12 April 2017

Know the 15 Inactive Volcanoes in Batangas (and if you Live Near One)

Part of the Mount Malepunyo range just east of Lipa City.

When I first published an article on the inactive volcano Anilao Hill in Lipa City, somebody pointed out that there are many others in the province. Indeed there are fifteen in all; and these are just the ones listed by Phivolcs.  This list includes volcanoes that are partly in Batangas and occupy land in neighboring provinces as well.  There is no reason for concern, however. These are called “inactive” because they are not really expected to erupt anymore and many probably were last active thousands and even millions of years ago. Nonetheless, it is always good to know information even if we cannot immediately ascertain what it will ultimately turn out to be worth.

Here are the inactive volcanoes of Batangas, with snippets of information as can be mined from the Internet.

Anilao Hill
Coordinates: Latitude: 13°54'33.48" Longitude: 121°10'41.16" (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Lipa City

Anilao Hill is pyroclastic cone (also known as scoria or cinder cone) estimated to have been last active during the Pleistocene geologic epoch. The epoch is sometimes referred to as the Ice Age1. A more comprehensive essay on Anilao Hill is available in this article.

Anilao Hill in Lipa City.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

Mount Batulao
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 14° 02' 27" N 120° 48' 04" E (Geographic Names)
Geopolitical location: Batangas Province, Cavite Province

Mount Batulao is an inactive stratovolcano associated with the primary volcano of Taal. Also known as a composite volcano, the stratovolcano is “a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash.2” Mount Batulao’s last known period of volcanic activity is unknown. The mountain occupies parts of the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. The population centers closest to it are Tagaytay, Alfonso and Mendez in Cavite; and Tuy and Laurel in Batangas.

Mount Batulao coordinates plotted in Google Earth.

Bigain Hill
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°53'49.2" N 121°4'33.59" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: San Jose

Phivolcs lists Bigain Hill in San Jose as an inactive volcano, but there are no available particulars about it over the Internet. It is not even listed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program’s web site. From its shape, however, this may be one of several pyroclastic volcanoes that were formed as part of the Macolod Corridor or volcanic complex.3 The population centers closest to Bigain Hill are the towns of San Jose and Cuenca.

Bigain Hill coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Mount Cariliao
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 14°7'0.01" N 120°46'0.01" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Batangas Province, Cavite Province

Mount Cariliao is another inactive stratovolcano probably associated with the primary volcano that is Taal. It is roughly 8 kilometers from Mount Batulao. The Global Volcanism Program estimates that Mount Cariliao’s last period of inactivity was, like Anilao Hill in Lipa City, during the Pleistocene Epoch. This period of time was 2.8 million to 11,700 years ago.4 Mount Cariliao is on the outer edges of Nasugbu so the closest population center to it is actually Alfonso in Cavite.

Mount Cariliao coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Talisay Caldera
Possible Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 14° 1'51.31"N, 121° 0'26.81"E (Google Earth)
Geopolitical location: Batangas Province inside Taal Lake

The Talisay Caldera is an inactive volcano on the northeastern end of Taal Volcano’s Main Crater Island. Both sets of coordinates given by Phivolcs and Geoview.info appear to be slightly off as the first image below shows. A caldera is a “volcanic feature formed by the collapse of a volcano upon itself, making it a large, special form of crater.5” From the apparent topography visible on Google Earth, the caldera appears slightly to the east. The Global Volcanism Program categorizes the caldera as belonging to Taal Volcano, but that it is considered inactive by Phivolcs means that there has been no eruption from it for many, many years. The closest population centers to the crater are the towns of Talisay and Laurel.

The topography suggests that the Talisay Caldera is slightly to the east of Phivolcs coordinates.  Image credit:  Google Earth.
Zoomed out, this Google Earth image shows that the closest population centers to the Talisay Caldera are Laurel and Talisay.

Tombol Hill
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°50'55.55" N 121°12'27.15" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical Location: Rosario

Tombol Hill is an inactive volcano to the northeastern edge of poblacion Rosario. It is not listed in the Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. “The Soils of the Philippines” suggests that, like the Anilao Hill, it is a pyroclastic cone part of the Macolod Volcanic Corridor. Apart from Rosario, Padre Garcia is the closest population center to Tombol Hill.

Tombol Hill coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Verde
Possible Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°33'16.99"N, 121° 4'50.21"E (Google Earth)
Geopolitical location: Verde Island, Batangas City

Phivolcs lists the inactive volcano simply as Verde. The coordinates provided ultimately land on the northern tip of Verde Island, which is part of Batangas City. The volcano is not listed by the Global Volcanism Program. Slightly to the south of the coordinates supplied by Phivolcs appear, on Google Earth, something that looks like a mound. It is therefore possible that Verde is, like Anilao Hill and Tombol Hill, also a pyroclastic cone. There is no corroborating information over the Internet, however. There appears to be houses at the foot of the mound.

There appears to be something of a mound just south of the Phivolcs supplied coordinates for the Verde Island Volcano.

Mount Panay
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°43'22.8" N 120°53'52.81" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Mabini

Mount Panay is an inactive stratovolcano that is found on the Calumpang Peninsula, which bounds Batangas Bay to the northwest. The Global Volcanism Program suggests its last period of activity was during the Pleistocene Epoch, otherwise known as the Ice Age. Although inactive for eons, Mount Panay continues to emit sulfuric gases in what is called solfataric activity.6 The closest population center to Mount Panay is the town of Mabini.

Mount Panay's coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Mount Pinamucan
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°39'30.96" 121°4'46.19" (Geoview.com)
Geopolitical location: Ilijan, Batangas City

Mount Pinamucan is an inactive volcano on the peninsula southeast of poblacion Batangas City. There is very meager information about it, particularly relating to its being a volcano, over the Internet. It is also not listed at the Global Volcanism Program. The mountain is roughly 11 kilometers from poblacion Batangas City and almost 15 from Lobo.

Mount Pinamucan coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Mount Liguayen
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°41'50.33" 121°9'53.67" (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Lobo

Mount Liguayen is another inactive volcano listed by Phivolcs about which hardly any information is available over the Internet. It is not listed in the Global Volcanism program. The closest population centers to it are the towns of Lobo itself and Taysan.

Mount Liguayen coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Lipa Point
Probable Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 14° 1'14.15"N 121° 3'40.92"E (Google Earth)
Geopolitical location: Balete

Phivolcs lists an inactive volcano called Lipa Point but the coordinates it supplies fall on the waters of Taal Lake’s just off the town of Balete. Geoview.info’s coordinates have been reliable so far but seem to fall short of the mound of earth which, by sheer guesswork, appear to be the actual location. At the very least, it appears to be another pyroclastic core. The nearest population center is, of course, Balete; but Mataas-na-Kahoy is just over six kilometers away.

Lipa Point's correct coordinates appear to be those that point at what looks like a pyroclastic cone.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

Mount Lobo
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°38'44" N 121°17'34.99" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Lobo

Mount Lobo is an inactive volcano listed by Phivolcs. There is no available information about this volcano over the Internet. Neither is it listed in the Global Volcanism Program. Mount Lobo is roughly eight kilometers from poblacion Lobo and just over 11 kilometers from Laiya in San Juan.

Mount Lobo coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Mount Macolod (Maculot locally)
Coordinates in degrees and minutes: 13°55' N 121°03' E (Phivolcs)
Geopolitical location: Cuenca

Mount Macolod is another stratovolcano that is associated with the primary volcano that is Taal. It used to be part of the rim of the huge caldera that Taal Volcano used to be. The northern rim of this same caldera is what is now known as the Tagaytay ridge.7 The nearest population centers to the mountain are the towns of Cuenca and Alitagtag and Pinagtungulan on the outer fringes of Lipa City.

Mount Macolod coordinates plotted on Google Earth.

Mount Makiling
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 14°8'10.5" N 121°11'39.91" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Batangas Province, Laguna Province

Mount Makiling is another inactive stratovolcano part of the Macolod corridor. It rises to an elevation of 3,580 feet above sea level.8 Its last period of activity is unknown. The mountain spreads over to parts of Laguna and Batangas. The closest population centers are Calamba and Los BaƱos in Laguna and Santo Tomas in Batangas.

Mount Makiling seen on Google Earth.

Mount Malepunyo
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°57'58.68" N 121°14'8.17" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Batangas Province, Laguna Province, Quezon Province

Mount Malepunyo is actually a mountain range that spans parts of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon. It is considered an inactive volcano the caldera of which faces south between Lipa and San Antonio in Quezon.9 The mountain’s caldera is almost equidistant from poblacion Lipa City, San Antonio and Tiaong, the last two both towns of Quezon.

Mount Malepunyo seen on Google Eearth, with its caldera quite visible from the satellite photo.

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Sorosoro Hill
Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds: 13°48'51.48" N 121°5'52.08" E (Geoview.info)
Geopolitical location: Batangas City

Phivolcs does NOT list Sorosoro Hill among the inactive volcanoes in Batangas, but the book “The Soils of the Philippines” considers this mound of earth one of several pyroclastic cones part of the so-called Macolod Volcanic Cooridor.

Sorosoro Hill seen on Google Earth.

Notes and references:
1 “Anilao Hill,” online at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program web site.
2 “Stratovolcano,” Wikipedia.
3 “The Soils of the Philippines,” by Rodelio B. Carating, Raymundo G. Galanta and Clarita D. Bacatio.
4 “Pleistocene,” Wikipedia.
5 “Caldera,” online at Science Daily.
6 “Panay Volcano,” online at Volcano Discovery.
7 “Mount Macolod,” Wikipedia.
8 “Mount Makiling,” Wikipedia.
9 “Mount Malepunyo,” Wikipedia.
10 List of Inactive Volcanoes from the Phivolcs web site.

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