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Semeru in 1985.
Highest point
Elevation3,676 m (12,060 ft)
Prominence3,676 m (12,060 ft)
Ranked 45th
Isolation391 km (243 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
ListingIsland high point 12th
Coordinates8°6′28.8″S 112°55′12.0″E / 8.108000°S 112.920000°E / -8.108000; 112.920000Coordinates: 8°6′28.8″S 112°55′12.0″E / 8.108000°S 112.920000°E / -8.108000; 112.920000
Semeru is located in Java
Semeru is located in Indonesia
Semeru (Indonesia)
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Volcanic arc/beltRing of Fire/Sunda Arc
Last eruption1967 to 2021 [1]
First ascentUnknown
Easiest routeHike

Semeru, or Mount Semeru (Indonesian: Gunung Semeru), is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. It is located in the subduction zone, where the Indo-Australia plate subducts under the Eurasia plate.[2] It is the highest mountain on the island of Java. This stratovolcano is also known as Mahameru, meaning "The Great Mountain" in Sanskrit.[3] The name derived from the Hindu cosmology's mountain of Meru or Sumeru, the abode of gods.

Mount Semeru is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Indonesia.


Semeru rises steeply above the coastal plains of eastern Java. Maars containing crater lakes have formed along a line through the summit of the volcano. It was formed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambagan calderas.[3] Semeru lies at the south end of the Tengger Volcanic Complex.

Eruptive history[edit]

Semeru's eruptive history is extensive. Since 1818, at least 55 eruptions have been recorded (10 of which resulted in fatalities) consisting of both lava flows and pyroclastic flows. All historical eruptions have had a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 2 or 3.[4] Semeru has been in a state of near-constant eruption from 1967 to the present. At times, small eruptions happen every 20 minutes or so.[5]

Semeru is regularly climbed by tourists, usually starting from the village of Ranu Pane to the north, but though non-technical it can be dangerous. Soe Hok Gie, an Indonesian political activist of the 1960s, died in 1969 from inhaling poisonous gases while hiking on Mount Semeru.[6] It erupted again in 2021.[7]

Semeru is named from Sumeru, the central world-mountain in Hinduism. As stated in legend, it was transplanted from India; the tale is recorded in the 15th-century East Javanese work Tantu Pagelaran. It was originally placed in the western part of the island, but that caused the island to tip, so it was moved eastward. On that journey, parts kept coming off the lower rim, forming the mountains Lawu, Wilis, Kelud, Kawi, Arjuno and Welirang. The damage thus caused to the foot of the mountain caused it to shake, and the top came off and created Penanggungan as well.[8] Indonesian Hindus also hold a belief that the mountain is the abode of Shiva in Java.

Floral problems[edit]

Non-native invasive plants[edit]

25 non-native plants have been found in Mount Semeru National Park. The non-native plants, which threaten the endemic local plants, were imported by Dutch botanist Van Steenis, in the colonial era. They include Foeniculum vulgare, Verbena brasiliensis, Chromolaena odorata, and Salvinia molesta.[9]

Vegetable plantations[edit]

Mud erosion from surrounding vegetable plantations is adding silt to Ranu Pane Lake, causing the lake to gradually shrink. Research has predicted that the lake will disappear in about 2025 unless the vegetable plantations on the hillsides are replaced with more ecologically sustainable perennials.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Semeru volcano". 19 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Mount Semeru".
  3. ^ a b "Semeru: Summary". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  4. ^ "Semeru: Eruptive History". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  5. ^ "Volcano erupts in Indonesia". 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Birth of Soe Hok Gie". Viva News. 17 December 2008.
  7. ^ HUGE Eruption at Semeru Volcano in East Java, Indonesia - Jan. 16, 2021
  8. ^ Soekmono, Dr R. (1973). Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Penerbit Kanisius. p. 119. ISBN 979-413-290-X.
  9. ^ Eko Widianto (25 October 2014). "Foreign Plantations Invade Mt Semeru".
  10. ^ David Priyasidharta (15 December 2014). "Ranu Pane Lake Estimated to Disappear in 10 Years".


External links[edit]