Global Geological And Climatic Events

Places in news: Mount Merapi


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Merapi Volcano

Mains level: Pacific ring of fire


Central Idea

  • Mount Merapi in Indonesia has erupted yet again this year, spewing an ash tower 3,000 metres into the sky.


Merapi Volcano: A Brief Overview

  • Location: Situated in Central Java, Indonesia, Merapi is aptly named “Mountain of Fire” in Javanese.
  • Activity: It ranks among the world’s most active and perilous volcanoes, known for frequent and often violent eruptions.
  • 2010 Eruption: The last significant eruption in 2010 led to over 350 fatalities and extensive damage to surrounding areas.
  • Tourist Attraction: Despite its dangers, Merapi attracts hikers and tourists drawn to its beauty and geological significance.

Other active volcanoes in Indonesia


Indonesia is home to many active volcanoes, with over 120 active volcanoes located across the country. Some of the other major volcanoes in Indonesia include:

  • Mount Krakatoa: Located in the Sunda Strait, it’s notorious for the catastrophic 1883 eruption.
  • Mount Rinjani: On Lombok Island, it’s Indonesia’s second-highest volcano and a trekking hotspot.
  • Mount Tambora: Famous for the 1815 eruption, it caused the “year without summer” and is situated on Sumbawa Island.
  • Mount Batur: In Bali, known for scenic vistas and hot springs.
  • Mount Merbabu: The highest in Central Java, it’s a favored destination for climbers.

Why so many volcanoes in Indonesia?

  • Pacific Ring of Fire: Indonesia’s location on this seismic hotspot explains its high volcanic activity.
  • Volcanic Density: With over 120 active volcanoes, Indonesia faces frequent eruptions, posing risks to its population and infrastructure.

Back2Basics: Pacific Ring of Fire

  • Geographical Span: This 40,000 km horseshoe-shaped belt around the Pacific Ocean is a seismic hub.
  • Volcanic and Seismic Activity: Home to 75% of the world’s active volcanoes and 90% of earthquakes.
  • Tectonic Movements: The Pacific Plate’s collision with smaller plates leads to subduction, causing friction and pressure.
  • Resulting Phenomena: This tectonic activity results in frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
  • Countries Included: The Ring of Fire affects several regions, including Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and the Americas’ west coasts.
  • Natural Resources: The region is rich in geothermal energy and minerals.

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