Understanding Merapi-type volcanoes



‘We have to understand volcano science to know what to monitor.” That simple statement by Antonius Ratdomopurbo, director of the Indonesian Center for Volcano Technology [Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan-Teknologi (BPPTK)],captured the spirit and content of a recent workshop about Merapi and Merapi-type volcanoes.

Merapi still is experiencing low levels of unrest, following a peak in eruptive activity on 14 June 2006, when pyroclastic flows swept into the evacuated village of Kali Adem and killed two workers who refused to leave. The volcano is an essential element that underlies life in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: It is a constant reminder of the perilous beauty as well as the mystical stature of volcanoes in Indonesia, the world's most volcanically active country. It also is a proving ground for new technologies and monitoring methods in volcano hazards.