Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — 1 February-7 February 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 February-7 February 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Semeru (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 February-7 February 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 3 February, CVGHM reported that from 29 December 2011 to 2 February 2012 seismicity increased at Semeru, and dense white and gray plumes rose as high as 600 m above the Jonggring Seloko crater. During the month of January crater incandescence was observed and avalanches carried incandescent material 200-400 m away from the crater. On 2 February a large explosion was reported and incandescent material was ejected 2.5 km from the crater. Based on the seismic activity and visual observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 2 February.
Geologic Background. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.