One of the famous attraction in Batangas is the smallest volcano called Taal. It is an active volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas. It consists of an island in Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier, very powerful eruption. It is located about 50 km from the capital, Manila. It also has the distinction of being home to the "Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island". This is referring to Vulcan point, an island in crater lake.

The volcano has erupted violently several times, causing loss of life in the populated areas surrounding the lake, the current death toll standing at around 5,000 - 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and eruptive history, the volcano has been designated a Decade Volcano worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. It was thought to be named as "a volcano inside a volcano" because many believed that the lake that circles the volcano was once a crater or mouth of a volcano.

Taal Volcano is part of a chain of volcanoes along the western side of the island of Luzon, which were formed by the subduction of the Eurasian Plate underneath the Philippine Mobile Belt. Taal Lake lies within a 25–30 km caldera formed by four explosive eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. Each of these eruptions created extensive ignimbrite deposits, reaching as far away as where Manila stands today.

Since the formation of the caldera, subsequent eruptions have created another volcanic island, within the caldera, known as Volcano Island. This island covers an area of about 23 km², and consists of overlapping cones and craters. 47 different cones and craters have been identified on the island.

There have been 33 recorded eruptions at Taal since 1572. One of the more devastating eruptions occurred in 1911, which claimed more than a thousand lives. The deposits of that eruption consisted of a yellowish, fairly decomposed (non-juvenile) tephra with a high sulfur content.

The most recent period of activity lasted from 1965 to 1977, and was characterized by the interaction of magma with the lake water, which produced violent phreatic explosions. In particular, the 1965 eruption led to the recognition of base surge[3] as a process in volcanic eruption (due to the fact that one of the American geologists, who visited the volcano shortly after the 1965 eruption, had witnessed an atomic bomb explosion when he was a soldier). The eruption generated base surges and cold pyroclastic flows, which traveled several kilometers across Lake Taal, devastating villages on the lake shore and, killing about a hundred people. The population of the island was evacuated only after the onset of the eruption. Precursory signs were not interpreted correctly until after the eruption. Eruptions in 1968 and 1969 were characterized partly by Strombolian activity and produced a massive lava flow that reached the shore of lake Taal. The 1977 eruption merely produced a small cinder cone within the main crater.

Although the volcano has been dormant since 1977, it has shown signs of unrest since 1991, with strong seismic activity and ground fracturing events, as well as the formation of small mud geysers on parts of the island.


Batangas Dictionary