Aerial Photographs of Mt Merapi Taken

Merapi’s crater is seen facing south following the 2010 eruption.

Selasa, 1 Mei 2012, 14:20 Elin Yunita Kristanti, Juna Sanbawa (Yogyakarta)
Merapi's crater seen from above
Merapi's crater seen from above (Juna Sanbawa (Yogyakarta))


VIVAnews – Using a Styrofoam drone, a team of the Gadjah Mada University and the National Aeronautics & Space Institute (Lapan), took aerial photographs of the peak of Mount Merapi that erupted on 26 October 2010.  

From a total of 900 photographs taken, the team obtained a little overview and comparison of the condition of Merapi craters before and after the 2010 eruptions. 

An Electronic & Instrument researcher of Math & Science Department of the Gadjah Mada University, Drs. Tri Kuntoro Priyambodo, M.Sc, said that from the photographs, Merapi’s crater is seen facing south following the 2010 eruption, while prior to the eruption, the crater faced north.

“Unfortunately, there were no aerial photographs taken by a drone prior to the 2010 eruption. Therefore, we could only compare the photographs with satellite photographs which sometimes covered by clouds,” he told VIVAnews on Monday. 

From the aerial photographs, the difference of Merapi crater before and prior the 2010 eruption could also be seen. The current diameter is estimated to have reached 600 meters, whereas before the eruption, based on satellite photographs, it was not that large. 

“There are 2 indicators, namely: the change of the crater’s diameter and the direction of material flow. The indicators showed Merapi’s peak has changed, especially in the crater,” he said.

Tri acknowledged that not all of the photographs taken have been printed out yet. Also, not all of them have been compared with the satellite photographs taken prior to 2010 eruption. 

“We will invite volcano-related parties, such as BPPTK Yogyakarta, to discuss the findings,” he continued. 

Tri said the team could not provide detailed information about Merapi’s latest condition as it has to involve other parties. “At least, the drone can help researchers and related parties with Merapi updates, which is in normal condition at the moment,” he said.


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