Mount Merapi

mount merapi volcano

Mount Merapi is an active volcano located in Central Java, Indonesia, about 30 kilometers north of Yogyakarta, this city has more than 500.000 inhabitants. It is designated as one of the most active volcanoes in the world, mainly because it is located in a subduction zone. Furthermore, it is the most active of all the volcanoes in Indonesia.

In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Mount Merapi, what are its characteristics, eruptions and importance.

Key features

mount merapi

Gunung Merapi, as it is known in its country, is classified as a stratovolcano or composite volcano whose structure was formed from the lava flows expelled over millions of years. The Global Volcanic Activity Program states that it is located at 2.968 meters above sea level, although the United States Geological Survey mentions it at 2.911 meters. These measurements are not accurate, because continued volcanic activity will change them. It is currently lower than the intense eruption that occurred before 2010.

The word "Merapi" means "Mountain of Fire." It is located near a densely populated area, and the intensity of the eruption has earned it a place in a decade of volcanoes, making it one of the 16 most studied volcanoes in the world. Despite the danger, the Javanese are rich in myths and legends, in addition, their obvious natural beauty is decorated at the bottom of dense vegetation and is home to many animal species.

Formation of Mount Merapi

active volcano

Merapi is in the subduction zone where the Indian-Australian plate sinks below the Sunda plate (or probe). A subduction zone is a place where a plate sinks below another plate, causing earthquakes and / or volcanic activity. The material that forms the plates pushes the magma away from the interior of the earth, creating tremendous pressure, forcing it to rise higher and higher until the crust ruptures and forms a volcano.

From a geological point of view, the Merapi are the youngest people in southern Java. Its eruption may have started 400.000 years ago and since then it has been characterized by its violent behavior. Viscous lava and solid materials that were expelled during a volcanic eruption piled up in layers and the surface hardened, forming a typical layered volcanic shape. Following its appearance, the Merapi continued to grow during the Pleistocene until about 2,000 years ago when the main building collapsed.

Mount Merapi eruptions

volcano in indonesia

It has a long history of violent eruptions. There have been 68 eruptions since 1548, and during its existence, there have been 102 confirmed eruptions in the world. It typically experiences large-scale explosive eruptions with pyroclastic flows, but over time, they become more explosive and form a lava dome, a circular mound-shaped plug.

It usually has a small rash every 2-3 years and a large rash every 10-15 years. Pyroclastic flows composed of ash, gas, pumice stone and other rock fragments are more dangerous than lava, because they can descend at a speed of more than 150 kilometers per hour and reach large areas, causing total or partial damage. The problem with Merapi is that it is located in one of the most densely populated areas in Indonesia, with more than 24 million people within a 100 km radius.

The most serious eruptions occurred in 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, 1930, and 2010. An eruption in 1006 was so strong that it was believed to have led to the end of the Mataram Kingdom, although there is insufficient evidence to support this belief. . However, 2010 became the worst year of the 353st century, affecting thousands of people, destroying hectares of vegetation and killing XNUMX people.

The event started in October and lasted until December. It produced earthquakes, explosive eruptions (not just one), hot lava avalanches, volcanic landslides, pyroclastic flows, dense volcanic ash clouds, and even fireballs that caused roughly 350.000 people to flee their homes. In the end, it became one of Indonesia's biggest natural disasters in recent years.

Recent rash

Indonesia's most active volcano erupted again on Monday, August 16, 2021, spewing rivers of lava and gas clouds from the bottom of the mountain on the densely populated island of Java, which stretches across 3,5 , 2 kilometers (XNUMX miles).

The roar of the volcanic eruption can be heard several kilometers from Mount Merapi, and the volcanic ash that erupted from the volcano is about 600 meters (almost 2000 feet) high. The ashes covered nearby communities, although the old evacuation order was still valid near the crater, so no casualties were reported.

The director of the Yogyakarta Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center, Hanik Humeda, said this is the largest exhalation from Mount Merapi since authorities raised the danger level in November last year.

The southwest dome is estimated to have a volume of 1,8 million cubic meters (66,9 million cubic feet) and a height of about 3 meters (9,8 feet). It then partially collapsed Monday morning, erupting pyroclastic flows from the southwestern side of the mountain at least twice.

During the day, at least two other small amounts of pyroclastic material erupted, descending approximately 1,5 kilometers (1 mile) along the southwest slope. This 2.968-meter (9.737-foot) mountain is located near Yogyakarta, an ancient city with a population of hundreds of thousands in the Java Island metropolitan area. For centuries, the city has been the center of Javanese culture and the seat of the royal family.

Merapi's alert status has remained at the second of four risk levels since it began to erupt last November, and the Indonesian Geological and Volcanic Hazard Mitigation Center has not raised it despite increased activity. volcanic during the last week.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about Mount Merapi and its characteristics.

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