Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 1 April-7 April 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 April-7 April 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Merapi (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 April-7 April 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PVMBG and BPPTKG reported that incandescence from Merapi’s summit crater was visible at night and in the morning during 30 March-5 April. White plumes with variable densities rose as high as 600 m above the summit. An eruption at 1510 on 2 April generated an ash plume that rose 3 km above the summit. The morphology of the lava dome in the summit crater changed slightly based on a comparison of photos (taken from the DELES 3 station, SW) from 15 March to 2 April. 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 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.