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Merapi volcano
Stratovolcano 2968 m / 9,737 ft
Central Java, Indonesia, -7.54°S / 110.44°E
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
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Merapi volcano eruptions:
1548, 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 style:
Highly 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 volcano news & eruption updates

Merapi volcano (Central Java): new short-lived explosive eruption, ash to approx. 9 km altitude

Friday Jun 01, 2018 09:56 AM | BY: T

This morning's explosion at Merapi
This morning's explosion at Merapi
Recent seismic data from Merapi
Recent seismic data from Merapi
Another strong, but short-lived explosive eruption occurred at the volcano this morning at 08:20 local time. The eruption lasted only about 2 minutes, but was powerful enough to send an ash column approx. 6 km above the summit crater to an altitude around 9 km. It rose near vertically then drifted to the NW and SW.
Ash fall was noted in the Jrakah observatory from around 09:00 and shortly after also in the Selo observatory post (northern side).
White smoke seen on the vegetated slopes of the volcano likely indicates that incandescent bombs (or small glowing avalanches) impacted there and ignited bush fires.
This activity follows a series of increasingly frequent explosions at the volcano during the past weeks; the previous one was a similar eruption on 24 May late evening (23:48).
Seismic activity related to the eruption included several explosion signals and volcanic earthquakes at 3 km depth beneath the summit, which might indicate that a shallow reservoir is being recharged. However, gas emissions remain relatively low and no significant deformation of the edifice is so far visible.
The volcano observatory thinks that it will still take some time until new magma reaches the surface, but do not indicate an estimated time frame (weeks, months?).
As conclusion, the explosion might still have been mainly phreatic in style, caused by overheated fluids (mainly water) at shallow depths, as response to maybe a beginning intrusion of new magma, which itself is not yet clearly visible in data. In any case, it is clear that the volcano's activity has increased, with still a lot of uncertainty as to whether it will soon enter a new magmatic phase or not.
The alert level is currently being kept at WASPADA (Level II) and an exclusion zone of 3 km radius around the peak is recommended. People in risk areas near the volcano should be vigilant.
Links / Sources:
Previous news
Ash plume rising up from Mt Merapi's summit after an explosion in May 2006 (Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
After the stratovolcano's sudden large phreatic explosion on Friday 11 May a series of smaller phreatic eruptions have occurred in the past few days which caused light ash fall in the vicinity. Phreatic eruptions are caused when underground water comes into contact with lava from Mt. Merapi, causing superheated vapor that breaks through its summit dome. In response, the volcano's alert level was raised from 'normal' to 'caution', the third-highest level, and local authorities closed all access to the volcano in a radius of 3 km from its summit. ... [more]

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