Lake Toba (Indonesian: Danau Toba) is a lake and supervolcano. The lake is 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 metres (2,953 ft), the lake stretches from 2°53?N 98°31?E? / ?2.88°N 98.52°E? / 2.88; 98.52 to 2°21?N 99°06?E? / ?2.35°N 99.1°E? / 2.35; 99.1. It is the largest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Lake Toba is the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred 69,000-77,000 years ago,a massive climate-changing event. The eruption is believed to have had a VEI intensity of 8. It is believed to be the largest explosive eruption anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory to which some anthropologists and archeologists subscribe, it had global consequences, killing most humans then alive and creating a population bottleneck in Central Eastern Africa and India that affected the genetic inheritance of all humans today. This theory however, has been largely debated as there is no evidence for any other animal decline or extinction, even in environmentally sensitive species. However, it has been accepted that the eruption of Toba led to a volcanic winter with a worldwide decline in temperatures between 3-5 degrees C (37-41 degrees F), and up to 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) in higher latitudes.
Smaller eruptions have occurred at Toba. The small cone of Pusukbukit has formed on the southwestern margin of the caldera and lava domes. The most recent eruption may have been at Tanduk benua on the north western caldera edge, since the present lack of vegetation could be due to an eruption within the last few hundred years.
Overview of Lake Toba
Some parts of the caldera have experienced uplift due to partial refilling of the magma chamber, for example pushing Samosir Island and the Uluan Peninsula above the surface of the lake. The lake sediments on Samosir Island show that it has been uplifted by at least 450 metres (1,476 foot) since the cataclysmic eruption. Such uplifts are common in very large calderas, apparently due to the upward pressure of unerupted magma. Toba is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Large earthquakes have occurred in the vicinity of the volcano more recently, notably in 1987 along the southern shore of the lake at a depth of 11 km (6.8 mi). Other earthquakes have occurred in the area in 1892, 1916, and 1920-1922.
Most of the people who live around Lake Toba are ethnically Batak. Traditional Batak houses are noted for their distinctive roofs (which curve upwards at each end, as a boat’s hull does) and their colorful decor.
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