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Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — November 1991


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 11 (November 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Semeru (Indonesia) More frequent explosions and tremor; lava avalanches

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Semeru (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199111-263300



8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Emission of gas plumes, sometimes containing ash, to a maximum height of 600 m continued through early December. The press, citing an unnamed local volcanologist, reported that small explosions occurred as often as every 5 minutes after 4 December. Avalanches extended 500 m downslope from the growing lava dome. Explosion shocks were recorded at rates of 35-110/day, accompanied by 2-10 avalanche events daily. Volcanic tremor was more frequent in November than in October. Although activity was increasing, it remained within the normal range for the eruption . . . .

Geological Summary. 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.

Information Contacts: VSI; UPI.