DOMERAPI: Dynamics of an arc volcano with extruding lava domes, Merapi (Indonesia): from the magma reservoir to eruptive processes

DOMERAPI is an international scientific research project funded by French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-12-BS06-0012) with support of Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, focused on the study of Merapi volcano (Java, Indonesia).

The broad objective of DOMERAPI is to improve our understanding of the magmatic processes controlling the activity of a typical case of lava dome volcanoes, with a special focus on the triggering processes and the time-scales of transitions from effusive dome growth to explosive and gravitational dome destruction. To investigate the various processes involved, we are using a novel interdisciplinary approach served by original and advanced analytical and experimental techniques and methodologies. Read more...

The project started in January 2013 and will last for four years.

Scientific Context and Objectives


Volcanoes are complex systems that transfer magma from deep storage zones to the surface through a set of dykes and conduits. At each level, numerous coupled phenomena modify the chemical and physical properties of the magma and the state of the surrounding medium, producing geophysical and geochemical signals that may be detected at the surface. In the case of andesitic volcanoes, magma reaches the surface as lava flows, domes that may destabilize gravitationally or explosively to form nuées ardentes (pyroclastic flows) that travel many kilometers along the flanks of the volcano or via vertical explosive columns of fragmented magma. These different eruptive styles generate drastically different human, structural and environmental impact.
In order to improve our understanding of these magmatic processes and their interplay with eruptive dynamics, DOMERAPI project proposes a multi-disciplinary approach that involves and integrates petrological, geochemical and geophysical methods. This strategy is quite appropriate to understand complex dynamic systems where any individual technique would give only a narrow and limited perspective. DOMERAPI includes analysis of existing data, but also designs new and novel field observations and innovative laboratory experiments. As a major objective, results obtained by different disciplines will be integrated in numerical conduit flow models and interpreted in terms of physical processes, to assist in eruption forecasting and eruptive scenario definition on volcanoes forming lava domes.

The Target: Merapi volcano


This project is focused on Merapi, the most active volcano of Indonesia, a target relevant in the framework of the CNRS/INSU “site instrumenté” VELI (Volcans Explosifs Laboratoires Indonésiens) and scientifically exceptionally challenging after the paroxysmal eruption of October-November 2010. Such a project provides the opportunity to investigate the transition between moderate and violent explosions related to dome growth and collapse and the long- term impacts of such an event on dome-forming type volcanoes. To reach that goal, the permanent monitoring system must be implemented with a dense multiparametric network of sensors with cutting-edge technology, making Merapi one of the best monitored volcanoes in the world. The results will have major implications for understanding magmatic processes, volcanoe monitoring, hazard assessment and risk reduction on other explosive island-arc volcanoes, such as the French volcanoes in the West Indies.

International Consortium


This cooperative project brings together Indonesian and French research teams that are highly specialized in their own field, such as in volcano monitoring, experimental petrology, physical volcanology, geophysical structure imaging or numerical modeling of magmatic processes. It involves the four main French laboratories in this domain, which will reinforce the cohesion of this community and the synergy between the different disciplines of volcanology, a necessary condition to impulse volcanological research beyond the current state of the art. Associated American and German researchers will bring their scientific and technical expertise to this international exciting project. The partners are engaged in a common effort to pool their data and skills with the major objective of proposing an integrative model of Merapi’s eruptive behavior, one of the world’s most dangerous and populated volcano.

Project started for

Agenda