The Devastating Impact of the 2010 Eruption of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia

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Book Chapter

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explosive eruption, Indonesia, Merapi volcano, pyroclastic density currents, volcanic explosivity index, volcano monitoring

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Merapi volcano lies within the Sunda Arc, a chain of volcanoes along Indonesia that are formed by the subduction of the Indo‐Australian plate beneath the Eurasian plate. In 2010, Merapi produced a large explosive eruption Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) that was unusually destructive. This chapter overviews the 2010 eruption phenomena and associated impacts, highlights the importance of successful volcano monitoring, timely evacuations, and eruption timing in reducing casualties. Pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) can destroy everything in their path and are one of the most dangerous, complex, and least predictable of the volcanic processes. PDCs with higher particle concentrations typically cause damage through burial, fire, and/or lateral dynamic pressures and entrained missiles, while the impact of less‐dense currents depends upon their velocities, dynamic pressures, and temperatures. The 2010 eruption of Merapi therefore represents a pertinent case study of the diversity, complexity, and magnitude of impacts that can be associated with explosive eruptions at dome‐forming volcanoes.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Devastating Impact of the 2010 Eruption of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia, in J. C. Duarte & W. P. Schellart (Eds.), Plate Boundaries and Natural Hazards, American Geophysical Union, p. 259-270