Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 21 August-27 August 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 August-27 August 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, 21 August-27 August 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 during 19-25 August the lava-dome volume at Merapi did not change and was an estimated 461,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone images on 8 August. Extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE flank, generating block-and-ash flows that traveled as far as 1.9 km down the Gendol drainage: twice on 20 August, once each on 22 and 24 August, and 16 times during 25-27 August. At 1809 on 27 August a block-and-ash flow traveled 2 km. Diffuse white plumes rose as high as 350 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to stay 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 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent 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.