Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 16 January-22 January 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 January-22 January 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 January-22 January 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 14-20 January lava avalanches continued to travel down the flanks of Merapi, predominately SW toward the upstream portions of Sat and Bebeng rivers, and partly WSW to the Lamat and Senowo rivers. The maximum run-out distance was ~2.75 km. On 17 January, five small pyroclastic flows traveled 1.2 km to the upstream portions of the Sat and Bebeng rivers. Seismicity increased compared to the previous week and was dominated by 853 lava avalanches. Merapi remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geologic Background. 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 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive 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 during historical time.