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Keywords:

  • earthquake;
  • volcanic eruption;
  • Merapi

[1] The magnitude 6.4 earthquake that occurred in Java on 26 May 2006 provided us with data capable of revealing an immediate eruptive response at two Javanese volcanoes, Merapi and Semeru. The availability of pre-processed thermal data for volcanic hot spots detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), and provided on http://hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu, allowed us to produce heat and volume flux time series for these two erupting volcanoes covering a 35-day period spanning the earthquake. Our results revealed a coupled response by the volcanoes to the earthquake, both experiencing increases in heat and volume flux beginning 3 days after the earthquake, with the response lasting 9 days. The response was felt at both volcanoes as a factor of two-to-three increase in the rate of volumetric output, after which output returned to the pre-response rates. This implies that the earthquake triggered enhanced output at two erupting volcanoes 50 and 300 km distant from the earthquake epicenter and separated from each other by ∼260 km.