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Merapi

Volcano
Glowing avalanches of hot rocks from the new lava dome (2006 eruption).
Glowing avalanches of hot rocks from the new lava dome (2006 eruption).
Merapi, a steep stratovolcano north of Central Java's capital Yogyakarta, is Indonesia's most active volcano. It erupts on average every 5-10 years and is feared for its deadly pyroclastic flows - avalanches of hot rocks and gas that are generated when parts of new lava domes constructed during eruptions in the summit crater collapse and slide down the mountain's steep flanks. The name "Merapi" from old Javanese language means "the one making fire" is a popular name for volcanoes: another volcano with the same name Merapi is in the Ijen Massif in East Java and similarly called volcano "Marapi" lies on Sumatra Island.
Volcano typeStratovolcano erupting
LocationIndonesia
Summit elevation2968 m / 9,737 ft
Merapi volcano eruptions1548, 1554, 1560, 1584, 1586(?), 1587, 1658, 1663, 1672, 1678, 1745, 1752, 1755, 1768, 1791, 1797, 1807, 1810, 1812-22, 1822-23, 1828, 1832-36, 1837-38, 1840, 1846, 1848(?), 1849, 1854(?), 1861, 1862-64, 1865-71, 1872 (large vulcanian-subplinian eruption VEI:4) , 1872-73, 1878-79, 1883-84, 1885-87, 1888, 1889, 1891-92, 1893, 1894, 1897, 1902, 1902-04, 1905, 1906-07, 1908, 1909-13, 1915, 1918, 1920-21, 1922, 1923(?), 1924, 1930-31, 1932, 1933-35, 1939-40, 1942-45, 1948, 1953-58, 1961, 1967-1970, 1971(?), 1972-85, 1986-90, 1992-2002, April-July 2006, Oct 2010-2011 Feb, 2018 (May), late 2018 - ongoing
Typical eruption styleHighly explosive. Large Plinian eruption every few 1000 of years (the last ones at about 1000 BP and 2000 BP), sometimes with associated flank collapse. Growth of lava domes, pyroclastic flows.
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Merapi dominates the landscape immediately north of the city of Yogyakarta in one of the world's most densely populated areas. Merapi is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. The steep-sided modern Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, was constructed to the SW of an arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the volcano's western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time. Since 1953, activity has been characterized by extrusion of lava into the summit crater, with periodic lava dome collapse and nuée ardente formation. Summit lava dome growth has continued since the 1969 gas explosion. It is monitored from the Merapi Volcano Observatory (MVO) in Yogyakarta.

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