Earth’s Evolution: Lake Toba

Lake Toba measures 1,145 square km and a depth of 450 metres, making it the largest lake in Southeast Asia.  One of the deepest lakes in the world, and a natural wonder of the world.

Lake Toba is a natural formed lake in North Sumatra, Indonesia, which occupies the caldera (A caldera is a large cauldron like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcanic eruption).

Lake Toba became the site of a super volcanic eruption around 74,000 years ago, representing a climate change.

It has been widely accepted that the volcanic eruption that took place at Lake Toba lasted for ten years, and was responsible, for plunging earth into a six-year Volcanic Winter. Our planet was plunged into darkness, as the sun’s rays were unable to penetrate rock, which was spewed out of the volcanic eruption into our atmosphere.  An estimated 670 miles of dense rock/ pyroclastic material was released during the eruption.  Our world was being tipped closer and closer into an-ice-age.

Lake Toba, lies near a fault line that runs along the centre of Sumatra, one of the weak points of earth’s crust.

It is believed the eruption of Lake Toba some 74,000 years ago, had global consequences for the human population, and was responsible for the killing of most humans living at that time.  It is highly unlikely very few plants or animals would have survived the eruption, and it is possible that the volcanic eruption caused a planet-wide die-off.

Since the major volcanic eruption, smaller eruptions have taken place at Toba.  The most recent being at Tandukbenua, with signs of no vegetation, which might be the cause of an eruption, within the last few hundred years.  Earthquakes have taken place, close to the volcano, notably in 1987 along the southern shores of the lake.  Earthquakes have also been recorded in 1892, 1916, and 1920-1922.

Studies of 2016 revealed that Lake Toba’s Super Volcano has a magma chamber, some 50,000 cubic kilometres of underground eruptible magma, ready to burst forth.

It is now a waiting game… how long will it last, before earth suffers a Super Volcanic Eruption?