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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 7.45°S
  • 110.43°E

  • 3145 m
    10316 ft

  • 263240
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Merbabu.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Merbabu.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Merbabu.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1797 CE

3145 m / 10316 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

Gunung Merbabu is a massive forested volcano that rises to the north above a broad 1500-m-high saddle from the renowned Merapi volcano in central Java. The volcano is elongated in a NNW-SSE direction, parallel to the trend of the long transverse volcanic chain extending from Merapi to Ungaran volcano. Three prominent U-shaped radial valleys extend from the 3145-m-high summit of Merbabu toward the NW, NE, and SE, dividing the volcano into three segments. The most recent magmatic eruptions originated from a NNW-SSE fissure system that cut across the summit and fed the large-volume Kopeng and Kajor lava flows on the northern and southern flanks, respectively. Moderate explosive eruptions have occurred from the summit crater of Merbabu in historical time.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Kaswanda O, Said H, Rahardja N, 1987. (pers. comm.).

Neumann van Padang M, 1951. Indonesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 1: 1-271.

van Bemmelen R W, 1941. Bulletin of the East Indian Volcanology Survey for the year 1941. East Indian Volc Surv Bull, 95-98: 1-110.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1797 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1586 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 1570 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1560 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Fissure vent
Kopeng Fissure vent


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Bancen Thermal
Condrodimuko, Kawah
    Tjondrokemuko, Kawah
    Tjondrodimuko, Kawah
Gendol, Kawah Thermal

Photo Gallery

Merapi (left) and Merbabu (right) volcanoes tower above the lowlands between the cities of Yogjakarta and Surakarta (Solo) in this aerial view from the SE. Both 3145-m-high Merbabu and 2911-m-high Merapi have erupted during historical time, but Merapi is by far the more vigorous of the two. A growing lava dome in the summit crater frequently collapses, producing pyroclastic flows and lahars that sweep down the steep slopes of the volcano, often with catastrophic results.

Photo by Jeff Post, 1991 (Smithsonian Institution).
Gunung Merbabu, seen here from the south near the summit of Merapi volcano, is a massive forested volcano that exceeds Merapi in height. The volcano is divided into three segments by prominent U-shaped radial valleys, not visible from this angle, that extend from the summit of Merbabu towards the NW, NE, and SE. Eruptions have occurred during historical time from Merbabu from the summit crater and from a NNW-SSE fissure system that cuts across the summit and fed flank lava flows.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Merbabu in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Merbabu Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.