IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


5th December, 2023 Geography


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  • Mount Merapi in Indonesia's West Sumatra region recently erupted, shooting white-and-grey ash plumes into the air for more than 3,000 meters (approximately 9,800 feet).


  • Merapi is an active volcano located in Central Java, Indonesia.
  • Its name means “Mountain of Fire” in the Javanese language.
  • It is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world, with a history of frequent and sometimes violent eruptions.
  • The last major eruption occurred in 2010, which resulted in the deaths of over 350 people and caused widespread damage to nearby villages.
  • Despite the risks, Merapi is a popular destination for hikers and tourists who come to marvel at its stunning beauty and geological significance.

Why are there more volcanoes in Indonesia?

  • Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire.
  • It has about 17,000 islands and islets, as well as nearly 130 active volcanoes.
  • The Ring of Fire, also known as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a line along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
  • The quantity of movement of tectonic plates in the area causes the abundance of volcanoes and earthquakes along the Ring of Fire.
  • Plates converge at convergent boundaries known as subduction zones over much of the Ring of Fire. That is, the plate below is pushed down or subducted by the plate above.
  • Subducted rock melts and turns into magma.
  • The availability of magma so close to the Earth's surface creates ideal circumstances for volcanic activity.
  • A notable exception is the boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates.
  • This section of the Ring of Fire is a transform boundary, which means that plates move sideways past one another.
  • As stress in the Earth's crust builds up and releases, this type of boundary causes a huge number of earthquakes.

With approximately 120 active volcanoes spread around the country, Indonesia has a large number of active volcanoes. Other significant volcanoes in Indonesia include:

  • Mount Krakatoa – Located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra.
  • It is infamous for its 1883 eruption, which was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history.
  • Mount Rinjani – Located on the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province.
  • It is the second-highest volcano in Indonesia and a popular destination for trekkers and hikers.
  • Mount Tambora – Located on the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara province.
  • It is known for its 1815 eruption, which was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, causing a “year without summer” in the northern hemisphere.
  • Mount Batur – Located on the island of Bali in Bali province.
  • It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic views and hot springs.
  • Mount Merbabu – Located on the island of Java in Central Java province.
  • It is the highest mountain in Central Java and a popular destination for hikers and climbers.

Key Facts about the Pacific Ring of Fire

  • It is a region on the Pacific Ocean's margin where numerous tectonic plates collide. This area is well known for its seismic and volcanic activity.
  • It stretches for over 40,000 kilometers and is home to around 75% of the world's active volcanoes and 90% of the world's earthquakes.
  • The Pacific Plate, the Earth's largest tectonic plate, advances northwest and collides with smaller plates, forming a subduction zone.
  • As the plates clash, friction and pressure build up, resulting in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
  • Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and the West Coasts of North and South America are all part of the Ring of Fire.


Mount Marapi, recently seen in the news, is located in:

  1. A) Vietnam
  2. B) Indonesia
  3. C) Maldives
  4. D) Philippines

Answer: B