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Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — January 1992


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 1 (January 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Merapi (Indonesia) Ash ejection; hot flows destroy crops

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Merapi (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199201-263250



7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

At about midnight on 21 January, an eruption reportedly began with explosive ash ejection. Accompanying flows of hot "lava" traveled 1.5 km down the flanks of the volcano, destroying rice fields and other crops. A Space Shuttle photograph taken at 0700 on 24 January showed a steam plume, and apparent dusty deposits on the summit area and to the SE. Press information indicated that the volcano continued to erupt on 7 February, with reports of ashfall to ~30 km and additional hot "lava" flows. The estimated 5,000 residents living within a 14-km radius of the volcano were warned by local authorities to be ready to evacuate at any time.

Geological Summary. 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 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent 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.

Information Contacts: C. Evans, NASA-SSEOP; UPI; The Jakarta Post.