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Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — August 1978


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 8 (August 1978)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Merapi (Indonesia) 980°C fumaroles on N flank; increased seismicity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1978. Report on Merapi (Indonesia) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 3:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197808-263250



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Merapi was visited by Haroun Tazieff in July. No eruption was occurring, but seismicity was increasing, and fumarole temperatures on the N flank reached 980°C, as compared to 400-500°C during previous periods of quiescence.

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: H. Tazieff, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette; P. Jezek, SI.