 35 miles – 60 odd Kilometers from the North East edge of Toba lake or only 10 kilometers directly away from Sinabung. Sibayak is part of another caldera system (Singkut). This has fumaroles, hot mud springs, sulphur mining, hot steam springs and even a geothermal volcanic steam heated electric generation station.
      There are hot springs for tourists and medical relief at Sibayak.

    • They would say it is just a geothermal event, nothing to be concerned about. The geoscientists at Yellowstone are very focused on the geothermal features of the super volcano.
      I sometimes wonder if that is a dangerous distraction.

      Toba does have the subduction fault supplying the raw material for magma production and if there were hot spot that would be the cherry on the cream pie.

  3. agree with above comment
    the gas seepage isnt normal for them and suggests pessure building and forcing gases up through any available weak spots
    be damned if Id hang around!

  4. Is it just my imagination, pure chance or is the earth entering some sort of geologically active period.

  5. The article also stated Tabora produced 2000 cubic K’s of lava while Yellowstone produced “only” 1000 cubic km of “Ash” Sounds like they are comparing apples to walnuts. Or they just don’t proof read their articles.

    >>> “Note: Yellowstone emits hot steam and foul smells every day … and no one seems overly concerned about that”.

    COMMENT >>> Maybe they should.

  7. There was an article several years ago that said when Toba blew, and the smoke cleared, there were as little as 5,000 to 10,000 humans left alive on the earth. Fiddlin

  8. That is funny – “75,000 years ago,” and “640,000 years ago”

    Earth magnetic field is about 25000 years old with half-life of 1100 years.
    Dinosaurs bones with DNA and Collagen moleculs and C14 carbon that gives dates from 22000 till 39000 years.
    Coal, oil and natural gas with C14 carbon gives about 40000 year.

    Check out this list of observable artifacts with ages

    Robert You are doing great job about coming mini ice age but get facts straight

    • This web site is biblical in nature, trying to prove everything- opals, dinosaurs, oil, etc., ……are all less than 30,000 yrs old.

      You may avoid wasting your time here.

      • To John Gallupeau
        Go back in your turtle shell, this web site is for the more scientific minded who want to learn what is really going on with our planet.
        Maybe you should stick with MSMNBC where you know they speak nothing but the absolute Truth.

      • If it is observable and repeatable, that is scientific facts (period). And all sources of dates are coming from darwinistic- marxsistic publications also.
        If You have doubts about scientific methods in the use, inspect for yourself.
        I am just saving Your time.

        It is not usefull to give any dates at all if Robert can not give observable and repeatable sources for these dates.
        It is so easy to say “Long long time ago” instead of nonsensical 800 000 BC or BCE or BP

        • Just for the record, I agree with John. To say that dinosaurs roamed our planet from 22,000 to 39,000 years ago is utter rubbish (except for birds, which are probably descended from dinosaurs).

          • C14 carbon in bones are not lying
            DNA in the bones are not lying
            Collagen molecules in the bones are not lying.
            People are lying, not facts

            Take any dino bone You want Robert, and You ll find C14 carbon, Collagen and probably DNA molecules.
            Soft tissues (Source of DNA) are common in the bones, not rare

            Thank You Robert

  9. I have a trip booked to Lake Toba next week… is it still a good idea? Reading these posts make me think I should cancel but where’s the best place for up to date and reliable information on the Sinabung situation?

Comments are closed.