Morphometric evolution through erosion of composite volcanoes of the Sunda Arc, Indonesia

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Volcano morphology is the result of complex interactions between constructive and destructive phases. The dynamics of eruptive, intrusive and erosive processes are reflected in the shapes of volcanoes today. Quantifying the morphology and degradation patterns of composite volcanoes can provide new insights into the evolution of these landforms and the impact of erosion. Here, we explore arc-scale morphometric patterns of composite volcanoes, deriving new relationships between edifice shape, age and erosion.

Using 30 m TanDEM-X digital elevation models, we analyse the morphology of 15 composite volcanoes from the Sunda Arc (Indonesia) with available geochronological constraints to estimate incision rates and geomorphic evolution. We start by extracting standard morphometric parameters of the volcanoes (e.g., edifice volume, height, ellipticity, and irregularity), using the previously-published MORVOLC algorithm, recently adapted to run in MATLAB. We then document a series of new metrics that characterize drainage structures and topology, including Hacks law, channel drainage densities, drainage basin distribution, the minimum eroded volume via a convex hull approach and a newly-developed fractal dimension tool. Afterwards, we combine these morphometrics with age data to examine the evolutionary phases of edifice construction and degradation through time.

Correlation analysis of the derived morphometric parameters and comparison between volcanoes of contrasting age highlight that the eroded volume, fractal dimension and the irregularity index increase, and the height/basal width ratio and volume decrease with age. When systematically characterized, clear trends have the potential to be used as a relative age determination tool. The proposed morphometric characterization paves the way for a comparison among composite volcanoes globally and can bridge the current gap between scaled lab experiments and numerical modelling of volcanic landscape evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 16 Dec 2021
EventAGU Fall Meeting 2021 - New Orleans, LA & Online Everywhere, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 13 Dec 202117 Dec 2021


ConferenceAGU Fall Meeting 2021
Abbreviated titleAGU21
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


  • Composite volcanoes
  • Erosion
  • Evolution
  • Indonesia
  • Morphology
  • Drainage


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