Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 20 March-26 March 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 March-26 March 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 March-26 March 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PVMBG reported that the slow extrusion of a lava dome in Merapi’s summit crater continued during 17-24 March. By 21 March the lava dome had grown to an estimated size of 472,000 cubic meters based on analyses of drone footage. There were no apparent morphological changes; most of the extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the Gendol River drainage on the SE flank. Block-and-ash flows traveled as far as 1,500 m down the Gendol drainage during 18-19 and 23 March. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.
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.