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Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — July 1989


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 7 (July 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Semeru (Indonesia) Vulcanian explosions, lava avalanches, and nuées ardentes

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Semeru (Indonesia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198907-263300



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The small Vulcanian explosions and avalanches . . . continued in late July. During the second week of the month, thick ashfalls occurred at Sawur (13 km SW of the summit), Tawangsongo, and Argosuko observatories. Ash and incandescent tephra rose 50-100 m above the crater through late July. Avalanches of lava debris reached 750 m from the crater, while associated [pyroclastic flows] traveled 1,000-4,000 m. No changes on the lava dome were observed. The type and number of earthquakes recorded 1-20 July were: explosion (793), collapse (1), volcanic A-type (9), volcanic B-type (8), and [pyroclastic flows] (11). Although activity has increased, it is still considered within the normal range.

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: VSI.