Report on Semeru (Indonesia) — 4 January-10 January 2023
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
4 January-10 January 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Semeru (Indonesia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 January-10 January 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 3-10 January; weather clouds prevented visual observations during 4-6 January. At 0503 on 7 January a white-to-gray ash plume rose 400 m above the summit and drifted N. Ash plumes of variable densities generally rose 200-400 m above the summit and drifted N and NE on 8 January. At 0819 a white-to-brown ash plume rose 500 m and drifted N and NE. A webcam image posted on social media showed an incandescent lava flow extending 500 m from the summit crater on the SE flank. On 9 January at 0652 a white-to-brown ash plume rose 200 m and drifted N and NE. On 10 January white-and-gray ash plumes rose as high as 300 m and drifted N and NE. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). The public was warned to stay at least 5 km away from the summit, and 500 m from Kobokan drainages within 17 km of the summit, along with other drainages originating on Semeru, including the Bang, Kembar, and Sat, due to lahar, avalanche, and pyroclastic flow hazards.
Geological Summary. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.