Merapi - Pyroclastic Flows and earthquakes in central Java
Mount Merapi is located in Central Java, some 60 km from the coast. It is one of the subduction zone volcanoes within the Pacific Ring of Fire. Due to its highly destructive potential and proximity to the metropolis of Yogyakarta, it is classified as a high-risk volcano and is continuously monitored by volcanologists.
Typical of subduction zone volcanoes such as Mount Merapi, is the flow of highly viscous magma, which does not emerge in classic lava flows or lava fountains, but is dammed in the form of a dome at the summit of the volcano, until the edges of the lava domes are so steep they slip off, or until the dome breaks down in itself, thus creating the dreaded pyroclastic flows.
In historical times larger eruption on Mount Merapi occurred every 10 - 15 years. The largest took place in the years 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872 and 1930.
The most recent eruption phase began on October 26, 2010. Numerous explosions and pyroclastic flows destroyed villages along the volcano flank. Volcanic ash fell 40 km away on the metropolis of Yogyakarta, obstructing air traffic. More than 350 people died.
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