Laacher See

Location: 50.24 ░ N, 7.16░ E

Elevation: 274 m


Geologisches Blockbild der Gegend um den Laacher See (W.MEYER)

The caldera was formed after the colossal Laacher See eruption dated to 12,900 years ago. The remaining crust collapsed into the empty magma chamber below, probably two or three days after the eruption. An estimated 6ákm│ of magma was erupted, producing around 16ákm│ of tephra. This massive eruption thus had a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 6, and was larger than the colossal 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) which also had a VEI of 6 (10ákm│ of tephra erupted). Tephra deposits from the eruption dammed the Rhine, creating a 140ákm2 (50 sqámi) lake. When the dam broke, an outburst flood swept downstream, leaving deposits as far away as Bonn. The Laacher See is a potentially active volcano, proven by seismic activities and heavy thermal anomalies under the lake. carbon dioxide gas from magma still bubbles up at the southeastern shore.

Photos: Rolf Cosar                                                                                                                 6. Nov. 20003