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Analysis on the Mount Merapi Volcanic Ash Propagation (13 February 2020)
19 Feb 2020 • Read : 2787 x ,

On February 13, 2020 at 5 in the morning, Mount Merapi released its bowels (eruption). The volcano, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, erupted for the first time in 2020. According to the Volcano Observation Post around the mountain, the eruption occurred at 05.16 WIB and the seismograph recorded that the vibration produced had a maximum deviation (amplitude) of 75 mm with a period of 150 seconds. This eruption reached 2000 m (2 km) high. Based on the condition, it was estimated that the peak if the material that was thrown into the atmosphere reached the boundary layer.

A researcher of PSTA, Mrs. Sumaryati, tried to analyze the propagation of the volcanic ash of Mount Merapi using the Hysplit model at 02.26 UTC (09.26 WIB), four hours after the incident. The results of the model are presented in the following figures.

Figure 1. Mount Merapi volcanic ash propagation (13 February 2020)

According to Figure 1, we could see Mount Merapi as the center or source of emissions (symbolized in Figure 1 by stars). It spreads its volcanic ash to the air columns 100 m and 2000 m to the south. This means that the propagation of volcanic ash is heading to the South Coast of Java (Indian Ocean). Unlike the volcanic ash found in the 1000 column, the propagation is heading to the southeast. Sumaryati also made a prediction of distribution for 6 hours to 12 hours after the eruption presented in Figure 2.

6 hours after eruption

12 hours after eruption

Figure 2. Prediction of the volcanic ash propagation, 6 hours and 12 hours after eruption using VAFTAD program

According to Figure 2, the spread of volcanic ash for the next 6 hours to 12 hours (from eruption) also shows the spread of volcanic ash to the south (Figure 2 is presented in pink spots). For every volcanic eruption, the important issue is the impact on the aviation sector. The results of the analysis based on the prediction of the Hysplit model trajectory in the VAFTAD (Volcanic ash forecast transport and dispersion) program commonly used to help flight safety indicate that only a small amount of volcanic ash is carried by the wind. Using the Volcano Ash program, which is a general program for volcanic ash distribution, shows that volcanic ash is only scattered near sources.

Figure 3. Prediction of the condition of the spread of volcanic ash of Mount Merapi with the Volcano Ash program

So the eruption of Mount Merapi with a height of 2000 m high volcanic ash, the volcanic ash only spread near the volcano. Not potentially dangerous to the flight. This distribution prediction will be more useful, if it can be done immediately after the eruption occurs.

(S and LSS/Diseminasi PSTA)

Cover picture source: CNN Indonesia.

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