Lombok (lŏmbŏkˈ) [key], island (1990 pop. 2,403,025), c.1,825 sq mi (4,725 sq km), E Indonesia, one of the Lesser Sundas, separated from Bali by the Strait of Lombok. Mataram, with the port of Ampenan nearby, is the chief town. The volcanic and mountainous terrain rises to 12,224 ft (3,726 m) at Mt. Rinjani (Rindjani); a caldera that is part of the Rinjani complex contains a lake and an active volcano. The caldera is the remnant of the collapse of Mt. Samalas, which has been suggested as the source of the massive volcanic eruption in 1257 that left traces in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica and may affected Europe's climate. Lombok's southern area is a fertile plain producing corn, rice, coffee, cotton, and tobacco. The island is inhabited mainly by Sasaks, Muslims of Malay descent; there are also Balinese and ethnic Chinese. First visited by the Dutch in 1674, Lombok became part of the Netherlands East Indies in 1894. The English naturalist A. R. Wallace noted that Lombok is on the line where the fauna of Asia and Australia meet. A state university is in Mataram.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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