Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 23 May-29 May 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 May-29 May 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 May-29 May 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PVMBG reported that a two-minute-long phreatic eruption at Merapi which began at 1349 on 23 May was heard from the Babadan observation post. A plume was not visible due to inclement weather, though minor ashfall was reported in Ngepos post. On 24 May an event at 0256 generated an ash plume that rose 6 km above the crater rim and drifted W. Roaring was heard from all of the Merapi observation posts. A two-minute-long event at 1048 produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and PVMBG noted that all people within 3 km of the summit should be evacuated.
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.