The 2017-19 activity at Mount Agung in Bali (Indonesia): Intense unrest, monitoring, crisis response, evacuation, and eruption

Scientific Reports
By: , and 

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Abstract

After 53 years of quiescence, Mount Agung awoke in August 2017, with intense seismicity, measurable ground deformation, and thermal anomalies in the summit crater. Although the seismic unrest peaked in late September and early October, the volcano did not start erupting until 21 November. The most intense explosive eruptions with accompanying rapid lava effusion occurred between 25 and 29 November. Smaller infrequent explosions and extrusions continue through the present (June 2019). The delay between intense unrest and eruption caused considerable challenges to emergency responders, local and national governmental agencies, and the population of Bali near the volcano, including over 140,000 evacuees. This paper provides an overview of the volcanic activity at Mount Agung from the viewpoint of the volcano observatory and other scientists responding to the volcanic crisis. We discuss the volcanic activity as well as key data streams used to track it. We provide evidence that magma intruded into the mid-crust in early 2017, and again in August of that year, prior to intrusion of an inferred dike between Mount Agung and Batur Caldera that initiated an earthquake swarm in late September. We summarize efforts to forecast the behavior of the volcano, to quantify exclusion zones for evacuations, and to work with emergency responders and other government agencies to make decisions during a complex and tense volcanic crisis.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The 2017-19 activity at Mount Agung in Bali (Indonesia): Intense unrest, monitoring, crisis response, evacuation, and eruption
Series title Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-45295-9
Volume 9
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Nature
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description Article 8848
Country Indonesia