Global Geological And Climatic Events

Mount Ruang in Indonesia Erupts


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mount Ruang, Pacific Ring of Fire, Sangihe Islands arc, Tectonic Plates mentioned

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Indonesia witnessed a series of eruptions from Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano located in North Sulawesi Province.

About Mount Ruang 

  • Ruang is situated in the Sangihe Islands arc, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • It comprises an island that is 4 by 5 kilometers wide, with a summit containing a partial lava dome reaching an altitude of 725 meters (2,379 ft).
  • From its summit, peaks such as Klabat, Siau, and Ternate can be observed in the south, north, and east, respectively.
  • The volcano’s first recorded eruption was in 1808.

Why so many volcanic eruptions in Indonesia this year?

  • Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes.
  • It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

What is the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’?

  • The Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ or Pacific Rim, or the Circum-Pacific Belt, is an area along the Pacific Ocean that is characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
  • Volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin form the so-called Ring of Fire.
  • It is home to about 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes – more than 450 volcanoes.
  • Also, about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes occur here.

Its spread

  • Its length is over 40,000 kilometres and traces from New Zealand clockwise in an almost circular arc covering Tonga, Kermadec Islands, Indonesia.
  • It is moving up to the Philippines, Japan, and stretching eastward to the Aleutian Islands, then southward along the western coast of North America and South America.

Seismic activity of the region

  • The area is along several tectonic plates including the:
  1. Pacific plate,
  2. Philippine Plate,
  3. Juan de Fuca plate,
  4. Cocos plate,
  5. Nazca plate, and
  6. North American plate.
  • The movement of these plates or tectonic activity makes the area witness abundant earthquakes and tsunamis every year.
  • Along much of the Ring, tectonic plates move towards each other creating subduction zones.


[2018] Consider the following statements:

  1. The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian Territory.
  2. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar.
  3. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 3 only

(d) 1 and 3

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