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March 22, 2020

Taal Volcano Eruptions: a Historical Record

Taal Volcano seen from the shores of San Nicolas. (File photo)
Below is a record of the eruptions of Taal Volcano dating back to the dawn of the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines. The data is taken from the web site of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)1.

For the benefit of the reader, here are brief descriptions of the types of eruption manifested by Taal Volcano down the centuries:

Phreatic Eruption: this is an explosion of “steam, water, ash, rock and volcanic bombs” that occurs “when magma heats ground water or surface water2.”

Phreatomagmatic Eruption: this type of eruption results “from interaction between magma and water” and it differs from a phreatic eruption in that its explosion contains clasts or fragments of magma3.

Strombolian Eruption: a type of eruption characterized by “relatively mild blasts” consisting of incandescent fragments of rocks, small tephra and lava bombs4.



TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTIONS


YEAR DAY TYPE
1572 Phreatomagmatic
1591 Phreatic
1605
1634
1635
1641 Phreatic
1645
1707 Phreatic
1709 Phreatomagmatic
1715
1716 Phreatomagmatic
1729
1731 Phreatomagmatic
1749 11 August Phreatomagmatic
1754 15 May Phreatomagmatic
1790
1808 Phreatomagmatic
1825
1842
1873
1874 Phreatomagmatic
1878 Phreatic
1903
1904 Phreatic
1911 27 January
1965 28 September Phreatomagmatic
1966 5 July Phreatomagmatic
1967 16 August Phreatomagmatic
1968 31 January Strombolian (for review)
1969 29 October Strombolian (for review)
1970 3 September Phreatic
1976 3 September Phreatic
1977 3 October Phreatic
2020 12 January Phreatomagmatic

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Notes and references:
1Eruption History,” online at PHIVOLCS.
2Phreatic eruption,” Wikipedia.
3Phreatomagmatic eruption,” Wikipedia.
4Strombolian eruption,” Wikipedia.

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