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Report on Merapi (Indonesia) — 1 December-7 December 2021


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 December-7 December 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Merapi (Indonesia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 December-7 December 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (1 December-7 December 2021)



7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

BPPTKG reported no notable morphological changes to Merapi’s summit lava dome, though the dome just below the SW rim had decreased about 2 m in height during 26 November-2 December. The estimated dome volumes were 1.61 million cubic meters for the SW dome and almost 2.95 million cubic meters for the summit dome. The intensity of the seismic signals was higher than the week before. As many as 170 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW. Two pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 3 km SW on 1 December. In a VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation), PVMBG stated that at 2104 on 1 December an ash plume rose 1 km above the summit and drifted E. According to BPPTKG a pyroclastic flow traveled 1.8 km down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank at 1644 on 6 December. The event lasted two minutes and 40 seconds based on seismic data. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 3-5 km away from the summit based on location.

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.

Sources: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)