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Gunung Kelud (Kelut)

Mt. Kelud
Crater Lake
Chemical Composition
A Quick History Lesson
Cool Facts!

Figure 1: The Location of Kelut volcano, East Java, Indonesia; Source: Badrudin,1994

About Gunung Kelud

Gunung Kelud (also commonly referred to as Mt. Kelut) is an active composite volcano located on the island of East Java in Indonesia (Thouret et al., 1998). What makes it so interesting and dangerous is that it has erupted many times throughout written history, and is considered to be very dangerous because it has a substantial crater lake at the summit. When it erupts, not only to explosive amounts of volcano spew across the fertile papaya plantations that surround it, but the water from the lake mixes with all of the loose material along the slope of the gunung forming deadly lahars, or mudslides that leave catastrophic death tolls (Badrudin, 1994). Plus, there are some very interesting characteristics to a stratovolcano, such as the fact that they have deadly pyroclastic flows that contribute to its geologic composition! In fact, composite volcanoes, like Mt. Kelud, are generally made up of alternating layers of deposits from the pyroclastic flows and normal igneous rock that is formed from regular lava flow (Keller, 2005). See the image below!

Figure 3: Composite Volcano; Source: University of Texas,

Mt. Kelud, like most other composite volcanoes, is located above a subduction zone, which makes them increasingly dangerous because the lava here is very viscous and can become gas-charged, producing EXPLOSIVE eruptions (Montgomery, 2000).

Figure 2: Subduction zone; Source: Live Science,

How to manoeuvre around this site!
All of the key terms in the text are higlighted, and they can be further explained by the Glossary link on the left. Just click on it to go into more detail, or to review some of the key concepts that I talk about on the web site!


Quick Facts

        There have been over 30 eruptions reported since 1000 AD (Global Volcanism Program, 2008)

        Mt. Kelud is only 27km away from Kediri, a city with a population of 1,300,000! Now tell me, why would someone want to live so close to a very prominent geological hazard! (Bernard, 2000)

        The summit of Mt. Kelud peaks at 1731m above sea level (or, 1650m above the papaya plantations!) (Bernard, 2000)

        In 1586, Mt. Kelud erupted and the subsequent lahar took the lives of 10,000 people; it was one of the deadliest lahar in the history of volcanic eruptions! (Bernard, 2000)

        Since 1300AD, Gunung Kelud has been an active volcano, however, the periods between eruptions ranges from 9 to 75 years! (Thouret et. al., 1998) This is so interesting, because composite volcanoes are characteristically built over long periods of time! They generally intermitted eruptions with thousands of years separating a few intense years (Plummer  et. al., 2007).

by Victoria Gauthier (0330250)
Geology 1020
January 2008