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Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — August 1985


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 8 (August 1985)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Semeru (Indonesia) Two-year eruption continues

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Semeru (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198508-263300



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"Semeru has been continuously active during at least the past two years. Activity consists of a blocky lava flow from the Semeru vent accompanied by Vulcanian explosions that occurred 6-10 times/hour during August, sending tephra-rich plumes to 1 km above the vent."

On 4 August, Space Shuttle astronauts [Mission STS51-F] observed a plume extending 100 km W of the summit.

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: J. Matahelumual and T. Casadevall, VSI; C. Wood, NASA, Houston.