Report on Ijen (Indonesia) — 11 July-17 July 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Ijen (Indonesia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
8.058°S, 114.242°E; summit elev. 2769 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Darwin VAAC reported that at 0120 on 15 July sulfur fumes entered the cabin of an aircraft flying from Singapore to Denpasar. At the time, the aircraft was flying at an altitude of ~2.4 km a.s.l. ~15 km SE of Ijen. VSI stated that earlier, during 2-8 July, seismic and explosive activity had increased and the Alert Level had been raised from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geologic Background. The Ijen volcano complex at the eastern end of Java consists of a group of small stratovolcanoes constructed within the large 20-km-wide Ijen (Kendeng) caldera. The north caldera wall forms a prominent arcuate ridge, but elsewhere the caldera rim is buried by post-caldera volcanoes, including Gunung Merapi, which forms the high point of the complex. Immediately west of the Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the historically active Kawah Ijen crater, which contains a nearly 1-km-wide, turquoise-colored, acid lake. Picturesque Kawah Ijen is the world's largest highly acidic lake and is the site of a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation in which sulfur-laden baskets are hand-carried from the crater floor. Many other post-caldera cones and craters are located within the caldera or along its rim. The largest concentration of cones forms an E-W zone across the southern side of the caldera. Coffee plantations cover much of the caldera floor, and tourists are drawn to its waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanic scenery.