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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 7.625°S
  • 111.192°E

  • 3265 m
    10709 ft

  • 263260
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Lawu.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Lawu.

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

05/1979 (SEAN 04:05) Earthquake swarm during late 1978

Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC + 7 hours)

05/1979 (SEAN 04:05) Earthquake swarm during late 1978

The Indonesian newspaper Kompas reported that the first earthquakes of a swarm in the vicinity of the Lawu volcanic complex were felt on 10 December 1978. Area residents reported 14 felt shocks in December, five in January, two in February, six in March, and eight in April. The earthquakes were usually preceded by thunder-like rumbling from the direction of Lawu.

Seismicity became more frequent in late April and early May. At least four felt events occurred on 26 April, including a 10-second earthquake at 1900 that damaged a temple and a transmitting station. On 4 May a landslide in Lawu's Candradimuka Crater (in the S part of the complex) was followed by emission of a thick vapor cloud that was accompanied by a sulfur odor. Between the evening of 4 May and 0700 the next morning, nine events were felt. A total of 27 felt shocks occurred on 5 May, 37 on the 6th, and 35 on the 8th. A series of five earthquakes lasting 4-6 seconds each took place at about 1230 on 9 May. During a 12-hour period 14-15 May, there were more than 1,000 recorded events, more than 50 of which were felt. A VSI team is investigating the seismicity.

Further Reference. Tjia, H.D., and Hamidi, S., 1981, An earthquake swarm around Lawu volcano in Java: Berita Geologi, v. 13, p. 108-111.

Information Contacts: Kompas, Jakarta.

The massive compound stratovolcano Lawu contains an older, deeply eroded volcano on the north separated by a crescentic rift valley from the younger Lawu volcano of Holocene age (van Bemmelen, 1949b). Parasitic crater lakes and pyroclastic cones are found at the eastern side of the rift. The younger Lawu volcano contains eroded crater rims; its latest activity, including construction of a lava dome, occurred at the south end. A fumarolic area is located on the south flank at 2550 m. The only reported historical eruption from Lawu took place in 1885, when rumblings and light ashfall were reported. A major eruption reported from Lawu in 1752 was from neighboring Kelut volcano.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1885 Nov 28 1885 Nov 28 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1752 May 1 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Dumilah Crater
Gamping Crater
Gemolong Crater
Gesi Crater
Gumawang Crater
Lumbung Selayur
    Lumbung Selajur
Panggungan Crater
Pundutan North Crater
Pundutan South Crater
Sangiran Crater
Sarangan Crater
Setupa Crater
Telagakuning Crater
Telogowuro Crater
Tiling Crater
Lawu stratovolcano rises to 3265 m above rice fields on its NW side. Lawu is one of the most massive volcanoes of Java, occupying much of the area between the cities of Surakarta (Solo) on the west and Madiun on the east. The only reported historical eruption from Lawu was an eruption in 1885 that produced minor ashfall.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).
The massive compound stratovolcano Lawu dominates the skyline east of the city of Surakarta (Solo). This view is from the south, with a white steam plume rising from a thermal area at the center of the photo. The younger Lawu volcano, of Holocene age, was constructed to the north of an older complex. A crescentic rift valley between the two volcanoes is occupied on the east by several crater lakes. No historical eruptions are known from Lawu.

Photo by J. Matehelumual, 1979 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).
The forested, compound stratovolcano Lawu, seen here from the SW, lies between the cities of Surakarta (Solo) and Madiun. A trail to the top of the volcano is used for pilgramages to the Hindu-Buddhist temple near the summit.

Photo by J. Matahelumual, 1979 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).
Steam plumes rise at the lower right above a solfataric area on the southern flanks of Gunung Lawu volcano at an elevation of 2550 m. Erosion of hydrothermally altered rocks produces vegatation-free areas.

Photo by Dan Dzurisin, 1980 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Kawah Kuning crater, at the summit of Gunung Lawu volcano, is seen here in an aerial view from the west. The flat-floored, 250-m-wide crater is truncated by younger craters to the south.

Photo published in Taverne, 1926 "Vulkaanstudien op Java," (courtesy of Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Neumann van Padang M, 1951. Indonesia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 1: 1-271.

Taverne N J M, 1926. Vulkanstudien op Java. Vulk Meded, 7: 1-132.

van Bemmelen R W, 1949b. The Geology of Indonesia. The Hague: Government Printing Office, v 1, 732 p.

Volcano Types

Lava dome

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Lawu Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.