Textural and mineral chemistry constraints on evolution of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia

Sabrina Innocenti, Mary Ann del Marmol, Barry Voight, Supriyati Andreastuti, Tanya Furman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We analyze and compare the textures of Merapi lavas (basalts and basaltic andesites) ranging in age from Proto-Merapi through modern activity, with the goal of gaining insights on the temporal evolution of Merapi's magmatic system. Analysis of textural parameters, such as phenocryst and microphenocryst crystallinity, coupled with crystal size distribution theory, provides information about the storage and transport of magmas. We combine textural analyses with geochemical investigations for a comprehensive comparison of erupted lavas over time. The chemical analyses identify crystal growth processes in magma chambers and underline differences between sample groups. Our work suggests the occurrence of two distinct histories, presumably associated with (at least) two generally distinct types of rheological behaviors and storage/transport systems. These behaviors are associated with different plagioclase growth patterns, with both groups influenced by late-stage shallow decompression degassing-induced microlite crystallization. Both groups contain amphibole crystals that indicate an early period of mid-crustal to deep-crustal storage of water-rich magmas. Dome lavas from the 20th century eruptive activity indicate quasi-steady-state nucleation-and-growth evolution interspersed with episodes of reheating and textural coarsening, suggesting residence in magma storage at multiple depths, both >. 10. km, and <. 10. km, while samples from the older stratigraphic history of Merapi record both repeated attainment and loss of quasi-steady-state conditions. These observations, coupled with our companion study of Merapi tephra samples, suggest that the relatively benign type of activity observed in the 20th century will be interrupted from time to time in the future by more explosive eruptions, such as that of 2010.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-37
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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