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Structural weakening of the Merapi dome identified by drone photogrammetry after the 2010 eruption
GFZ German Res Ctr Geosci, Dept Phys Earth, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany;Univ Gadjah Mada, Fac Math & Nat Sci, Dept Phys, Lab Geophys, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.
GFZ German Res Ctr Geosci, Dept Phys Earth, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Mineralogy Petrology and Tectonics. Univ Padjajaran, Fac Geol Engn, Bandung 45363, Indonesia.
BPPTKG, Jalan Cendana 15, Yogyakarta 55166, Indonesia.
2018 (English)In: Natural hazards and earth system sciences, ISSN 1561-8633, E-ISSN 1684-9981, Vol. 18, no 12, p. 3267-3281Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lava domes are subjected to structural weakening that can lead to gravitational collapse and produce pyroclastic flows that may travel up to several kilometers from a volcano's summit. At Merapi volcano, Indonesia, pyroclastic flows are a major hazard, frequently causing high numbers of casualties. After the Volcanic Explosivity Index 4 eruption in 2010, a new lava dome developed on Merapi volcano and was structurally destabilized by six steam-driven explosions between 2012 and 2014. Previous studies revealed that the explosions produced elongated open fissures and a delineated block in the southern dome sector. Here, we investigated the geomorphology, structures, thermal fingerprint, alteration mapping and hazard potential of the Merapi lava dome by using drone-based geomorphologic data and forward-looking thermal infrared images The block on the southern dome of Merapi is delineated by a horseshoe-shaped structure with a maximum depth of 8 m and it is located on the unbuttressed southern steep flank. We identify intense thermal, fumarole and hydrothermal alteration activities along this horseshoe-shaped structure. We conjecture that hydrothermal alteration may weaken the horseshoe-shaped structure, which then may develop into a failure plane that can lead to gravitational collapse. To test this instability hypothesis, we calculated the factor of safety and ran a numerical model of block-and-ash flow using Titan2D. Results of the factor of safety analysis confirm that intense rainfall events may reduce the internal friction and thus gradually destabilize the dome. The titan2D model suggests that a hypothetical gravitational collapse of the delineated unstable dome sector may travel southward for up to 4 km. This study highlights the relevance of gradual structural weakening of lava domes, which can influence the development fumaroles and hydrothermal alteration activities of cooling lava domes for years after initial emplacement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 18, no 12, p. 3267-3281
National Category
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372936DOI: 10.5194/nhess-18-3267-2018ISI: 000452863800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372936DiVA, id: diva2:1277334
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, ERC-CoG 646858Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-01-10 Created: 2019-01-10 Last updated: 2019-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Troll, Valentin R.

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