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Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — November 1992


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 11 (November 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Merapi (Indonesia) Pyroclastic flows from growing summit lava dome

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Merapi (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199211-263250



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The growing 1992 lava dome continued to generate incandescent pyroclastic flows. These advanced down the SW-W flank (along the upper Senowo, Sat, and Bebeng Rivers) to a maximum of 1 km from the base of the dome. White vapor rose 450 m above the dome's summit. SO2 emission measured by COSPEC (from Plawangan Observatory) was 120-230 t/d. No lahars were reported, although rainfall recorded at five volcano observatories around Merapi totaled 160-191 mm/week (in 10-17 episodes/week totaling 1,082-1,580 minutes) during the period ending in early December. No A- or B-type earthquakes have been detected at Merapi for the past 3 months. Multiphase events occurred at rates of 40-50/week, and avalanche tremors at 966-1,108 times a week.

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: W. Modjo, VSI.