Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 30 May-5 June 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 May-5 June 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, 30 May-5 June 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 at 0820 on 1 June an event at Merapi generated an ash plume that rose at least 6 km above the crater rim and drifted NW, but then winds changed to the SW. Ashfall was reported at the Selo observation post. Observers noted white smoke rising from a forested area 1.5 km NW, possibly indicating burning vegetation. The report noted that volcano-tectonic events were occurring at about 3 km below the crater. Later that day at 2024 an ash plume from a 1.5-minute-long event rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted NE and W. At 2100 an ash plume rose 1 km and drifted NW. 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.