EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring of Merapi volcano, Indonesia based on Sentinel-1 data

Virginie Pinel1, François Beauducel1,2, Raditya Putra3, Sulis Sulistiyani3, Gusti Made Agung Nandaka3, Aisyah Nurnaning3, Agus Budi Santoso3, Hanik Humaida3, Marie-Pierre Doin1, Franck Thollard1, and Christophe Laurent1
Virginie Pinel et al.
  • 1Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie Mont-Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble France
  • 2Université de Paris, Institut de physique du globe de Paris, CNRS, 75005 Paris, France.
  • 3Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazards Mitigation, 55166 Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Despite the well-established interest of Synthetic Aperture Radar data for volcanoes study and monitoring, their integration to operational monitoring activities in volcanoes observatories remains limited so far. We here describe the effort in progress to integrate in near real time the information derived from Sentinel-1 satellites into the monitoring devices at BBPTKG in charge of Merapi volcano survey as well as the use of Sentinel-1 data during the recent period of  unrest. Merapi (7°32.5’ S and 110°26.5’ E) located in the densely populated Province of Yogyakarta in Central Java is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. The eruptive history of Merapi is characterized by two eruptive styles: 1) recurrent effusive growth of viscous lava domes, with gravitational collapses producing pyroclastic flows known as « Merapi-type nuées ardentes » (VEI 2); 2) more exceptional explosive eruptions of relatively large size (VEI 3-4), associated with column collapse pyroclastic flows reaching distances larger than 15 km from the summit. The eruptive periodicity is 4 to 5 years for the effusive events and 50 to 100 years for the explosive ones. The last explosive events (VEI 3-4) occurred in November 2010 and was followed by a period of limited activity. In August 2018, a new dome was observed inside the summit crater, thus marking the start of a new phase of effusive activity. A new period of unrest then started in mid-October 2020, characterized by an increase in seismic activity as well as large and localized displacements in the summit area. Magma finally reached the surface on 4  January 2021. Deformation is currently recorded by EDM and tiltmeters together with a network of 10 permanent GNSS stations. GNSS data are automatically processed and inverted for a pressure source at depth. Both displacement time series as well as spatial probability distribution are directly available through WebObs (Beauducel et al., Frontiers, 2020), an integrated web-based system for monitoring. Sentinel-1 data are acquired over the volcano every 12 days on descending track 76 and every 6 days on ascending track 127. Since mid 2017, Sentinel-1 data are automatically downloaded on a local server at BPPTKG. Interferograms and coherence images are then produced using the NSBAS processing chain (Doin et al, 2012) and automatically integrated to WebObs to enable detection of potential rapid and significant changes in signal. Mean velocity maps are also produced as well as time series of surface displacement at given location enabling direct comparison with GNSS measurements. The descending InSAR time series shows a strong displacement away from the satellite in a 1.5 km wide area located on the north-eastern part  of the crater. This signal became significant in September 2020. It is consistent with field measurements recorded and allows to map the affected area. In mid-November 2020, Sentinel-1 data thus provided the first information on the spatial extent of the ongoing surface displacements, which was useful for crisis management.

How to cite: Pinel, V., Beauducel, F., Putra, R., Sulistiyani, S., Nandaka, G. M. A., Nurnaning, A., Budi Santoso, A., Humaida, H., Doin, M.-P., Thollard, F., and Laurent, C.: Monitoring of Merapi volcano, Indonesia based on Sentinel-1 data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10392,, 2021.

Corresponding formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.