Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 10 July-16 July 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 July-16 July 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 July-16 July 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 1-7 July, observers noted 60 incandescent lava avalanches traveling predominately down Merapi's SW flank into the upstream portions of Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers. The avalanches reached a maximum run-out distance of ~2.6 km. On 2 July two pyroclastic flows traveled toward the upstream portion of Sat River, reaching a maximum run-out distance of 0.5 km. Merapi remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.