Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 4 August-10 August 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
4 August-10 August 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 August-10 August 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
BPPTKG reported that the lava dome just below Merapi’s SW rim and the lava dome in the summit crater both remained active during 30 July-5 August. The SW rim dome volume was an estimated 1.895 million cubic meters and about 3 m tall. A total of seven pyroclastic flows descended the SW flank as far as 2 km and as many as 84 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW. Multiple pyroclastic flows traveled 2-3 km down the SW flank on 8 August and ash plumes rose 1 km above the summit. According to a news article ashfall was reported in several local communities. Pyroclastic flows traveled up to 3 km down the SW flanks multiple times during 9-10 August. BNPB noted that a small fire on the SW flank, 2.5 km from the crater, was set by ejected incandescent material; the fire burned an area of only 30 square meters during 25-26 August. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 5 km away from the summit.
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.