Top 100 Indonesia Wonders of Nature – 9. Mount Merapi National Park

9 Mount Merapi National Park

Mount Merapi or Gunung Merapi in Indonesian language (bahasa), is a conical volcano in Central Java, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. Its name means Mountain of Fire. It is very close to the city of Yogyakarta, and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1700 m above sea level.

Several of its eruptions have caused fatalities. It was erupting from 1992 to 2002, and a particularly large explosion killed 43 people in 1994. It began erupting again in 2006, and scientists believe a large eruption is imminent. In light of the hazards it poses to populated areas, it has been designated a Decade Volcano.

Merapi is the youngest in a group of volcanoes in southern Java. It is situated at a subduction zone, where the Indo-Australian Plate is sliding beneath the Eurasian Plate. It is one of at least 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire – a section of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and South East Asia.

Stratigraphic analysis reveals that eruptions in the Merapi area began about 400,000 years ago, and from then until about 10,000 years ago, eruptions were typically effusive, and the outflowing lava emitted was basaltic. Since then, eruptions have become more explosive, with viscous andesitic lavas often generating lava domes. Dome collapse has often generated pyroclastic flows, and larger explosions, which have resulted in eruption columns, have also generated pyroclastic flows through column collapse.

Typically, small eruptions occur every two to three years, and larger ones every 10-15 years or so. Notable eruptions, often causing many deaths, have occurred in 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872 (the most violent eruption in recent history), and 1930—when thirteen villages were destroyed and 1400 people killed by pyroclastic flows.

A very large eruption in 1006 is claimed to have covered all of central Java with ash. The volcanic devastation is claimed to have led to the collapse of the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram, however there is insufficient evidence from that era for this to be substantiated. Merapi continues hold particular significance for the Javanese: it is one of four places where officials from the royal palaces of Yogyakarta and Solo make annual offerings to placate the ancient Javanese spirits.

More like hers brother, Mount Merbabu is a favorite mountain for local and foreign mountaineers. The average temperature in its top is around 15 grade Celsius during the day, of course in the night, it’s biting cold.

The magnificent Merbabu is in the middle of Central Java Province, comes from the word “Meru” means mountain and “Babu” means female or lady. For years it has been known as a sleeping mountain, but in fact it has 5 calderas, namely: Condrodimuko, Kombang, Kendang, Rebab & Sambernyowo. Mt. Merbabu last eruption was in 1968 which caused a lot of erosion. Usually it gives a tranquile atmosphere to its green beautiful environment.

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