Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 19 February-25 February 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 February-25 February 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, 19 February-25 February 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 reported that the volume of Merapi’s summit lava dome decreased after the 13 February eruption which produced a 2-km-tall ash plume, ejected material within 1 km, and caused ashfall within a 10-km radius. The dome volume the day before the event was estimated at 407,000 cubic meters, and afterwards (19 February) was reduced to 291,000 cubic meters. Visual observations during 17-23 February were mostly hindered due to inclement weather conditions, though on 18 February a white plume was seen rising 100 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.
Geological Summary. 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.