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Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — June 1997


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 22, no. 6 (June 1997)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Semeru (Indonesia) Pilots saw April-June ash at 3- to 7-km altitudes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1997. Report on Semeru (Indonesia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 22:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199706-263300



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Aviation ash advisories were issued on 21-23 March, 16-19, and 30 May, and 6 June following reports by Qantas pilots who encountered ash at altitudes of 3.5-7 km. Another Qantas report on 10 July described light ash as high as 10 km altitude. Lower level (3-6.1 km) ash was encountered again by Qantas flights on 10, 13, 20, 23 and 24 July. Neither BOM nor SAB observed ash in satellite imagery because of clouds over the mountains.

A pyroclastic flow and minor ashfall was reported in October 1996, along with explosions and avalanches earthquakes (BGVN 21:11). Semeru is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of Java. It lies at the S end of a volcanic massif extending N to the Tengger Caldera and has been in almost continuous eruption since 1967.

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: Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, P.O. Box 735, Darwin NT 0801, Australia; NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA.