The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.
The renowned Krakatau volcano lies in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java. The historic eruption of 1883 destroyed much of Krakatau Island, forming a submarine caldera and producing detonations that were heard as far away as Australia. Rakata Island in the background is the truncated rim of the 1883 caldera. Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) in the foreground is a post-caldera cone that first breached the surface of the sea in 1928 and has been in frequent activity since then. The black lava flow at the right side of the photo was erupted in 1975.
Photo courtesy Volcanological Survey of Indonesia, 1979.
Last updated 2023-01-15 05:27:03