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

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

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom; British Geological Survey (BGS), Nottingham, United Kingdom; University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom; School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Marine Geological Institute, Bandung, Indonesia; School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; Department of Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island (URI), Narragansett, RI, United States; Research Center for Geotechnology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Bandung, Indonesia; Department of Geological Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia; Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi, PTRRB-TPSA, DKI Jakarta, Java, Jakarta, Indonesia


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. © 2021, The Author(s).


Nature Communications

Publisher: Nature Research

Volume 12, Issue 1, Art No 2827, Page – , Page Count

Journal Link:

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22610-5

Issn: 20411723

Type: All Open Access, Gold, Green


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