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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

All reports of volcanic activity published by the Smithsonian since 1968 are available through a monthly table of contents or by searching for a specific volcano. Until 1975, reports were issued for individual volcanoes as information became available; these have been organized by month for convenience. Later publications were done in a monthly newsletter format. Links go to the profile page for each volcano with the Bulletin tab open.

Information is preliminary at time of publication and subject to change.


Recently Published Bulletin Reports

Nyiragongo (DR Congo) Lava lake persists during June-November 2019

Ebeko (Russia) Frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall continue through November 2019

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) Intermittent ash plumes with significant gas and steam emissions during January 2016-December 2017

Sabancaya (Peru) Explosions, ash and SO2 plumes, thermal anomalies, and lava dome growth during June-November 2019

Karangetang (Indonesia) Lava flows, strong thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam emissions, and ash plumes during May-November 2019

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) New vent, lava fountaining, lava flow, and ash plumes in late September-October 2019

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Strong thermal anomalies and fumaroles within the summit crater during June-November 2019

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Intermittent gas-and-steam emissions and thermal anomalies during June-November 2019

Kerinci (Indonesia) Intermittent gas-and-steam and ash plumes during June-early November 2019

Bezymianny (Russia) Lava dome growth, ongoing thermal anomalies, moderate gas-steam emissions, June-November 2019

Mayon (Philippines) Gas-and-steam plumes and summit incandescence during May-October 2019

Merapi (Indonesia) Low-volume dome growth continues during April-September 2019 with rockfalls and small block-and-ash flows



Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake persists during June-November 2019

Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano with a 1.2 km-wide summit crater containing an active lava lake that has been present since at least 1971. It is located the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, part of the western branch of the East African Rift System. Typical volcanism includes strong and frequent thermal anomalies, primarily due to the lava lake, incandescence, gas-and-steam plumes, and seismicity. This report updates activity during June through November 2019 with the primary source information from monthly reports by the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data.

In the July 2019 monthly report, OVG stated that the lava lake level had dropped during the month, with incandescence only visible at night (figure 68). In addition, the small eruptive cone within the crater, which has been active since 2014, decreased in activity during this timeframe. A MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) helicopter overflight took photos of the lava lake and observed that the level had begun to rise on 27 July. Seismicity was relatively moderate throughout this reporting period; however, on 9-16 July and 21 August strong seismic swarms were recorded.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Webcam images of Nyiragongo on 20 July 2019 where incandescence is not visible during the day (left) but is observed at night (right). Incandescence is accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of OVG.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data continued to show frequent and strong thermal anomalies within 5 km of the crater summit through November 2019 (figure 69). Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reported almost daily thermal hotspots (more than 600) within the summit crater between June 2019 through November. These data are corroborated with Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery and a photo from OVG on 19 December 2019 showing the active lava lake (figures 70 and 71).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Thermal anomalies at Nyiragongo from 3 January through November 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and strong. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) showed ongoing thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) at Nyiragongo during June through November 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Photo of the active lava lake in the summit crater at Nyiragongo on 19 December 2019. Incandescence is accompanied by a gas-and-steam plume. Courtesy of OVG via Charles Balagizi.

Geologic Background. One of Africa's most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. The steep slopes of a stratovolcano contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira. Benches in the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century. Two older stratovolcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks, which is characterized by the eruption of foiditic rocks. The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.

Information Contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Charles Balagizi (Twitter: @CharlesBalagizi, https://twitter.com/CharlesBalagizi).


Ebeko (Russia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

50.686°N, 156.014°E; summit elev. 1103 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall continue through November 2019

Activity at Ebeko includes frequent explosions that have generated ash plumes reaching altitudes of 1.5-6 km over the last several years, with the higher altitudes occurring since mid-2018 (BGVN 43:03, 43:06, 43:12, 44:07). Ash frequently falls in Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE), which is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT). This activity continued during June through November 2019; the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Explosive activity during December 2018 through November 2019 often sent ash plumes to altitudes between 2.2 to 4.5 km, or heights of 1.1 to 3.4 km above the crater (table 8). Eruptions since 1967 have originated from the northern crater of the summit area (figure 20). Webcams occasionally captured ash explosions, as seen on 27 July 2019(figure 21). KVERT often reported the presence of thermal anomalies; particularly on 23 September 2019, a Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image showed a strong thermal signature at the crater summit accompanied by an ash plume (figure 22). Ashfall is relatively frequent in Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE) and can drift in different direction based on the wind pattern, which can be seen in satellite imagery on 30 October 2019 deposited NE and SE from the crater(figure 23).

Table 8. Summary of activity at Ebeko, December 2018-November 2019. S-K is Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE of the volcano). TA is thermal anomaly in satellite images. Data courtesy of KVERT.

Date Plume Altitude (km) Plume Distance Plume Directions Other Observations
30 Nov-07 Dec 2018 3.6 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 1, 4 Dec.
07-14 Dec 2018 3.5 -- E Explosions.
25 Jan-01 Feb 2019 2.3 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 27 Jan.
02-08 Feb 2019 2.3 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 4 Feb.
08-15 Feb 2019 2.5 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 11 Feb.
15-22 Feb 2019 3.6 -- -- Explosions.
22-26 Feb 2019 2.5 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 23-26 Feb.
01-02, 05 Mar 2019 -- -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 1, 5 Mar.
08-10 Mar 2019 4 30 km ENE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 9-10 Mar.
15-19, 21 Mar 2019 4.5 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 15-16, 21 Mar.
22, 24-25, 27-28 Mar 2019 4.2 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 24-25, 27 Mar.
29-31 Mar, 01, 04 Apr 2019 3.2 -- -- Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 31 Mar. TA on 31 Mar.
09 Apr 2019 2.2 -- -- Explosions.
12-15 Apr 2019 3.2 -- -- Explosions. TA on 13 Apr.
21-22, 24 Apr 2019 -- -- -- Explosions.
26 Apr-03 May 2019 3 -- -- Explosions.
04, 06-07 May 2019 3.5 -- -- Explosions. TA on 6 May.
12-13 May 2019 2.5 -- -- Explosions. TA 12-13 May.
16-20 May 2019 2.5 -- -- Explosions. TA on 16-17 May.
25-28 May 2019 3 -- -- Explosions. TA on 27-28 May.
03 Jun 2019 3 -- E Explosions.
12 Jun 2019 -- -- -- TA.
14-15 Jun 2019 2.5 -- NW, NE Explosions.
21-28 Jun 2019 -- -- -- TA on 23 June.
28 Jun-05 Jul 2019 4.5 -- Multiple Explosions. TA on 29 Jun, 1 Jul.
05-12 Jul 2019 3.5 -- S Explosions. TA on 11 Jul.
15-16 Jul 2019 2 -- S, SE Explosions. TA on 13-16, 18 Jul.
20-26 Jul 2019 4 -- Multiple Explosions. TA on 18, 20, 25 Jul
25-26, 29 Jul, 01 Aug 2019 2.5 -- Multiple Explosions.
02, 04 Aug 2019 3 -- SE Explosions. TA on 2, 4 Aug.
10-16 Aug 2019 3 -- SE Explosions. TA on 10, 12 Aug.
17-23 Aug 2019 3 -- SE Explosions. TA on 16 Aug.
23, 27-28 Aug 2019 3 -- E Explosions. TA on 23 Aug.
30-31 Aug, 03-05 Sep 2019 3 -- E, SE Explosions on 30 Aug, 3-5 Sep. TA on 30-31 Aug.
07-13 Sep 2019 3 -- S, SE, N Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 6 Sep. TA on 8 Sep.
13-15, 18 Sep 2019 2.5 -- E Explosions. TA on 15 Sep.
22-23 Sep 2019 3 -- E, NE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K.
27 Sep-04 Oct 2019 4 -- SE, E, NE Explosions.
07-08, 10 Oct 2019 2.5 -- E, NE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 4-5 Oct. Weak TA on 8 Oct.
11-18 Oct 2019 4 -- NE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 15 Oct. Weak TA on 12 Oct.
18, 20-21, 23 Oct 2019 3 -- N, E, SE Explosions. Weak TA on 20 Oct.
25-26, 29-30 Oct 2019 2.5 -- E, NE Explosions. Weak TA on 29 Oct.
02-06 Nov 2019 3 -- N, E, SE Explosions.
11-12, 14 Nov 2019 3 -- E, NE Explosions.
15-17, 20 Nov 2019 3 -- SE, NE Explosions.
22-23, 28 Nov 2019 2.5 -- SE, E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 23 Nov.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Satellite image showing the summit crater complex at Ebeko, July 2019. Monthly mosaic image for July 2019, copyright 2019 Planet Labs, Inc.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Webcam photo of an explosion and ash plume at Ebeko on 27 July 2019. Videodata by IMGG FEB RAS and KB GS RAS (color adjusted and cropped); courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Satellite images showing an ash explosion from Ebeko on 23 September 2019. Top image is in natural color (bands 4, 3, 2). Bottom image is using "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A) to show a thermal anomaly in the northern crater visible around the rising plume. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. A satellite image of Ebeko from Sentinel-2 (LC1 natural color, bands 4, 3, 2) on 30 October 2019 showing previous ashfall deposits on the snow going in multiple directions. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data detected four low-power thermal anomalies during the second half of July, and one each in the months of June, August, and October; no activity was recorded in September or November MODVOLC thermal alerts observed only one thermal anomaly between June through November 2019.

Geologic Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevado del Ruiz

Colombia

4.892°N, 75.324°W; summit elev. 5279 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes with significant gas and steam emissions during January 2016-December 2017

Nevado del Ruiz is a glaciated volcano in Colombia (figure 86). It is known for the 13 November 1985 eruption that produced an ash plume and associated pyroclastic flows onto the glacier, triggering a lahar that approximately 25,000 people in the towns of Armero (46 km west) and Chinchiná (34 km east). Since 1985 activity has intermittently occurred at the Arenas crater. The eruption that began on 18 November 2014 included ash plumes dominantly dispersed to the NW of Arenas crater (BGVN 42:06). This bulletin summarizes activity during January 2016 through December 2017 and is based on reports by Servicio Geologico Colombiano and Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) notices, and satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. A satellite image of Nevado del Ruiz showing the location of the active Arenas crater. September 2019 Monthly Mosaic image copyright Planet Labs 2019.

Activity during 2016. Throughout January 2016 ash and steam plumes were observed reaching up to a few kilometers. Significant water vapor and volcanic gases, especially SO2, were detected throughout the month. Thermal anomalies were detected in the crater on the 27th and 31st. Significant water vapor and volcanic gas plumes, in particular SO2, were frequently detected by the SCAN DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) station and satellite data (figure 87). A M3.2 earthquake was felt in the area on 18 January. Similar activity continued through February with notable ash plumes up to 1 km, and a M3.6 earthquake was felt on the 6th. Ash and gas-and-steam plumes were reported throughout March with a maximum of 3.5 km on the 31st (figure 88). Significant water vapor and gas plumes continued from the Arenas crater throughout the month, and a thermal anomaly was noted on the 28th. An increase in seismicity was reported on the 29th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. Examples of SO2 plumes from Nevado del Ruiz detected by the Aura/OMI instrument on 10, 26, and 31 January 2019. Courtesy of Goddard Space Flight Center.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Ash plumes at Nevado del Ruiz during March. Webcam images courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano, various 2016 reports.

The activity continued into April with a M 3.0 earthquake felt by nearby inhabitants on the 8th, an increase in seismicity reported in the week of 12-18, and another significant increase on the 28th with earthquakes felt around Manizales. Thermal anomalies were noted during 12-18 April with the largest on the 16th. Ash plumes continued through the month as well as significant steam-and-gas plumes. Ashfall was reported in Murillo on the 29th.

The elevated activity continued through May with significant steam plumes up to 1.7 km above the crater during the week of 10-16. Thermal anomalies were reported on the 11th and 12th. Steam, gas, and ash plumes reached 2.5 km above the crater and dispersed to the W and NW. Ashfall was reported in La Florida on the 20th (figure 89) and multiple ash plumes on the 22nd reached 2.5 km and resulted in the closure of the La Nubia airport in Manizales. Ash and gas-and-steam emission continued during June (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Ash plumes at Nevado del Ruiz on 17, 18, and 20 May 2016 with fine ash deposited on a car in La Florida, Manizales on the 20th. Webcams located in the NE Guali sector of the volcano, courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano 20 May 2016 report.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Examples of gas-and-steam and ash plumes at Nevado del Ruiz during June and July 2016. Courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano (7 July 2016 report).

Similar activity was reported in July with gas-and-steam and ash plumes often dispersing to the NW and W. Ashfall was reported to the NW on 16 July (figure 91). Drumbeat seismicity was detected on 13, 15, 16, and 17 July, with two hours on the 16th being the longest duration episode do far. Drumbeat seismicity was noted by SGC as indicating dome growth. Significant water vapor and gas emissions continued through August. Ash plumes were reported through the month with plumes up to 1.3 km above the crater on 28 and 2.3 km on 29. Similar activity was reported through September as well as a thermal anomaly and ash deposition apparent in satellite data (figure 92). Drumbeat seismicity was noted again on the 17th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. The location of ashfall resulting from an explosion at Nevado del Ruiz on 16 July 2016 and a sample of the ash under a microscope. The ash is composed of lithics, plagioclase and pyroxene crystals, and minor volcanic glass. Courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano (16 July 2016 report).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. This Sentinel-2 thermal infrared satellite image shows elevated temperatures in the Nevado del Ruiz Arenas crater (yellow and orange) on 16 September 2016. Ash deposits are also visible to the NW of the crater. In this image blue is snow and ice. False color (urban) satellite image (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the week of 4-10 October it was noted that activity consisting of regular ash plumes had been ongoing for 22 months. Ash plumes continued with reported plumes reaching 2.5 above the crater throughout October (figure 93), accompanied by significant steam and water vapor emissions. A M 4.4 earthquake was felt nearby on the 7th. Similar activity continued through November and December 2016 with plumes consisting of gas and steam, and sometimes ash reaching 2 km above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. An ash plume rising above Nevado del Ruiz on 27 October 2016. Courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano.

Activity during 2017. Significant steam and gas emissions, especially SO2, continued into early 2017. Ash plumes detected through seismicity were confirmed in webcam images and through local reports; the plumes reached a maximum height of 2.5 km above the volcano on the 6th (figure 94). Drumbeat seismicity was recorded during 3-9, and on 22 January. Inflation was detected early in the month and several thermal anomalies were noted.

Intermittent deformation continued into February. Significant steam-and-gas emissions continued with intermittent ash plumes reaching 1.5-2 km above the volcano. Thermal anomalies were noted throughout the month and there was a significant increase in seismicity during 23-26 February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Ash plumes at Nevado del Ruiz on 6 January 2017. Courtesy of Servicio Geologico Colombiano.

Thermal anomalies continued to be detected through March. Ash plumes continued to be observed and recorded in seismicity and maximum heights of 2 km above the volcano were noted. Deflation continued after the intermittent inflation the previous month. On 10-11 April a period of short-duration and very low-energy drumbeat seismicity was recorded. Significant gas and steam emission continued through April with intermittent ash plumes reaching 1.5 km above the volcano. Thermal anomalies were detected early in the month.

Unrest continued through May with elevated seismicity, significant steam-and-gas emissions, and ash plumes reaching 1.7 km above the crater. Five episodes of drumbeat seismicity were recorded on 29 May and intermittent deformation continued. There were no available reports for June and July.

Variable seismicity was recorded during August and deflation was measured in the first week. Gas-and-steam plumes were observed rising to 850 m above the crater on the 3rd, and 450 m later in the month. A thermal anomaly was noted on the 14th. There were no available reports for September through December.

On 18 December 2017 the Washington VAAC issued an advisory for an ash plume to 6 km that was moving west and dispersing. The plume was described as a "thin veil of volcanic ash and gasses" that was seen in visible satellite imagery, NOAA/CIMSS, and supported by webcam imagery.

Geologic Background. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers more than 200 km2. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.

Information Contacts: Servicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC), Diagonal 53 No. 34-53 - Bogotá D.C., Colombia (URL: https://www2.sgc.gov.co/volcanes/index.html); Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales (URL: https://www.facebook.com/ovsmanizales); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Sabancaya (Peru) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions, ash and SO2 plumes, thermal anomalies, and lava dome growth during June-November 2019

Sabancaya is an andesitic stratovolcano located in Peru. The most recent eruptive episode began in early November 2016, which is characterized by gas-and-steam and ash emissions, seismicity, and explosive events (BGVN 44:06). The ash plumes are dispersed by wind with a typical radius of 30 km, which occasionally results in ashfall. Current volcanism includes high seismicity, gas-and-steam emissions, ash and SO2 plumes, numerous thermal anomalies, and explosive events. This report updates information from June through November 2019 using information primarily from the Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP) and Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico) (OVI-INGEMMET).

Table 5. Summary of eruptive activity at Sabancaya during June-November 2019 based on IGP weekly reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC advisories, the HIGP MODVOLC hotspot monitoring algorithm, and Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite data.

Month Avg. Daily Explosions by week Max plume Heights (km above crater) Plume drift MODVOLC Alerts Min Days with SO2 over 2 DU
Jun 2019 12, 13, 16, 17 2.6-3.8 30 km S, SW, E, SE, NW, NE 15 20
Jul 2019 23, 22, 16, 13 2.3-3.7 E, SE, S, NE 7 25
Aug 2019 12, 30, 25, 26 2-4.5 30 km NW, W S, NE, SE, SW 7 25
Sep 2019 29, 32, 24, 15 1.5-2.5 S, SE, E, W, NW, SW 14 26
Oct 2019 32, 36, 44, 48, 28 2.5-3.5 S, SE, SW, W 11 25
Nov 2019 58, 50, 47, 17 2-4 W, SW, S, NE, E 13 22

Explosions, ash emissions, thermal signatures, and high concentrations of SO2 were reported each week during June-November 2019 by IGP, the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), HIGP MODVOLC, and Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite data (table 5). Thermal anomalies were visible in the summit crater, even in the presence of meteoric clouds and ash plumes were occasionally visible rising from the summit in clear weather (figure 68). The maximum plume height reached 4.5 km above the crater drifting NW, W, and S the week of 29 July-4 August, according to IGP who used surveillance cameras to visually monitor the plume (figure 69). This ash plume had a radius of 30 km, which resulted in ashfall in Colca (NW) and Huambo (W). On 27 July the SO2 levels reached a high of 12,814 tons/day, according to INGEMMET. An average of 58 daily explosions occurred in early November, which is the largest average of this reporting period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery detected ash plumes, gas-and-steam emissions, and multiple thermal signatures (bright yellow-orange) in the crater at Sabancaya during June-November 2019. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. A webcam image of an ash plume rising from Sabancaya on 1 August 2019 at least 4 km above the crater. Courtesy of IGP.

Seismicity was also particularly high between August and September 2019, according to INGEMMET. On 14 August, roughly 850 earthquakes were detected. There were 280 earthquakes reported on 15 September, located 6 km NE of the crater. Both seismic events were characterized as seismic swarms. Seismicity decreased afterward but continued through the reporting period.

In February 2017, a lava dome was established inside the crater. Since then, it has been growing slowly, filling the N area of the crater and producing thermal anomalies. On 26 October 2019, OVI-INGEMMET conducted a drone overflight and captured video of the lava dome (figure 70). According to IGP, this lava dome is approximately 4.6 million cubic meters with a growth rate of 0.05 m3/s.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. Drone images of the lava dome and degassing inside the crater at Sabancaya on 26 (top) and 27 (bottom) October 2019. Courtesy of INGEMMET (Informe Ténico No A6969).

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows strong, consistent thermal anomalies occurring all throughout June through November 2019 (figure 71). In conjunction with these thermal anomalies, the October 2019 special issue report by INGEMMET showed new hotspots forming along the crater rim in July 2018 and August 2019 (figure 72).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Thermal anomalies at Sabancaya for 3 January through November 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent, strong, and consistent. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Thermal hotspots on the NW section of the crater at Sabancaya using MIROVA images. These images show the progression of the formation of at least two new hotspots between February 2017 to August 2019. Courtesy of INGEMMET, Informe Técnico No A6969.

Sulfur dioxide emissions also persisted at significant levels from June through November 2019, as detected by Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite data (figure 73). The satellite measurements of the SO2 emissions exceeded 2 DU (Dobson Units) at least 20 days each month during this time. These SO2 plumes sometimes occurred for multiple consecutive days (figure 74).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Consistent, large SO2 plumes from Sabancaya were seen in TROPOMI instrument satellite data throughout June-November 2019, many of which drifted in different directions based on the prevailing winds. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Persistent SO2 plumes from Sabancaya appeared daily during 13-16 September 2019 in the TROPOMI instrument satellite data. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Geologic Background. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), Calle Badajoz N° 169 Urb. Mayorazgo IV Etapa, Ate, Lima 15012, Perú (URL: https://www.gob.pe/igp); Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://SO2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

2.781°N, 125.407°E; summit elev. 1797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows, strong thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam emissions, and ash plumes during May-November 2019

Karangetang (also known as Api Siau), located on the island of Siau in the Sitaro Regency, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, has experienced more than 40 recorded eruptions since 1675 in addition to many smaller undocumented eruptions. In early February 2019, a lava flow originated from the N crater (Kawah Dua) traveling NNW and reaching a distance over 3 km. Recent monitoring showed a lava flow from the S crater (Kawah Utama, also considered the "Main Crater") traveling toward the Kahetang and Batuawang River drainages on 15 April 2019. Gas-and-steam emissions, ash plumes, moderate seismicity, and thermal anomalies including lava flow activity define this current reporting period for May through November 2019. The primary source of information for this report comes from daily and weekly reports by the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM, or the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and satellite data.

PVMBG reported that white gas-and-steam emissions were visible rising above both craters consistently between May through November 2019 (figures 30 and 31). The maximum altitude for these emissions was 400 m above the Dua Crater on 27 May and 700 m above the Main Crater on 12 June. Throughout the reporting period PVMBG noted that moderate seismicity occurred, which included both shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. A Sentinel-2 image of Karangetang showing two active craters producing gas-and-steam emissions with a small amount of ash on 7 August 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Webcam images of gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit of Karangetang on 14 (top) and 25 (bottom) October 2019. Courtesy of PVMBG via Øystein Lund Andersen.

Activity was relatively low between May and June 2019, consisting mostly of gas-and-steam emissions. On 26-27 May 2019 crater incandescence was observed above the Main Crater; white gas-and-steam emissions were rising from both craters (figures 32 and 33). At 1858 on 20 July, incandescent avalanches of material originating from the Main Crater traveled as far as 1 km W toward the Pangi and Kinali River drainages. By 22 July the incandescent material had traveled another 500 m in the same direction as well as 1 km in the direction of the Nanitu and Beha River drainages. According to a Darwin VAAC report, discreet, intermittent ash eruptions on 30 July resulted in plumes drifting W at 7.6 km altitude and SE at 3 km, as observed in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Photograph of summit crater incandescence at Karangetang on 12 May 2019. Courtesy of Dominik Derek.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Photograph of both summit crater incandescence at Karangetang on 12 May 2019 accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of Dominik Derek.

On 5 August 2019 a minor eruption produced an ash cloud that rose 3 km and drifted E. PVMBG reported in the weekly report for 5-11 August that an incandescent lava flow from the Main Crater was traveling W and SW on the slopes of Karangetang and producing incandescent avalanches (figure 34). During 12 August through 1 September lava continued to effuse from both the Main and Dua craters. Avalanches of material traveled as far as 1.5 km SW toward the Nanitu and Pangi River drainages, 1.4-2 km to the W of Pangi, and 1.8 km down the Sense River drainage. Lava fountaining was observed occurring up to 10 m above the summit on 14-20 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. Photograph of summit crater incandescence and a lava flow from Karangetang on 7 August 2019. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia.

PVMBG reported that during 2-22 September lava continued to effuse from both craters, traveling SW toward the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense River drainages as far as 1.5 km. On 24 September the lava flow occasionally traveled 0.8-1.5 km toward the West Beha River drainage. The lava flow from the Main Crater continued through at least the end of November, moving SW and W as far as 1.5 km toward the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense River drainages. In late October and onwards, incandescence from both summit craters was observed at night. The lava flow often traveled as far as 1 km toward the Batang and East Beha River drainage on 12 November, the West Beha River drainage on 15, 22, 24, and 29 November, and the Batang and West Beha River drainages on 25-27 November (figure 35). On 30 November a Strombolian eruption occurred in the Main Crater accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions rising 100 m above the Main Crater and 50 m above the Dua Crater. Lava flows traveled SW and W toward the Nanitu, Sense, and Pangi River drainages as far as 1.5 km, the West Beha and Batang River drainages as far as 1 km, and occasionally the Batu Awang and Kahetang River drainages as far as 2 km. Lava fountaining was reported occurring 10-25 m above the Main Crater and 10 m above the Dua Crater on 6, 8-12, 15, 21-30 November.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Webcam image of gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit of Karangetang accompanied by incandescence and lava flows at night on 27 November 2019. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia via Øystein Lund Andersen.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed consistent and strong thermal anomalies within 5 km of the summit craters from late July through November 2019 (figure 36). Satellite imagery from Sentinel-2 corroborated this data, showing strong thermal anomalies and lava flows originating from both craters during this same timeframe (figure 37). In addition to these lava flows, satellite imagery also captured intermittent gas-and-steam emissions from May through November (figure 38). MODVOLC thermal alerts registered 165 thermal hotspots near Karangetang's summit between May and November.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Frequent and strong thermal anomalies at Karangetang between 3 January through November 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) began in late July and were recorded within 5 km of the summit craters. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) confirmed ongoing thermal activity (bright orange) at Karangetang from July into November 2019. The lava flows traveled dominantly in the W direction from the Main Crater. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showing gas-and-steam emissions with a small amount of ash (middle and right) rising from both craters of Karangetang during May through November 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite data detected multiple sulfur dioxide plumes between May and November 2019 (figure 39). These emissions occasionally exceeded 2 Dobson Units (DU) and drifted in different directions based on the dominant wind pattern.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. SO2 emissions from Karangetang (indicated by the red box) were seen in TROPOMI instrument satellite data during May through November 2019, many of which drifted in different directions based on the prevailing winds. Top left: 27 May 2019. Top middle: 26 July 2019. Top right: 17 August 2019. Bottom left: 27 September 2019. Bottom middle: 3 October 2019. Bottom right: 21 November 2019. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Geologic Background. Karangetang (Api Siau) volcano lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, about 125 km NNE of the NE-most point of Sulawesi island. The stratovolcano contains five summit craters along a N-S line. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, with more than 40 eruptions recorded since 1675 and many additional small eruptions that were not documented in the historical record (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World: Neumann van Padang, 1951). Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosive activity sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Lava dome growth has occurred in the summit craters; collapse of lava flow fronts have produced pyroclastic flows.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://SO2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: https://www.oysteinlundandersen.com); Dominik Derek (URL: https://www.facebook.com/07dominikderek/).


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ulawun

Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New vent, lava fountaining, lava flow, and ash plumes in late September-October 2019

Ulawun is a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano located in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, with typical activity consisting of seismicity, gas-and-steam plumes, and ash emissions. The most recent eruption began in late June 2019 involving ash and gas-and-steam emissions, increased seismicity, and a pyroclastic flow (BGVN 44:09). This report includes volcanism from September to October 2019 with primary source information from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

Activity remained low through 26 September 2019, mainly consisting of variable amounts of gas-and-steam emissions and low seismicity. Between 26 and 29 September RVO reported that the seismicity increased slightly and included low-level volcanic tremors and Real-Time Seismic Amplitude Measurement (RSAM) values in the 200-400 range on 19, 20, and 22 September. On 30 September small volcanic earthquakes began around 1000 and continued to increase in frequency; by 1220, they were characterized as a seismic swarm. The Darwin VAAC advisory noted that an ash plume rose to 4.6-6 km altitude, drifting SW and W, based on ground reports.

On 1 October 2019 the seismicity increased, reaching RSAM values up to 10,000 units between 0130 and 0200, according to RVO. These events preceded an eruption which originated from a new vent that opened on the SW flank at 700 m elevation, about three-quarters of the way down the flank from the summit. The eruption started between 0430 and 0500 and was defined by incandescence and lava fountaining to less than 100 m. In addition to lava fountaining, light- to dark-gray ash plumes were visible rising several kilometers above the vent and drifting NW and W (figure 21). On 2 October, as the lava fountaining continued, ash-and-steam plumes rose to variable heights between 2 and 5.2 km (figures 22 and 23), resulting in ashfall to the W in Navo. Seismicity remained high, with RSAM values passing 12,000. A lava flow also emerged during the night which traveled 1-2 km NW. The main summit crater produced white gas-and-steam emissions, but no incandescence or other signs of activity were observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Photographs of incandescence and lava fountaining from Ulawun during 1-2 October 2019. A) Lava fountains along with ash plumes that rose several kilometers above the vent. B) Incandescence and lava fountaining seen from offshore. Courtesy of Christopher Lagisa.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Photographs of an ash plume rising from Ulawun on 1 October 2019. In the right photo, lava fountaining is visible. Courtesy of Christopher Lagisa.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Photograph of lava fountaining and an ash plume rising from Ulawun on 1 October 2019. Courtesy of Joe Metto, WNB Provincial Disaster Office (RVO Report 2019100101).

Ash emissions began to decrease by 3 October 2019; satellite imagery and ground observations showed an ash cloud rising to 3 km altitude and drifting N, according to the Darwin VAAC report. RVO reported that the fissure eruption on the SW flank stopped on 4 October, but gas-and-steam emissions and weak incandescence were still visible. The lava flow slowed, advancing 3-5 m/day, while declining seismicity was reflected in RSAM values fluctuating around 1,000. RVO reported that between 23 and 31 October the main summit crater continued to produce variable amounts of white gas-and-steam emissions (figure 24) and that no incandescence was observed after 5 October. Gas-and-steam emissions were also observed around the new SW vent and along the lava flow. Seismicity remained low until 27-29 October; it increased again and peaked on 30 October, reaching an RSAM value of 1,700 before dropping and fluctuating around 1,200-1,500.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Webcam photo of a gas-and-steam plume rising from Ulawun on 30 October 2019. Courtesy of the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO).

In addition to ash plumes, SO2 plumes were also detected between September and October 2019. Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI data showed SO2 plumes, some of which exceeded 2 Dobson Units (DU) drifting in different directions (figure 25). MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed strong, frequent thermal anomalies within 5 km of the summit beginning in early October 2019 and throughout the rest of the month (figure 26). Only one thermal anomaly was detected in early December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI data showing a high concentration of SO2 plumes rising from Ulawun between late September-early October 2019. Top left: 11 September 2019. Top right: 1 October 2019. Bottom left: 2 October 2019. Bottom right: 3 October 2019. Courtesy of the NASA Space Goddard Flight Center.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Frequent and strong thermal anomalies at Ulawun for February through December 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) began in early October and continued throughout the month. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity in November was relatively low, with only a variable amount of white gas-and-steam emissions visible and low (less than 200 RSAM units) seismicity with sporadic volcanic earthquakes. Between 9-22 December, a webcam showed intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions were observed at the main crater, accompanied by some incandescence at night. Some gas-and-steam emissions were also observed rising from the new SW vent along the lava flow.

Geologic Background. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. The volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the N coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1,000 m is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://SO2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Christopher Lagisa, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea (URL: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.lagisa, images posted at https://www.facebook.com/christopher.lagisa/posts/730662937360239 and https://www.facebook.com/christopher.lagisa/posts/730215604071639).


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strong thermal anomalies and fumaroles within the summit crater during June-November 2019

Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira) is a high-potassium basaltic shield volcano located in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Previous volcanism consisted of the reappearance of a lava lake in the summit crater in mid-April 2018, lava emissions, and high seismicity (BGVN 44:05). Current activity includes strong thermal signatures, continued inner crater wall collapses, and continued moderate seismicity. The primary source of information for this June-November 2019 report comes from the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data and imagery from multiple sources.

OVG reported in the July 2019 monthly that the inner crater wall collapses that were observed in May continued to occur. During this month, there was a sharp decrease in the lava lake level, and it is no longer visible. However, the report stated that lava fountaining was visible from a small cone within this crater, though its activity has also decreased since 2014. In late July, a thermal anomaly and fumaroles were observed originating from this cone (figure 85). Seismicity remained moderate throughout this reporting period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Photograph showing the small active cone within the crater of Nyamuragira in late July 2019. Fumaroles are also observed within the crater originating from the small cone. Courtesy of Sergio Maguna.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows strong, frequent thermal anomalies within 5 km of the summit between June through November (figure 86). The strength of these thermal anomalies noticeably decreases briefly in September. MODVOLC thermal alerts registered 54 thermal hotspots dominantly near the N area of the crater during June through November 2019. Satellite imagery from Sentinel-2 corroborated this data, showing strong thermal anomalies within the summit crater during this same timeframe (figure 87).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. The MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Nyamuragira during 30 January through November 2019 shows strong, frequent thermal anomalies through November with a brief decrease in activity in late April-early May and early September. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) confirmed ongoing thermal activity at Nyamuragira into November 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

Information Contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sergio Maguna (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sergio.maguna.9, images posted at https://www.facebook.com/sergio.maguna.9/posts/1267625096730837).


Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent gas-and-steam emissions and thermal anomalies during June-November 2019

Bagana volcano is found in a remote portion of central Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. The most recent eruptive phase that began in early 2000 has produced ash plumes and thermal anomalies (BGVN 44:06, 50:01). Activity has remained low between January-July 2019 with rare thermal anomalies and occasional steam plumes. This reporting period updates information for June-November 2019 and includes thermal anomalies and intermittent gas-and-steam emissions. Thermal data and satellite imagery are the primary sources of information for this report.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed an increased number of thermal anomalies within 5 km from the summit beginning in late July-early August (figure 38). Two Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed faint, roughly linear thermal anomalies, indicative of lava flows trending EW and NS on 7 July 2019 and 6 August, respectively (figure 39). Weak thermal hotspots were briefly detected in late September-early October after a short hiatus in September. No thermal anomalies were recorded in Sentinel-2 past August due to cloud cover; however, gas-and-steam emissions were visible on 7 July and in September (figures 39, 40, and 41).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Thermal anomalies near the crater summit at Bagana during February-November 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) increased in frequency and power in early August. A small cluster was detected in early October after a brief pause in activity in early September. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showing small thermal anomalies at Bagana between July-August 2019. Left: A very faint thermal anomaly and a gas-and-steam plume is seen on 7 July 2019. Right: Two small thermal anomalies are faintly seen on 6 August 2019. Both Sentinel-2 satellite images with "Atmospheric penetration" (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. A gas-and-steam plume rising from the summit of Bagana on 18 September 2019. Courtesy of Brendan McCormick Kilbride (University of Manchester).

The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) scientific team partnered with the Rabaul Volcano Observatory and the Bougainville Disaster Office to observe activity at Bagana and collect gas data using drone technology during two weeks of field work in mid-September 2019. For this field work, the major focus was to understand the composition of the volcanic gas emitted at Bagana and measure the concentration of these gases. Since Bagana is remote and difficult to climb, research about its gas emissions has been limited. The recent advancements in drone technology has allowed for new data collection at the summit of Bagana (figure 41). Most of the emissions consisted of water vapor, according to Brendan McCormick Kilbride, one of the volcanologists on this trip. During 14-19 September there was consistently a strong gas-and-steam plume from Bagana (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Degassing plumes seen from drone footage 100 m above the summit of Bagana. Top: Zoomed out view of the summit of Bagana degassing. Bottom: Closer perspective of the gases emitted from Bagana. Courtesy of Kieran Wood (University of Bristol) and the Bristol Flight Laboratory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Photos of gas-and-steam plumes rising from Bagana between 14-19 September 2019. Courtesy of Brendan McCormick Kilbride (University of Manchester).

Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

Information Contacts: MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Brendan McCormick Kilbride, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/brendan.mccormickkilbride.html, Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendanVolc); Kieran Wood, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1QU, United Kingdom (URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/people/kieran-t-wood/index.html, Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrKieranWood, video posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Hx645v0eU); University of Bristol Flight Laboratory, Bristol BS8 1QU, United Kingdom (Twitter: https://twitter.com/UOBFlightLab).


Kerinci (Indonesia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

1.697°S, 101.264°E; summit elev. 3800 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent gas-and-steam and ash plumes during June-early November 2019

Kerinci, located in Sumatra, Indonesia, is a highly active volcano characterized by explosive eruptions with ash plumes and gas-and-steam emissions. The most recent eruptive episode began in April 2018 and included intermittent explosions with ash plumes. Volcanism continued from June-November 2019 with ongoing intermittent gas-and-steam and ash plumes. The primary source of information for this report comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and MAGMA Indonesia.

Brown- to gray-colored ash clouds drifting in different directions were reported by PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC, and MAGMA Indonesia between June and early November 2019. Ground observations, satellite imagery, and weather models were used to monitor the plume, which ranged from 4.3 to 4.9 km altitude, or about 500-1,100 m above the summit. On 7 June 2019 at 0604 a gray ash emission rose 800 m above the summit, drifting E, according to a ground observer. An ash plume on 12 July rose to 4 km altitude and drifted SW, as determined by satellite imagery and weather models. An eruption produced a gray ash cloud on 31 July that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted NE and E, according to PVMBG and the Darwin VAAC (figure 17). Another ash cloud rose up to 4.3 km altitude on 3 August. On 2 September a possible ash plume rose to a maximum altitude of 4.9 km and drifted WSW, according to the Darwin VAAC advisory.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. A gray ash plume at Kerinci rose roughly 800 m above the summit on 31 July 2019 and drifted NE and E. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia.

Brown ash emissions rose to 4.4 km altitude at 1253 on 6 October, drifting WSW. Similar plumes reached 4.6 km altitude twice on 30 October and moved NE, SE, and E at 0614 and WSW at 1721, based on ground observations. On 1-2 November, ground observers saw brown ash emissions rising up to 4.3 km drifting ESE. Between 3 and 5 November the brown ash plumes rose 100-500 m above the summit, according to PVMBG.

Gas emissions continued to be observed through November, as reported by PVMBG and identified in satellite imagery (figure 18). Seismicity that included volcanic earthquakes also continued between June and early November, when the frequency decreased.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showing a typical white gas-and-steam plume at Kerinci on 9 August 2019. Sentinel-2 satellite image with "Atmospheric penetration" (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Gunung Kerinci in central Sumatra forms Indonesia's highest volcano and is one of the most active in Sumatra. It is capped by an unvegetated young summit cone that was constructed NE of an older crater remnant. There is a deep 600-m-wide summit crater often partially filled by a small crater lake that lies on the NE crater floor, opposite the SW-rim summit. The massive 13 x 25 km wide volcano towers 2400-3300 m above surrounding plains and is elongated in a N-S direction. Frequently active, Kerinci has been the source of numerous moderate explosive eruptions since its first recorded eruption in 1838.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Bezymianny (Russia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava dome growth, ongoing thermal anomalies, moderate gas-steam emissions, June-November 2019

The long-term activity at Bezymianny has been dominated by almost continuous thermal anomalies, moderate gas-steam emissions, dome growth, lava flows, and an occasional ash explosion (BGVN 44:06). The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT. Throughout the reporting period of June to November 2019, the Aviation Colour Code remained Yellow (second lowest of four levels).

According to KVERT weekly reports, lava dome growth continued in June through mid-July 2019. Thereafter the reports did not mention dome growth, but indicated that moderate gas-and-steam emissions (figure 32) continued through November. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, based on analysis of MODIS data, detected hotspots within 5 km of the summit almost every day. KVERT also reported a thermal anomaly over the volcano almost daily, except when it was obscured by clouds. Infrared satellite imagery often showed thermal anomalies generated by lava flows or dome growth (figure 33).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Photo of Bezymianny showing fumarolic activity on 4 July 2019. Photo by O. Girina (IVS FEB RAS, KVERT); courtesy of KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Typical infrared satellite images of Bezymianny showing thermal anomalies in the summit crater, including a lava flow to the WNW. Top: 21 August 2019 with SWIR filter (bands 12, 8A, 4). Bottom: 17 September 2019 with Atmospheric Penetration filter (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Mayon (Philippines) — November 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Mayon

Philippines

13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gas-and-steam plumes and summit incandescence during May-October 2019

Mayon, located in the Philippines, is a highly active stratovolcano with recorded historical eruptions dating back to 1616. The most recent eruptive episode began in early January 2018 that consisted of phreatic explosions, steam-and-ash plumes, lava fountaining, and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 43:04). The previous report noted small but distinct thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam plumes, and slight inflation (BGVN 44:05) that continued to occur from May into mid-October 2019. This report includes information based on daily bulletins from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery.

Between May and October 2019, white gas-and-steam plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 800 m on 17 May. PHIVOLCS reported that faint summit incandescence was frequently observed at night from May-July and Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed weaker thermal anomalies in September and October (figure 49); the last anomaly was identified on 12 October. Average SO2 emissions as measured by PHIVOLCS generally varied between 469-774 tons/day; the high value of the period was on 25 July, with 1,171 tons/day. Small SO2 plumes were detected by the TROPOMI satellite instrument a few times during May-September 2019 (figure 50).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Mayon between May-October 2019. Small thermal anomalies were recorded in satellite imagery from the summit and some white gas-and-steam plumes are visible. Top left: 30 May 2019. Top right: 9 June 2019. Bottom left: 22 September 2019. Bottom right: 12 October 2019. Sentinel-2 satellite images with "Atmospheric penetration" (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. Small SO2 plumes rising from Mayon during May-September 2019 recorded in DU (Dobson Units). Top left: 28 May 2019. Top right: 26 July 2019. Bottom left: 16 August 2019. Bottom right: 23 September 2019. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Continuous GPS data has shown slight inflation since June 2018, corroborated by precise leveling data taken on 9-17 April, 16-25 July, and 23-30 October 2019. Elevated seismicity and occasional rockfall events were detected by the seismic monitoring network from PHIVOLCS from May to July; recorded activity decreased in August. Activity reported by PHIVOLCS in September-October 2019 consisted of frequent gas-and-steam emissions, two volcanic earthquakes, and no summit incandescence.

Geologic Background. Beautifully symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple edifice has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://SO2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Merapi (Indonesia) — October 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Low-volume dome growth continues during April-September 2019 with rockfalls and small block-and-ash flows

Merapi is an active volcano north of the city of Yogyakarta (figure 79) that has a recent history of dome growth and collapse, resulting in block-and-ash flows that killed over 400 in 2010, while an estimated 10,000-20,000 lives were saved by evacuations. The edifice contains an active dome at the summit, above the Gendol drainage down the SE flank (figure 80). The current eruption episode began in May 2018 and dome growth was observed from 11 August 2018-onwards. This Bulletin summarizes activity during April through September 2019 and is based on information from Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG, the Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology, a branch of PVMBG), Sutopo of Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), MAGMA Indonesia, along with observations by Øystein Lund Andersen and Brett Carr of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Merapi volcano is located north of Yogyakarta in Central Java. Photo courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. A view of the Gendol drainage where avalanches and block-and-ash flows are channeled from the active Merapi lava dome. The Gendol drainage is approximately 400 m wide at the summit. Courtesy of Brett Carr, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

At the beginning of April the rate of dome growth was relatively low, with little morphological change since January, but the overall activity of Merapi was considered high. Magma extrusion above the upper Gendol drainage resulted in rockfalls and block-and-ash flows out to 1.5 km from the dome, which were incandescent and visible at night. Five block-and-ash flows were recorded on 24 April, reaching as far as 1.2 km down the Gendol drainage. The volume of the dome was calculated to be 466,000 m3 on 9 April, a slight decrease from the previous week. Weak gas plumes reached a maximum of 500 m above the dome throughout April.

Six block-and-ash flows were generated on 5 May, lasting up to 77 seconds. Throughout May there were no significant changes to the dome morphology but the volume had decreased to 458,000 by 4 May according to drome imagery analysis. Lava extrusion continued above the Gendol drainage, producing rockfalls and small block-and-ash flows out to 1.2 km (figure 81). Gas plumes were observed to reach 400 m above the top of the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. An avalanche from the Merapi summit dome on 17 May 2019. The incandescent blocks traveled down to 850 m away from the dome. Courtesy of Sutopo, BNPB.

There were a total of 72 avalanches and block-and-ash flows from 29 January to 1 June, with an average distance of 1 km and a maximum of 2 km down the Gendol drainage. Photographs taken by Øystein Lund Andersen show the morphological change to the lava dome due to the collapse of rock and extruding lava down the Gendol drainage (figures 82 and 83). Block-and-ash flows were recorded on 17 and 20 June to a distance of 1.2 km, and a webcam image showed an incandescent flow on 26 June (figure 84). Throughout June gas plumes reached a maximum of 250 m above the top of the crater

Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. The development of the Merapi summit dome from 2 June 2018 to 17 June 2019. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Photos taken of the Merapi summit lava dome in June 2019. Top: This nighttime time-lapse photograph shows incandescence at the south-facing side of the dome on the 16 June. Middle: A closeup of a small rockfall from the dome on 17 June. Bottom: A gas plume accompanying a small rockfall on 17 June. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Blocks from an incandescent rockfall off the Merapi dome reached out to 1 km down the Gendol drainage on 26 June 2019. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia.

Analysis of drone images taken on 4 July gave an updated dome volume of 475,000 m3, a slight increase but with little change in the morphology (figure 85). Block-and-ash flows traveled 1.1 km down the Gendol drainage on 1 July, 1 km on the 13th, and 1.1 km on the 14th, some of which were seen at night as incandescent blocks fell from the dome (figure 86). During the week of 19-25 July there were four recorded block-and-ash flows reaching 1.1 km, and flows traveled out to around 1 km on the 24th, 27th, and 31st. The morphology of the dome continued to be relatively stable due to the extruding lava falling into the Gendol drainage. Gas plumes reached 300 m above the top of the crater during July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. The Merapi dome on 30 July 2019 producing a weak plume. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Incandescent rocks from the hot lava dome at the summit of Merapi form rockfalls down the Gendol drainage on 14 July 2019. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen.

During the week of 5-11 August the dome volume was calculated to be 461,000 m3, a slight decrease from the week before with little morphological changes due to the continued lava extrusion collapsing into the Gendol drainage. There were five block-and-ash flows reaching a maximum of 1.2 km during 2-8 August. Two flows were observed on the 13th and 14th reaching 950 m, out to 1.9 km on the 20th and 22nd, and to 550 m on the 24th. There were 16 observed flows that reached 500-1,000 m on 25-27 August, with an additional flow out to 2 km at 1807 on the 27th (figure 87). Gas plumes reached a maximum of 350 m through the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. An incandescent rockfall from the Merapi dome that reached 2 km down the Gendol drainage on 27 August 2019. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Brett Carr was conducting field work at Merapi during 12-26 September. During this time the lava extrusion was low (below 1 m3 per second). He observed small rockfalls with blocks a couple of meters in size, traveling about 50-200 m down the drainage every hour or so, producing small plumes as they descended and resulting in incandescence on the dome at night. Small dome collapse events produced block-and-ash flows down the drainage once or twice per day (figure 88) and slightly larger flows just over 1 km long a couple of times per week.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. A rockfall on the Merapi dome, towards the Gendol drainage at 0551 on 20 September 2019. Courtesy of Brett Carr, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The dome volume was 468,000 m3 by 19 September, a slight increase from the previous calculation but again with little morphological change. Two block-and-ash flows were observed out to 600 m on 9 September and seven occurred on the 9th out to 500-1,100 m. Two occurred on the 14th down to 750-900 m, three occurred on 17, 20, and 21 September to a maximum distance of 1.2 km, and three more out to 1.5 km through the 26th. A VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) was issued on the 22nd due to a small explosion producing an ash plume up to approximately 3.8 km altitude (about 800 m above the summit) and minor ashfall to 15 km SW. This was followed by a block-and-ash flow reaching as far as 1.2 km and lasting for 125 seconds (figure 89). Preceding the explosion there was an increase in temperature at several locations on the dome. Weak gas plumes were observed up to 100 m above the crater throughout the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. An explosion at Merapi on 22 September 2019 was followed by a block-and-ash flow that reached 1.2 km down the Gendol drainage. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/BNPB_Indonesia); Øystein Lund Andersen? (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com); Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB (Twitter: @Sutopo_PN, URL: https://twitter.com/Sutopo_PN); Brett Carr, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY, USA (URL: https://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/user/bcarr).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 19, Number 07 (July 1994)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Aira (Japan)

Volcanism continues; 14 explosive eruptions

Arenal (Costa Rica)

Continued gas and lava emissions; sporadic Strombolian eruptions

Asosan (Japan)

Crater 1 at Nakadake still restless

Batur (Indonesia)

First significant eruptive activity in 18 years leads to ashfall 6 km WSW of the summit

Cumbal (Colombia)

Increased fumarolic activity

Etna (Italy)

Explosive degassing from La Voragine; fumarole temperatures reported

Galeras (Colombia)

Seismicity remains low; crater described and fumarole temperatures reported

Gamalama (Indonesia)

Eruptions generate ash cloud to ~5 km altitude and cause ashfall

Huila, Nevado del (Colombia)

Description of the Paez earthquake's mass wasting

Ijen (Indonesia)

Minor phreatic eruption in February described

Kanaga (United States)

Steam-and-ash plume rises 4,500 m; enlarged hot spot on imagery

Kilauea (United States)

Bench collapses and littoral explosions occur as lava flows continue to enter the ocean

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Frequent ash explosions (300-450/day) reach heights up to 500 m

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Thick ash clouds from Crater 2 accompanied by explosion sounds

Lascar (Chile)

Moderate short-lived eruption sends plume over Argentina

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

Explosions on 5-7 July generate ash clouds and eject lava fragments

Marapi (Indonesia)

Eruption sends ash column to ~6 km above sea level; summary of 1993 activity

Masaya (Nicaragua)

Sulfur-rich plume and incandescent ejections from opening in lava lake

Merapi (Indonesia)

Increased deformation precedes a nuee ardente

Momotombo (Nicaragua)

Summit fumarole temperatures range from 238 to 655°C

Nyamuragira (DR Congo)

High lava fountains feed lava flow on NW flank

Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

Lava lake activity produces strong red glow above crater

Poas (Costa Rica)

Ashfall SW of the summit covers 56 km2

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Seismicity remains low; minor subsidence

Ruapehu (New Zealand)

Relatively stable with water cooling of Crater Lake

Semeru (Indonesia)

Small ash eruptions to 500 m above the summit

Telica (Nicaragua)

Explosive eruption causes ashfall >12 km SW of the summit

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

White vapor emissions and low-frequency tremor

Unzendake (Japan)

Lava lobe 13 grows endogenously but then nearly stops growing in late-July

White Island (New Zealand)

No eruptive activity, but new shifts in leveling and magnetic data



Aira (Japan) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcanism continues; 14 explosive eruptions

Sakura-jima generated 22 eruptions in July, including 14 explosive ones. None of them caused damage. The highest plume rose to 2.2 km (at 1859 on 5 July). In July, the amount of ashfall at [KLMO] was 237 g/m3. Volcanic swarms were absent in July but 520 earthquakes were detected at a seismic station 2.3 km NW of Minami-dake crater.

Geologic Background. The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

Information Contacts: JMA.


Arenal (Costa Rica) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Arenal

Costa Rica

10.463°N, 84.703°W; summit elev. 1670 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued gas and lava emissions; sporadic Strombolian eruptions

At . . . Crater C, July marked another month of continued gas and lava emissions, and sporadic Strombolian eruptions. During July, the lava flow that began at the end of April continued to erupt and flow down an established channel. During 23 days in July, seismic station VACR (2.7 km NE of crater C) recorded an average of 18 events/day. These were interspersed with days having very low seismicity and tremor. Beginning on 23 July, Strombolian-type eruptions became common, and during 23-30 July they were seen 52 times. In some cases these eruptions were accompanied by sounds similar to a jet or steam engine. On 28 July tremor reached an amplitude of 27 mm at a frequency below 2.5 Hz.

Geologic Background. Conical Volcán Arenal is the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica and one of its most active. The 1670-m-high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal lies along a volcanic chain that has migrated to the NW from the late-Pleistocene Los Perdidos lava domes through the Pleistocene-to-Holocene Chato volcano, which contains a 500-m-wide, lake-filled summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of Chato ended about 3500 years ago. Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. An eruptive period that began with a major explosive eruption in 1968 ended in December 2010; continuous explosive activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyroclastic flows characterized the eruption from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank.

Information Contacts: E. Fernández, J. Barquero, V. Barboza, R. Van der Laat, F. de Obaldia, and T. Marino, OVSICORI; G. Soto, G. Alvarado, and F. Arias, ICE; M. Mora, C. Ramirez, and G. Peraldo, Univ de Costa Rica.


Asosan (Japan) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Asosan

Japan

32.884°N, 131.104°E; summit elev. 1592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Crater 1 at Nakadake still restless

Crater 1 remained restless through July, but the intensity of activity became more moderate compared to the last two months. Through July the average amplitude of continuous tremor was around 0.1 µm.

Geologic Background. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 km3 of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 CE. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Information Contacts: JMA.


Batur (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Batur

Indonesia

8.242°S, 115.375°E; summit elev. 1717 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


First significant eruptive activity in 18 years leads to ashfall 6 km WSW of the summit

Beginning on 4 August, the daily number of A-type volcanic earthquakes increased to 14; two days later 125 events were registered. An eruption on 7 August from the E part of the summit, Batur Crater III, caused ashfall as far as ~6 km WSW (figure 1). Ash covered Kintamani on the caldera rim, one of Bali's famous tourist attractions. Incandescent lava fragments and black smoke were ejected to heights of 300 m. None of the larger lava fragments fell outside of the active crater. News reports indicated that the eruption generated 960 explosions through 11 August. Volcanic tremor recorded by the VSI on 13 August had a maximum amplitude of 4.5 mm, but was increasing. By 14 August, when lava reached the surface, the tremor amplitude was 23 mm.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of the Batur caldera, showing hazard zones, selected towns, and extent of ashfall from the eruption that began on 7 Aug 1994. The inner caldera is not shown, but includes most of danger zones I and II. Courtesy of VSI.

As of 18 August, no evacuations from the area around the . . . volcano had taken place. About 180,000 people live in Bangli Regency, but only ~500 live in what a spokesman called the "critical region." Batur was declared off-limits for climbers on 7 August, and local villagers were put on alert. An official at a monitoring center said tourists who evaded guards and climbed the mountain were taking large risks. According to press reports, the eruptions have not reduced the number of visitors to the popular resort island; Batur's crater attracts ~300 people every day. Many observe the volcanic activity from Kintamani, on the crater rim (figure 1).

Geologic Background. The historically active Batur is located at the center of two concentric calderas NW of Agung volcano. The outer 10 x 13.5 km wide caldera was formed during eruption of the Bali (or Ubud) Ignimbrite about 29,300 years ago and now contains a caldera lake on its SE side, opposite the satellitic Gunung Abang cone, the topographic high of the complex. The inner 6.4 x 9.4 km wide caldera was formed about 20,150 years ago during eruption of the Gunungkawi Ignimbrite. The SE wall of the inner caldera lies beneath Lake Batur; Batur cone has been constructed within the inner caldera to a height above the outer caldera rim. The Batur stratovolcano has produced vents over much of the inner caldera, but a NE-SW fissure system has localized the Batur I, II, and III craters along the summit ridge. Historical eruptions have been characterized by mild-to-moderate explosive activity sometimes accompanied by lava emission. Basaltic lava flows from both summit and flank vents have reached the caldera floor and the shores of Lake Batur in historical time.

Information Contacts: VSI; AP; Reuters; UPI; ANS; D. Shackleford, Fullerton CA, USA.


Cumbal (Colombia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Cumbal

Colombia

0.95°N, 77.87°W; summit elev. 4764 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased fumarolic activity

"Cumbal . . . (figure 1), has been showing signs of possible reactivation during the past year. New fumaroles have appeared and the gas column has grown noticeably larger. Cumbal was visited by volcanologists from INGEOMINAS and the Univ de Montréal on 11-15 July 1994. A portable seismometer was installed . . . at 4,185 m elev, ~580 m below the summit. Both high-frequency and long-period events were recorded, as well as some possible tremor episodes. Several fumarole fields at the summit (figure 2) exhibited maximum temperatures as follows: El Verde, 378°C; El Tábano, 191°C; La Desfondada, 132°C; La Plazuela, 99°C; La Grieta-verde, 84°C; Vecino a la verde, 80°C. El Tábano is a new fumarole field that appeared in early 1994. For comparison, in 1988 El Verde had measured temperatures of 150-326°C. The El Verde fumaroles produced audible noise. Most of the gas column at Cumbal appeared to emanate from the El Verde fumaroles."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Location map showing Cumbal volcano and the city of Cumbal. Modified from Mendez (1989).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Sketch map of the crater area of Cumbal, July 1994, showing fumarole locations. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Reference. Mendez F., R.A., 1989, Catálogo de los volcanes actives de Colombia: Bol. Geol., v. 30, no. 3, 75 p.

Geologic Background. Many youthful lava flows extend from the glacier-capped Cumbal volcano, the southernmost historically active volcano of Colombia. The volcano is elongated in a NE-SW direction and is composed primarily of andesitic-dacitic lava flows. Two fumarolically active craters occupy the summit ridge: the main crater on the NE side and Mundo Nuevo crater on the SW. A young lava dome occupies the 250-m-wide summit crater, and eruptions from the upper E flank produced a 6-km-long lava field. The oldest crater lies NNE of the summit crater, suggesting SW-ward migration of activity. Explosive eruptions in 1877 and 1926 are the only known historical activity. Thermal springs are located on the SE flanks.

Information Contacts: G. Patricia Cortes and R. Torres Corredor, INGEOMINAS, Pasto; J. Stix and M. Heiligmann, Univ de Montréal.


Etna (Italy) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3295 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive degassing from La Voragine; fumarole temperatures reported

The following describes [fieldwork] on 1-27 June and 10-18 July 1994.

"As during visits in June-July and September-October 1993, Northeast Crater was blocked and inactive, but collapse was continuing around the edge with minor rockfalls every few minutes or so. Southeast Crater was also little changed from 1993, with a quietly degassing vent under the SE rim, but no indication of gas coming out under pressure. There was strong high-temperature fumarolic activity around the crater rim, temperatures being generally highest in the cracks.

"The Chasm (La Voragine) had a single vent in its floor measuring ~ 8 x 10 m, discharging gas continuously under pressure in rhythmic puffs at a rate of ~ 30 puffs/min. On 17 June and 12 July only, distinct explosions could be heard at the rate of 1-8/min. These were the first signs of explosive activity since the end of the 1991-93 eruption, and an indication that the Strombolian degassing that has characterized the summit over the past few hundred years is resuming.

"Bocca Nuova vent was degassing almost totally silently from two vents, one to the SE and one to the W; however, on 27 June when the weather was calm, 13 very faint gas puffs/min could be heard. The SE vent seemed similar to last year, measuring ~ 10 m in diameter, but the W vent had collapsed and enlarged considerably, now measuring perhaps as much as 50 m in diameter. On the early morning of 16 June a reddish tinge to the plume above Bocca Nuova was first noticed. Upon closer inspection on 17 June, the SE vent was seen to be pouring out thick clouds of red dust, apparently a result of internal collapse within the vent, while the W vent continued to emit white fume only. Dust emission intensified in the following days, causing the downwind side (S through W) of the summit to become a striking red color. The activity was continuing in mid-July.

"The levelling traverse showed comparatively small vertical movements since September 1993. The area near Belvedere, and other areas over the dyke intruded during the 1991-93 eruption, had subsided by up to 2 cm, as had the NE rift zone near Monte Pizzillo. During the same period, a small area ~1 km SW of the summit inflated by just over 1 cm. Horizontal movements measured since October 1993 showed generally small or insignificant changes, with nearly all lines recording changes of >1 cm. Only two stations appear to have moved by more than this; a station on the E edge of Southeast Crater had shifted 3 cm E relative to nearby stations, and a station close to the NW edge of the Bocca Nuova had moved 2 cm W. These movements are consistent with expansion of the central magma column as it refills.

"Surface temperatures were measured between 1 and 27 June at four active fumarole areas with a Minolta/Land Cyclops Compac 3 hand-held radiometer (8-14 mm). Temperatures were not corrected for spectral emissivity, so all radiant temperatures are given here as brightness temperatures. On the NE rift zone, nine areas of fumaroles were observed near the N edge of the 1966-67 lavas (between 2,450 and 2,500 m altitude). Temperatures for fumaroles at the two lowest of these areas ranged between 33 and 50°C. Another area of fumaroles observed at the upper rim of the W wall of the Valle del Bove around Belvedere, above the 1991-93 dyke, had temperatures in the 57.5-84.7°C range. Temperatures measured at fumaroles and cracks in the still-cooling 1991-93 lava-flow field in the Valle del Bove were between 85 and 221°C. The locations and temperatures of fumarole areas measured in the vicinity of the summit craters are given in table 5. Temperatures of the vents within the central craters were also measured from the crater rim: 342°C for the Chasm vent, and 159 and 81.5°C, respectively, for the SE and W vents of Bocca Nuova. Active fumaroles were observed, but not measured, along the 1991-93 fissure zone and 14 December 1991 cones and flows between Southeast Crater and Belvedere, along the October 1986 fissure zone, and in the Valle del Bove below Monte Simone."

Table 5. Fumarole temperatures in the vicinity of Etna's summit craters, measured on 18 and 27 June, and 14 October 1994. Courtesy of Andrew Harris, Open University.

Date Fumarole / Rift Locations Temperature (°C)
27 Jun 1994 NE Crater - at N rim 50.4-65.0
27 Jun 1994 NE Crater - rifts at NW rim 56.0-141
27 Jun 1994 NE Crater - at dip in NW rim 45.5-97.4
27 Jun 1994 NE Crater - at E rim 51.4-85.6
18 Jun 1994 Bocca Nuova - on N slope 40.5-75.6
18, 27 Jun 1994 Bocca Nuova - inside N rim 42.2-54.3
27 Jun 1994 Bocca Nuova - rifts at N rim 52.0-74.4
18 Jun 1994 Bocca Nuova - at SW rim 52.0-65.7
18, 27 Jun 1994 Central Craters - at S rim 40.6-82.6
27 Jun 1994 Between central and SE Craters 59.1-81.3
18, 27 Jun 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at N rim 51.2-312
27 Jun 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at W rim 60.0-208
14 Oct 1994 NE Crater - fumarole at N rim 39.2-77.4
14 Oct 1994 NE Crater - rifts at NW rim 153-246
14 Oct 1994 NE Crater - fumarole at W flank 50.4-74.2
14 Oct 1994 NE Crater - fumarole at W rim 41.0-210
14 Oct 1994 NE Crater - fumarole at S rim 50.5-221
14 Oct 1994 Bocca Nuova - fumarole at N flank 50.1-75.5
14 Oct 1994 Bocca Nuova - rifts and fumarole at N rim 47.3-74.5
14 Oct 1994 Bocca Nuova - fumarole at SW rim 50.0-72.4
14 Oct 1994 Central Craters - fumarole at S rim 49.2-82.4
14 Oct 1994 Fumarole between central and SE craters 50.2-82.8
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at N rim 57.5-482
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at NW rim 56.4-218
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at W rim 46.8-99.5
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at S rim 49.9-88.0
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at E rim 68.5-180
14 Oct 1994 SE Crater - rifts and fumarole at NE rim 52.2-121

Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

Information Contacts: J. Murray and A. Harris, Open Univ; L. Platt, Sheffield Univ; D. Renouf, UK.


Galeras (Colombia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismicity remains low; crater described and fumarole temperatures reported

Seismicity during June and July showed no significant changes. . . . Low-frequency seismicity was at very low levels during June, although a "screw-type" event did occur; this type of event was numerous before eruptions in 1992-93. Shallow "butterfly-type" activity during the first half of June was similar to May, when the number of events decreased notably. These small-amplitude, short-duration, high-frequency events, interpreted as caused by fluid movement or rock fracture at shallow depths (<2 km) near the active cone, increased in number in the second half of June and through July. During June the fracture events were located N of the volcano, near the source that was active during November-December 1993, with other fracture events to the NE or closer to the crater. Additional sources were W and S of the crater. Fracture activity within the crater consisted of very small magnitude events (M <2.3) at depths between 2.1 and 9.7 km.

The active inner cone was visited on 21 July 1994 by volcanologists from INGEOMINAS and the Univ de Montréal. The morphology of the cone was modified considerably by the eruptions of 1992-93, which seem to have progressively deepened the crater to the present level of 200-300 m (figure 71). Prior to dome emplacement during October-November 1991 the crater was ~ 150 m deep; after dome growth in 1991-92, the crater was ~80 m deep. A N-S trending fracture, named Novedad, now breaches the S crater rim. Partial collapse of the crater rim and blocks 10-20 cm in size were noted on the N side of the cone.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Sketch map (top) and perspective view (bottom) of the Galeras crater, July 1994. Small ovals represent fumaroles; crater depth is ~200-300 m. View is from the west. Drawn by Milton Ordonez, INGEOMINAS.

Some low-pressure fumaroles were noted in the deepest part of the crater, but gas was being emitted mainly in the shallower W and SW sectors. At Deformes fumarole, on the SW flank of the cone, temperature was measured and gas samples were collected for analysis. Maximum temperature was 138°C, significantly cooler than the ~200°C recorded in December 1992 and January 1993 (Zapata G., 1992; Goff et al., 1993). Besolima, generally the hottest measured fumarole on the cone's outer flanks, had largely disappeared. Las Chavas fumarole showed very low activity with a maximum temperature of 105°C. A new fumarole near the W rim of the cone, named Nuevas, had temperatures of 208 and 392°C. This fumarole is in the area where Florencia fumarole and remnants of the lava dome (destroyed in July 1992) had temperatures of 640°C on 26 November 1992 (Zapata G., 1992).

Stationary COSPEC measurements of SO2 in June from five points around the volcano showed low levels of gases (18-176 t/d), similar to the measurements obtained using the mobile COSPEC (79-217 t/d). July degassing was concentrated on the W periphery of the active cone, with low concentrations of SO2 (<220 t/d) measured by COSPEC.

Electronic tiltmeter variations in June at the Peladitos station were 2.4 µrad in the tangential component and 7.8 µrad in the radial component. The Crater tiltmeter fluctuated in June due to electronic problems; no deformation was observed in July. On 7 July the Agua Tibia springs, located in the Rio Azufral valley 5 km W of the active cone, had a temperature of 21°C and pH of 5.

References. Zapata G., J.A., 1992, Visita al crater del volcan Galeras: INGEOMINAS Internal Report, 30 November 1992, 2 p.

Goff, F., McMurtry, G.M., Adams, A.I., and Roldán-M., A., 1993, Stable isotopes and tritium of magmatic water at Galeras volcano, Colombia: EOS, Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 74(43), p. 690.

Geologic Background. Galeras, a stratovolcano with a large breached caldera located immediately west of the city of Pasto, is one of Colombia's most frequently active volcanoes. The dominantly andesitic complex has been active for more than 1 million years, and two major caldera collapse eruptions took place during the late Pleistocene. Long-term extensive hydrothermal alteration has contributed to large-scale edifice collapse on at least three occasions, producing debris avalanches that swept to the west and left a large horseshoe-shaped caldera inside which the modern cone has been constructed. Major explosive eruptions since the mid-Holocene have produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that swept all but the southern flanks. A central cone slightly lower than the caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate historical eruptions since the time of the Spanish conquistadors.

Information Contacts: R. Corredor and C. Gonzalez, INGEOMINAS, Pasto; J. Stix and M. Heiligmann, Univ de Montréal.


Gamalama (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Gamalama

Indonesia

0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions generate ash cloud to ~5 km altitude and cause ashfall

A NOTAM that originated from the Ujung Pandang FIR on 6 May 1994 requested that all aircraft avoid the area around Gamalama volcano. VSI did not note any unusual activity on that day, and no ash cloud was detected on satellite imagery. The warning only noted that the height of "dust" was variable.

Members of the SVE visited Gamalama at 1130 on 21 July. Summit activity consisted of violent degassing from the summit crater, producing a white-gray plume above the volcano; no solid material was ejected during the observations. A small active fumarolic area on the W crater rim exhibited yellow sulfur deposits. White vapor was rising from a large crack on the E crater rim, a part of the crater that appeared to be very unstable. The bottom of the crater could not be seen from the rim.

VSI reported that activity from the main crater increased with a sudden eruption on 5 August 1994 at 2125. The eruption produced an ash cloud to a height of 3,000 m above the summit . . . and accompanying ash falls. A felt earthquake a few minutes before the eruption had an intensity of MM II-III. Volcanic tremor recorded since 10 August preceded another eruption at about 2400 on 13 August from the same location. A news report indicated that explosions on 14 August caused ashfall in Ternate (~ 4 km SE), and that 5-20 minor explosions/day had occurred in recent days.

Following eruptions in May 1993 (18:5 & 7; and VSI, 1993a), seismicity steadily decreased to low levels by the end of June; vapor emission stopped by the end of August 1993 (VSI, 1993b). Seismicity began increasing again in December 1993 (VSI, 1993b), and explosions were reported during January-March 1994 (19:05).

Geologic Background. Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera, and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.

Information Contacts: W. Tjetjep, VSI; H. Gaudru, C. Pittet, M. Auber, C. Bopp, and O. Saudan, EVS, Switzerland; BOM Darwin, Australia; AP; Radio Republik Indonesia.


Nevado del Huila (Colombia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevado del Huila

Colombia

2.93°N, 76.03°W; summit elev. 5364 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Description of the Paez earthquake's mass wasting

The destructive earthquake-triggered mudflows of 6 June (19:5) were the subject of a preliminary report (Casadevall and others, 1994) following an investigation by a team from INGEOMINAS and the USGS during 30 June-9 July. What follows is a summary of that report, which includes first-hand observations on slope-failure and transport of loosened material.

The M 6.4 earthquake that struck on 6 June 1994 is now termed the Paez earthquake. Although the preliminary epicenter determination was W of the volcano's summit, a more recent estimate places it on Nevado del Huila's SSW flank, several kilometers N of the village of Irlanda (figure 1; BGVN 19:5). Prior to the earthquake, normal background seismicity prevailed; a series of aftershocks also took place beneath the volcano.

Earthquake damage was attributed to shaking, mass movement of loosened material, and flooding. The volcano's topography and volcanic deposits contributed to the disaster, but the primary area of landslides lay S of the main volcanic edifice and reached a maximum elevation of ~3,000 m. Aerial observers on 7 July saw no changes in either the vigor of fumaroles present near the summit or in the distribution and surface appearance of glaciers. Though dislodged ice was noted in news reports, none was found during fieldwork. The latest estimates on direct human impact from the earthquake are >150 fatalities, 500 people listed as missing, and 20,000 people displaced. Six bridges and >100 km of roads were destroyed.

All mass movement due to slope failure was previously called "mudflows" (19:5). The new report uses more precise terminology (Varnes, 1978), and provides an English-Spanish glossary that includes these and other terms: (a) rock, soil, and earth falls, (b) various kinds of slides including earth slides and debris slides, (c) rock avalanches, (d) debris avalanches, and (e) earth flows. According to this scheme, the bulk of the observed slides were earth slides derived from weathered residual soils that have developed on the bedrock. Lack of bedrock involvement and the limited amount of translations that involved bouncing, rolling, or falling resulted in few mass movements categorized as rock avalanches.

Nearly all of the 6 June earthquake-triggered landslides originated on slopes of >=30°. In this steep terrain they mainly began as shallow slips in residual soils. The soils had been saturated a few weeks prior to the earthquake by heavy rains. Reduced shear strength because of the saturated soils was a major factor in the observed slope failures and the velocity of the downslope movements. Typically these water-charged slides were ~ 1-2 m thick, and immediately liquified, transforming into either debris avalanches or earth flows moving rapidly downslope. In total, these processes stripped >50% of the vegetation from the steep hillsides. The slides themselves caused little direct damage since the steep slopes were generally uninhabited.

Adjacent to the volcano, in up-river villages such as Irlanda and Wila, damage took place as the mobile earth flows ran across relatively flat terrace surfaces. Earth flows in Irlanda were only 2 m thick, but they destroyed the houses and structures in their path. Some of the damage at Irlanda may have been caused by a high-velocity earth flow that began on the opposite side (the E side) of Rio Paez and crossed over.

The 1994 debris flows in the Rio Paez were cohesive (>3% of sediment with <0.004 mm size), which means that they remain intact and travel long distances. On the other hand, large previous debris flows preserved in lateral terraces along the river are of the noncohesive type that transformed into hyperconcentrated flows as they moved downstream. The noncohesive debris flows are thought to have been more closely related to past explosive volcanism and provide one means of analyzing past behavior at Huila. This point is noteworthy because the headwaters of the Rio Paez provide the drainage for almost the entire volcano. Because the bulk of debris flows must travel down the Rio Paez, study of the deposits along it should provide a thorough record of the volcano's seismically and magmatically generated deposits.

The report noted several analogous cases of "widespread stripping of saturated materials and vegetative cover from steep slopes" during seismic loading. One case involved the M 6.1 and 6.9 earthquakes of March 1987 in NE Ecuador. Those earthquakes triggered an estimated 75-110 million m3 of mass wasting, killed an estimated 1,000 people, destroyed a major oil pipeline, and caused US $1 billion in damages. These events are also of interest because Mount Rainier (Washington State, USA) contains a gravitationally unstable zone of altered rock high on its edifice. The zone could detach during seismic loading and move downslope, eventually reaching heavily populated areas.

Researchers continue to watch the volcano to see if the recent seismicity causes any changes to its normally passive hydrothermal system. Monitoring is done from an observatory in Popayan, 83 km SW.

References. Casadevall, T.J., Schuster, R.L., and Scott, K.M., 29 July 1994, Preliminary report on the effects of the June 6, 1994 Sismo de Paez (Paez earthquake), Southern Colombia: U.S. Geological Survey Response Team, 15 p.

Varnes, D.J., 1978, Classification of mass movements, in Schuster, R.L., and Krizek, R.J. (eds.), Landslides: Analysis and Control: U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board Special Report 176, p. 11-33.

Geologic Background. Nevado del Huila, the highest peak in the Colombian Andes, is an elongated N-S-trending volcanic chain mantled by a glacier icecap. The andesitic-dacitic volcano was constructed within a 10-km-wide caldera. Volcanism at Nevado del Huila has produced six volcanic cones whose ages in general migrated from south to north. The high point of the complex is Pico Central. Two glacier-free lava domes lie at the southern end of the volcanic complex. The first historical activity was an explosive eruption in the mid-16th century. Long-term, persistent steam columns had risen from Pico Central prior to the next eruption in 2007, when explosive activity was accompanied by damaging mudflows.

Information Contacts: INGEOMINAS, Popayan; T. Casadevall, USGS.


Ijen (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Ijen

Indonesia

8.058°S, 114.242°E; summit elev. 2769 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor phreatic eruption in February described

At 0915 on 3 February 1994, a small phreatic eruption took place from the S part of the crater lake. Coincident with the eruption, lake level rose ~1 m. Visual and seismic activity then returned to normal through July. During 7-14 August, the number of volcanic earthquakes and tremor increased compared to earlier in August. The temperature of the light-green crater lake was 39-42°C.

Geologic Background. The Ijen volcano complex at the eastern end of Java consists of a group of small stratovolcanoes constructed within the large 20-km-wide Ijen (Kendeng) caldera. The north caldera wall forms a prominent arcuate ridge, but elsewhere the caldera rim is buried by post-caldera volcanoes, including Gunung Merapi, which forms the high point of the complex. Immediately west of the Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the historically active Kawah Ijen crater, which contains a nearly 1-km-wide, turquoise-colored, acid lake. Picturesque Kawah Ijen is the world's largest highly acidic lake and is the site of a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation in which sulfur-laden baskets are hand-carried from the crater floor. Many other post-caldera cones and craters are located within the caldera or along its rim. The largest concentration of cones forms an E-W zone across the southern side of the caldera. Coffee plantations cover much of the caldera floor, and tourists are drawn to its waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanic scenery.

Information Contacts: VSI.


Kanaga (United States) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanaga

United States

51.923°N, 177.168°W; summit elev. 1307 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Steam-and-ash plume rises 4,500 m; enlarged hot spot on imagery

On the morning of 15 July a pilot observed steam plumes rising from multiple vents to ~600 m above the summit. FWS personnel in Adak . . . reported steam plumes during 16-22 July. A distinct hot spot . . . was seen on a satellite image from 0906 on 22 July. FWS personnel aboard the RV Tiglax observed incandescent flows on the flank of Kanaga during the night of 27-28 July; low-level steaming from the summit area was continuing. Also in late July the FWS crew saw a blocky lava flow entering the sea on the NW flank, forming a new headland and small cove. Pilots reported incandescent flows on the NW flank during the following week, and steam plumes to 1,500 m altitude. On 10 August the RV Tiglax passed within ~3 km of shore and the crew observed the two NW-flank lava flows for the first time during daylight. Steam was rising from where the flows were entering the sea, and a strong SO2 odor was detected. Satellite imagery again recorded hot spots . . . during 2-12 August.

At 0500 on 18 August, the FAA received a pilot report of "glowing" at the summit. Pilots reported a light gray, dense steam cloud at 0800 rising to 4,500 m above the summit that had a mushroom-shaped top and was trailing to the E. A satellite infrared image taken at 0836 showed a summit hot spot twice as large as that seen in recent weeks, suggesting an increase in heating associated with production of lava flows. Also visible in the image was a plume extending 15-20 km NE; enhancements of calibrated data suggested that the plume may have contained some ash. Throughout the day, pilots and FWS personnel in Adak observed an eruption cloud consisting of a white, dominantly steam portion, which rose to ~4,500 m altitude, and a vigorously roiling, gray, ash-bearing portion that rose to an estimated 2,400-3,000 m altitude. A loud rumbling, similar to the sound of a freight train, was heard in Adak all afternoon and into the evening. Prevailing winds carried the plume NE, and a light curtain of fallout was observed. Satellite images from 1133 and about 2000 on 18 August showed a plume drifting NE.

The summit hot spot, which on 18 August appeared to have doubled in size, persisted on a satellite image from 1004 on 19 August. No plume was visible that day, although cloud cover may have obscured it. FWS observers reported continued rumbling from the direction of the volcano. Kanaga continued to erupt minor amounts of ash during 20-21 August, interfering with local air traffic and dropping a light dusting of ash on the community of Adak. As of midday on 22 August, analysis of satellite imagery indicated a possible plume, containing minor ash, drifting generally ESE from the volcano over Adak. The FAA enforced a 24-km restricted flight zone around Kanaga until 1430 to minimize the possibility of aircraft encountering an ash cloud during instrument approach and departure. Poor weather obscured the volcano through the morning of 22 August. However, no ash cloud was seen from Adak as visibility improved through the day.

Pilots and other observers continued to report and photograph avalanches of hot fragmental debris cascading down the N flank of the volcano into the ocean. Although AVO has been unable to clearly discern the source of this material, it likely represents collapse of a growing lava dome or ejection of hot blocks of lava from near or within the summit crater. Based on the last eight months of activity, continuing episodes of ash eruption accompanied by avalanching of hot debris down the volcano's flanks can be expected. Depending on wind conditions and the size of a given eruptive episode, additional ashfall on Adak is possible.

. . . .The eruption has been characterized by intermittent, low-level steam and ash emissions producing plumes rarely rising over 3,000-4,500 m altitude and drifting a few tens of kilometers downwind. Although tracking of ash fallout is limited due to the remote location of Kanaga, it appears from satellite imagery that detectable fallout has been confined to within a few tens of kilometers of the volcano. On 22 August, AVO learned that several very light dustings of fine ash on the N portions of Adak had occurred over the past few months.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical Kanaga stratovolcano is situated within the Kanaton caldera at the northern tip of Kanaga Island. The caldera rim forms a 760-m-high arcuate ridge south and east of Kanaga; a lake occupies part of the SE caldera floor. The volume of subaerial dacitic tuff is smaller than would typically be associated with caldera collapse, and deposits of a massive submarine debris avalanche associated with edifice collapse extend nearly 30 km to the NNW. Several fresh lava flows from historical or late prehistorical time descend the flanks of Kanaga, in some cases to the sea. Historical eruptions, most of which are poorly documented, have been recorded since 1763. Kanaga is also noted petrologically for ultramafic inclusions within an outcrop of alkaline basalt SW of the volcano. Fumarolic activity occurs in a circular, 200-m-wide, 60-m-deep summit crater and produces vapor plumes sometimes seen on clear days from Adak, 50 km to the east.

Information Contacts: AVO.


Kilauea (United States) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Bench collapses and littoral explosions occur as lava flows continue to enter the ocean

"The . . . eruption continued throughout July with more lava entering the ocean in the W Kamoamoa/Lae Apuki area. On the morning of 8 July, a piece of the Kamoamoa bench, ~4,000 m2, fell into the ocean. Littoral explosions following the collapse deposited a small amount of spatter on the delta. A wave associated with the collapse event deposited blocks on the surface of the delta, 40 m inland of the sea cliff. One line of stations, set up to monitor movement of cracks on the active bench, disappeared into the ocean with the collapse. Following the event, the remaining lines recorded several centimeters of seaward movement. The cracks on the bench continued to widen throughout the month. Some of the larger cracks contained standing water.

"Surface activity was confined mostly to the W Kamoamoa/Lae Apuki bench; however, on 11 July, a surface flow broke out of the active tube on Pali Uli. This flow did not reach the ocean before stagnating. There were no significant changes in the Pu`u `O`o lava pond, which was 79 m below the crater rim in July.

"The ocean entries were intermittently explosive, following the 8 July collapse, due to smaller collapses along the front of the bench. Littoral explosions increased in frequency and magnitude later in the month. The most dramatic event began on the afternoon of 26 July. By the following day, large spatter bursts had built a 10-m-high littoral cone on the leading edge of the Kamoamoa/Lae Apuki bench. Explosive activity was initially episodic but was continuous by at least 1810 on 27 July. At 2025 a cascade of lava, about 5 m wide, ripped out of the tube on Pali Uli, from the same area as the 11 July flow. Within 50 minutes, the explosive activity at the ocean had subsided. The cascade on Pali Uli fed flows that eventually stagnated the following day. Activity at the ocean paused briefly, but by 1112 on 28 July, plumes were again visible off the Kamoamoa/Lae Apuki bench. Surface flows broke out on the bench, and by the end of the month extended the bench 5-10 m W."

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Information Contacts: T. Mattox, HVO.


Krakatau (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E; summit elev. 155 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash explosions (300-450/day) reach heights up to 500 m

Ash explosions continued at a rate of 300-450/day in early August. The height of the ash columns, measured from the [Pasuaran Observatory] during clear weather, ranged from 150 to 500 m above the summit, with incandescent projections evident at night. The sporadic eruptions have deposited ash over almost the entire island. During the second week of August, explosion earthquakes averaged 460 events/day. Occasionally, explosion sounds were heard and vibrations felt at the observatory.

Geologic Background. The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Information Contacts: VSI.


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Langila

Papua New Guinea

5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thick ash clouds from Crater 2 accompanied by explosion sounds

"Eruptive activity at Crater 2 continued during July, while Crater 3 activity was at a low level. Throughout the month, Crater 2's normal moderate emissions of thin white-grey vapour were disrupted by forceful ejections of thick, mushroom-shaped, grey-brown ash clouds accompanied by low explosion and rumbling sounds. These caused fine ashfall NW of the volcano. On 16 and 22 July, the ash clouds rose several thousands of meters above the crater. Steady weak night glow was reported on 26 July and there was fluctuating weak-bright glow on the 29th. Crater 3 continued to emit small volumes of mostly white vapour, sometimes with blue and grey vapour. There were no audible sounds or night glow reported during July. Seismic activity throughout the month remained at a low level with between 1 and 7 small low-frequency earthquakes/day."

Geologic Background. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower eastern flank of the extinct Talawe volcano. Talawe is the highest volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila volcano was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the north and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit of Langila. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: B. Talai, R. Stewart, and C. McKee, RVO.


Lascar (Chile) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Lascar

Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Moderate short-lived eruption sends plume over Argentina

Renewed Vulcanian activity during 20-26 July generated plumes up to ~9,000 m altitude, ~4,000 m above the summit . . . . On 20 July at 1630 a grayish column 400-500 m high was emitted from the crater. The next day at 1230 a brownish eruptive column rose 3,000-4,000 m and immediately drifted NE. Very fine ashfall was reported in Salar de Olaroz in the Argentine Puna, 120 km NE of the vent. At 1430 on 23 July another eruption plume to a height of 3,000-4,000 m was blown NNE. No ashfall was reported in the Argentine Puna following this activity.

A single short-lived Vulcanian explosion at about 1200 on 26 July generated a column and NNE-trending plume that soon detached from the volcano; prevailing high-level winds then shifted the plume toward the E. Witnesses from Toconao (35 km NW) and San Pedro de Atacama (70 km NW) reported a moderate explosion followed by a dark-colored mushroom-shaped column that slowly rose to 4,000 m height. Pilots from Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMonterrey, and Lineas Aereas de Chile reported to the Argentina National Metereological Service that the plume, ~30 km wide and 200 km long, reached an altitude of 9,000 m. Ashfall was only reported in areas close to the volcano. No ashfall was reported in the small village of Catua along the Chilean-Argentine border, 80 km E of Lascar. Immediately after the eruption the volcano showed very diminished activity, with weak white fumarolic plumes that hardly rose above the crater rim. From 27 July to 4 August the volcano exhibited normal fumarolic activity.

Infrared images of the 26 July ash cloud were captured by Raúl Rodano and Luis Ganz from the Meteosat 3 satellite (figure 22). An image taken at 1346 on 26 July showed an ESE-directed plume 50 x 20 km in size, reaching an altitude between 3,600 and 5,400 m (figure 22, top). At 1523 another image showed a 130-km-long plume with the trailing edge located 60 km from Lascar (figure 22, middle). On the E side of the plume, a core (40 km in diameter) developed vertically and reached ~7,000 m altitude. The lower levels of the plume were oriented ESE, following the general atmospheric circulation. Because of wind-shear between 5,400 and 7,000 m, the plume was reoriented NNE by upper-level winds (200°- 70 km/hour). On the image taken at 1631, the plume is 180 km long and 100 km from the source (figure 22, bottom). Based on analysis of this imagery, the NNE-oriented E end of the plume reached an estimated maximum height of 7,500 m. Although the sky was cloudy by 1830, scattered parts of the NNE-oriented plume could be seen 80 km E of Jujuy, Argentina, drifting E at 80 km/hour at an estimated altitude of 4,500 m. With frame animation it was possible to discern the dispersed plume reaching Presidente Roque Saenz Pena city, 800 km E of Lascar, at 2009 on 26 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Infrared images of the 26 July 1994 plume from Lascar (white area) taken from the Meteosat 3 satellite. At 1346 (top) the small plume (50 x 20 km) was moving ESE. By 1523 (middle) the trailing edge of the 130-km-long detached plume was located 60 km from the volcano. On the image taken at 1631 (bottom), the plume was 100 km from the source, 180 km long, and the E end was oriented NNE. Approximate location of Lascar is shown by the black triangle; Jujuy, Argentina, is indicated by the white square. Courtesy of Raúl Rodano and Luis Ganz.

These eruptions comprise the fourth period of Vulcanian activity following the large subplinian eruption of 19-20 April 1993. Eruptions were also reported in August and December 1993, and February 1994. All are thought to have been caused by blockage of the degassing magmatic system due to collapse of the dome formed in the late stages of the April 1993 eruption. The present morphology of the crater is unknown, although this renewed activity suggests further subsidence of the crater floor due to conduit degassing. Lascar, the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes, contains five overlapping summit craters along a NE trend. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks.

Reference. Gardeweg P., M.C., 1994, La Explosion del 26 de Julio, 1994, X Informe sobre el comportamiento del Volcan Lascar: Informe Inedito, Biblioteca Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria, 4 p.

Geologic Background. Láscar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks. An older, higher stratovolcano 5 km E, Volcán Aguas Calientes, displays a well-developed summit crater and a probable Holocene lava flow near its summit (de Silva and Francis, 1991). Láscar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The largest historical eruption took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows to 8.5 km NW of the summit and ashfall in Buenos Aires.

Information Contacts: M. Gardeweg, SERNAGEOMIN, Santiago; J. Viramonte, R. Becchio, I. Petrinovic, and R. Arganaraz, Instituto Geonorte Univ Nacional de Salta, Argentina; B. Coira and A. Perez, Instituto de Geologia Universidad de Jujuy, Argentina; R. Rodano and L. Ganz, Aerolineas Argentinas Weather Division, Buenos Aires, Argentina; H. Corbella, CONICET - Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences, Buenos Aires.


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions on 5-7 July generate ash clouds and eject lava fragments

"During July, there was a brief increase in the level of activity from Southern Crater, while Main Crater activity continued to remain at a low level. Activity from Southern Crater was low from 1 to 4 July with gentle emissions of small volumes of white vapour. From 1430 on 5 July onwards, activity increased as weak deep-sounding explosions were heard at 5-10 minute intervals accompanying forceful emissions of grey-brown ash clouds. Incandescent lava fragments were seen being ejected from Southern Crater during the evening until the activity stopped at 2130. Ash emissions continued to occur until 7 July, and only one explosion was heard on 6 July. For the remainder of the month, activity at Southern Crater continued at the normal low level, with only white vapour emissions and blue vapour observed on 12 and 15 July.

"Throughout the month Main Crater continued to emit white vapour, weak to moderate in volume. A whitish-grey plume was seen on 31 July. No sounds were heard and no night glow was observed.

"Seismic activity remained at a low-moderate level throughout the month, with small fluctuations in the number and amplitude of low-frequency earthquakes. On average ~1,170 earthquakes/day were recorded, and there was a brief quiet period from 25 to 27 July when <500 earthquakes/day were recorded. There were no significant tilt changes in July.

Geologic Background. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Information Contacts: B. Talai, R. Stewart, and C. McKee, RVO.


Marapi (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Marapi

Indonesia

0.38°S, 100.474°E; summit elev. 2885 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption sends ash column to ~6 km above sea level; summary of 1993 activity

An eruption at 0016 on 12 August 1994 sent an ash column to ~6 km altitude, a height of 3,200 m above the summit. Another explosion at 0046 ejected ash 280 m high. From the observatory ~7 km from the crater, observers noted incandescent projections as high as 300 m above the crater rim, accompanied by explosion sounds and vibrations. Ashfall in and around the city of Bukittinggi . . . ranged from 0.5 to 1 mm thick. Shallow volcanic earthquakes were recorded after the explosions, but gradually decreased.

Eruptions during the first half of 1993 (VSI, 1993a) produced lapilli and ash that were deposited in a radius of 1.5-3 km from the active crater. A dark gray column rose as high as 1,200 m above the summit . . . , but was usually in the 400-500 m range. Explosion earthquakes from January to July 1993 fluctuated between 1 and 77 events/day. The frequency of explosions increased in July 1993, but then decreased from August through December (VSI, 1993b). These explosions during Jul-Dec 1993 deposited lapilli and ash within a 750-m-radius of the active crater. Incandescent material fell within a few tens of meters of the crater rim. Average plume height in the second half of 1993 was 400-800 m, reaching a maximum of 3,200 m above the summit. Throughout 1993, deep volcanic earthquakes (A-type) were detected at a rate of 6-41/month. Between 42 and 338 shallow (B-type) events were recorded each month.

Geologic Background. Gunung Marapi, not to be confused with the better-known Merapi volcano on Java, is Sumatra's most active volcano. This massive complex stratovolcano rises 2,000 m above the Bukittinggi Plain in the Padang Highlands. A broad summit contains multiple partially overlapping summit craters constructed within the small 1.4-km-wide Bancah caldera. The summit craters are located along an ENE-WSW line, with volcanism migrating to the west. More than 50 eruptions, typically consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been recorded since the end of the 18th century; no lava flows outside the summit craters have been reported in historical time.

Information Contacts: VSI.


Masaya (Nicaragua) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

11.985°N, 86.165°W; summit elev. 594 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Sulfur-rich plume and incandescent ejections from opening in lava lake

Scientists from FIU and INETER visited Masaya for about an hour on the afternoon of 26 May 1994 and noted that the two incandescent openings (5-7 m in diameter) in the cooling lava lake observed on 1 March near the N wall of Santiago crater (BGVN 19:03) had coalesced into a single opening 10-12 m long. A sulfur-rich plume was being emitted from the opening at a rate of several pulses/minute; the pulses were accompanied by jetting sounds easily heard from the S rim. Fresh, black ash covered the crater floor immediately SW of the opening. INETER scientists reported that small Strombolian explosions ejected incandescent material from the opening several times during May and June 1994.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras caldera and is itself a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The Nindirí and Masaya cones, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic Plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6,500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and there is a lake at the far eastern end. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals have caused health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Peter C. La Femina, Michael Conway, and Andrew MacFarlane, FIU; Christian Lugo, INETER.


Merapi (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased deformation precedes a nuee ardente

A nuée ardente erupted around 1400 on 16 July 1994, an event preceded by a clear increase in tilt several days before the eruption. Figure 9 shows tilt measurements during the interval 1-18 July. One set of measurements came from a site on Merapi's summit (Goa Jepang, ~2,900 m elevation); the other set of measurements came from a cave on Merapi's S flank (~1,000 m elevation).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Tilt at Merapi recorded at both the summit and in a cave on the S flank, 1-18 July 1994 Courtesy of Arnold Brodscholl.

The daily temperature variation in the cave is<1°C, suggesting little influence from temperature there (left-hand scale). The daily record of tilt varied significantly less at the cave site (typically <100 µrad) than at the summit site (typically ~150 µrad), an observation consistent with the more stable temperature in the cave.

Tilt began increasing at both sites roughly five days prior to the eruption. During this interval the tilt at both sites correlated consistently overall, and moderately at the finer-scale. Tilt ceased to track consistently near the end of the eruption, when the flank site underwent a dramatic decrease, a turn-around that began prior to the end of the eruption. Summit tilt measurements in January 1993 were similar to those presented here but then measurements at the cave site were a rarity, leaving the increased tilt without confirmation.

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.

Information Contacts: A. Brodscholl, GMU; Subandryo, VSI; B. Voight, Pennsylvania State Univ.


Momotombo (Nicaragua) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Momotombo

Nicaragua

12.423°N, 86.539°W; summit elev. 1270 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Summit fumarole temperatures range from 238 to 655°C

Beginning on 11 June, scientists from FIU and INETER deployed a datalogger in the crater to continuously monitor fumarole temperatures and barometric pressure. The team entered the summit crater three times along a trail that crosses an active avalanche chute and leads around to the NE crater rim. Condensate and Giggenbach-type samples were collected from fumaroles along the SW crater wall. These fumaroles were very corrosive, as indicated by the destruction of the datalogger thermocouples, and had temperatures ranging from 238 to 655°C. A voluminous plume was rising from the crater on 13 March.

Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows extend down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms an island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional stronger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after a 10 April 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the south flank.

Information Contacts: Peter C. La Femina, Michael Conway, and Andrew MacFarlane, FIU; Christian Lugo M., INETER.


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


High lava fountains feed lava flow on NW flank

High lava fountaining in early July took place from a new vent on the W flank, named Kimera. Located ~100 m S of the 1971 Rugarama cone, this vent became active at 2148 on 4 July, but remained active for only 4-5 days. The lava flows generally moved W until at least 10 July, when the flows reached their maximum extent. By 11 July, the small lake (Magera) at the E foot of a Precambrian escarpment was entirely filled and dried by the flow. High SO2 concentrations detected by the TOMS during 5-10 July were most likely caused by this activity at Nyamuragira and not from the lava lake at Nyiragongo. Nyamuragira also emitted levels of SO2 detectable by satellite during 17-19 July 1986 (275-375 ± 30% kt) and on 24 September 1991 (20 kt).

A press report described falls of both ash and Pele's hair during the first half of July in the Mokoto Hills, above the W escarpment of the rift ~20 km from the volcano. Several farmers reported problems caused by cattle eating ash-laden grass.

Long-term monitoring data indicated an apparent acceleration in seismo-geodetic activity in the past 10 years. Seismicity steadily increased from <200 volcanic events/month in 1960-65 to ~300-400/month in the early 1980's (figure 13). Increased seismicity after 1985 suggests an acceleration of magma supply into the volcano. The geodimeter network operating on the Nyamuragira summit has also revealed a gradual strain increase since 1980, showing that the crater is dilated.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Monthly number of volcanic earthquakes at Nyamuragira, 1960-92. The short-period seismic station is located 110 km from the volcano. Vertical arrows indicate flank eruptions. Courtesy of H. Hamaguchi.

Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

Information Contacts: N. Zana, Centre de Recherche en Géophysique, Kinshasa; H. Hamaguchi, Tohoku Univ; J. Durieux, GEVA, Lyon, France; G. Benhamou, Libération newspaper, France; T. Casadevall, USGS; I. Sprod, GSFC.


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake activity produces strong red glow above crater

For four days around 14 July a dense steam-and-gas plume was visible from Goma, and red glow could be seen at night. An amateur video taken on an unknown day between 19 and 24 July included a 6-second partial view of the crater that revealed a large very active lava fountain roughly in the center of the crater. A large, flat spatter cone had been built, with a least three large openings in the walls and lava flows radiating from the openings. The entire lava lake was not active. The background was hidden by gases and clouds, making it impossible to determine the elevation of the lava lake surface. Following the 1982 activity, the surface was 400 m below the crater rim. A very strong red glow was again observed above the crater during the night of 29 July. Very little red glow was reported in early August.

Another eruption within the summit lava lake began at about 1900 on 10 August. Red glow above the summit could be seen from Goma during daylight as well as at night. Press reports also stated that "ash and dust" had been emitted from the volcano. The increased activity on 10-13 August and strong red glow visible from the refugee camps caused some concern among the refugees and relief workers.

Volcanologists from Zaire, Japan, France, and the USGS were all present in Goma from 19 to 23 August. The primary purpose of the USGS scientists was to evaluate the hazards posed to the ongoing relief operations in Goma, which contained more than one million Rwandan refugees and the large Zairian population. Specific hazards addressed included the threat of active lava flows to resettlement camps and infrastructure, the threat of volcanic ash to air relief operations, and the threat of CO2 accumulation to refugees in resettlement camps along the Goma-Sake road.

During the flight to Goma on 19 August, USGS volcanologists flew over and around the crater. Although the crater floor was clearly visible, no signs of activity were observed. However, during the pre-dawn hours on 20 August, strong red glow above the main crater could be seen. Early that morning the French Army flew USGS and French volcanologists to the summit. At that time the lava lake was very active, with fountaining of lava up to 40 m above the surface of the crater floor, estimated to be ~450 m below the crater rim. Seismograms from instruments operated by Zairan scientists clearly showed this eruptive activity. The eruption-related seismicity had ended by 22 August, and no additional red glow was noted. No activity was observed during an aerial inspection the next day, but red glow was again seen early on 24 August.

Geologic Background. One of Africa's most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. The steep slopes of a stratovolcano contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira. Benches in the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century. Two older stratovolcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks, which is characterized by the eruption of foiditic rocks. The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.

Information Contacts: H. Hamaguchi, Tohoku Univ; J. Durieux, GEVA; T. Casadevall and J. Lockwood, USGS; AP.


Poas (Costa Rica) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Poas

Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ashfall SW of the summit covers 56 km2

Despite roughly 3 months of rainy weather, the colorful northernmost crater lake that evaporated this past year remained nearly dry, venting became alarmingly noisy, and in the interval from 9 July to 5 August the volcano produced a series of ash falls. These falls were carried to the SW and covered a roughly 56 km2 area.

Increased vigor of fumaroles has led to vapor columns reaching >1 km above the lake floor; the columns were blown to the W and SW. Some of the columns were red to orange in color, presumably due to combustion of sulfur. In the recent past the most vigorous fumaroles were located near the former lake's center. These fumaroles diminished in size; during July the ones located SW of the former lake were of greatest importance.

On 21 July, a fumarole S of the former lake generated a white-colored column; thermocouple measurements of the fumarole revealed a 495°C temperature. The highest pressure fumarole, also located S of the former lake, emitted a red- to orange-colored plume. Continuously jetted gases contained entrained sediment. These escaping gases had a temperature of 515°C, measured with a pyrometer aimed toward the vent. Other fumaroles issued sporadic sediment and colored gases; temperature at the dome was 81°C. ICE and ECG reported jetting gases thrusting to 350 m above the crater floor and then rising convectively to 1 km. Using infrared thermometry, temperatures as high as 700°C were measured in the S-vent area.

Ash was erupted on the night of 9 July and into the morning of 10 July. Continued reports of ash fall came from San Miguel Arriba, Trojas, San Luis de Grecia, Cajon, and Porvenir de Sarchi (figure 53). These reports continued for 2 days; later, mapping and compilation led to an ash distribution map for this and later eruptions in July (figure 53). Blocks were principally limited to the crater area, fine ash covered much of the summit area, and the finest ash blew as far as about 15 km. The fumaroles ejecting lake sediment continued to grow, and ejected ash with blocks. Such events were noted seven times in late July (24, 25, 27, 28, 29, and twice on 30 July). In general, the strongest ash eruptions were accompanied by loud jet-like noises.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. Distribution of ash from Poás during July 1994. Scale is approximate; roads indicated by dashed lines, rivers by solid lines, and settlements by dots. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

OVSICORI-UNA reported July seismicity from station POA2 (2.5 km SW of the active crater) in terms of several types of events (figure 54). In July, a total of 4,994 events took place. Starting on 26 July several high-frequency (volcano-tectonic) earthquakes took place each day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Poás seismicity for July 1994. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

The amount of deformation on two distance-measurement lines has, since 1973, shown a tendency toward contraction, amounting to about 0.7 and 1.8 ppm/month, respectively. Between 24 June and 5 July both lines suddenly contracted about 19 ppm. From 22 July until the end of the month there were no further significant changes. Back in the interval between 8 March and 12 May a component of two leveling lines deflated slightly (10 µrad). During the last re-occupation of the leveling lines, which took place at the end of July, one line 2 km S of the active crater had inflated by about 17 µrad.

The increased degassing has led to a variety of health and environmental problems. Crops and soils have been damaged. Residents on the W and SW flanks continue to report irritations to the throat, skin, and eyes when gases and ash enter their communities.

On the morning of 22 August an American Airlines flight reported an eruption cloud to ~6 km. Visibility over Poás was poor due to thunder storms to the E and clouds in its vicinity; satellite imagery was unable to detect the plume. Jorge Barquero described this plume as consisting of vapor and gas. A plume on the previous day reached to about 2 km above the vent; heights of these plumes were highly dependant on local wind conditions. As of 22 August, no confirmed ash-bearing plumes had erupted since 5 August.

Geologic Background. The broad, well-vegetated edifice of Poás, one of the most active volcanoes of Costa Rica, contains three craters along a N-S line. The frequently visited multi-hued summit crater lakes of the basaltic-to-dacitic volcano, which is one of Costa Rica's most prominent natural landmarks, are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the 2708-m-high complex stratovolcano extends to the lower northern flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, is cold and clear and last erupted about 7500 years ago. The more prominent geothermally heated northern lake, Laguna Caliente, is one of the world's most acidic natural lakes, with a pH of near zero. It has been the site of frequent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions since the first historical eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Information Contacts: E. Fernández, J. Barquero, V. Barboza, R. Van der Laat, F. de Obaldia, and T. Marino, OVSICORI; G. Soto, G. Alvarado, and F. Arias, ICE; M. Mora, C. Ramirez, and G. Peraldo, UCR.


Rabaul (Papua New Guinea) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Rabaul

Papua New Guinea

4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismicity remains low; minor subsidence

"July was relatively quiet, with 220 detected earthquakes . . . . Activity was highest in the middle of the month, with half the earthquakes occurring between 13 and 19 July, and two swarms on those days. Most of the earthquakes, including the 13 July swarm, were located on the NE portion of the ring fault on the E side of Greet Harbour at depths of 0-4 km. Most of the rest were located near the W portion of the ring fault. An exception to this was the swarm on 19 July, which was located, albeit poorly, in the center of Karavia Bay. None of the earthquakes were large enough to be felt. The largest earthquake during the month, M 2.7, occurred on 5 July. Leveling measurements on 19 July showed a very small amount of subsidence, <9 mm, at the end of Matupit Island since 27 June.

"On 13 July, signals were recorded from three earthquakes that originated outside the network, somewhere N of Rabaul. S-P times between 2 and 4 seconds were consistent with locations near Tavui caldera, an underwater caldera N of Rabaul. This caldera was only discovered in 1984 and virtually nothing is known about it. Records are currently being checked for any other seismic activity that may have come from this vicinity."

Geologic Background. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor utilized by what was the island's largest city prior to a major eruption in 1994. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the east, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay and was formed about 1400 years ago. An earlier caldera-forming eruption about 7100 years ago is now considered to have originated from Tavui caldera, offshore to the north. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.

Information Contacts: B. Talai, R. Stewart, and C. McKee, RVO.


Ruapehu (New Zealand) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Ruapehu

New Zealand

39.28°S, 175.57°E; summit elev. 2797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Relatively stable with water cooling of Crater Lake

When visited on 8 June, Crater Lake appeared a very pale, almost yellowish, gray. On 4 July, as was more typical for the recent past, the crater lake was a uniform battleship-gray with no evidence of convection or slicks. Temperature at Outlet, 22°C, was slightly higher than for June-July in past years. The lake is currently cooling following a minor heating event in early June that followed strong acoustic signals, minor earthquakes, and volcanic tremor 10-15 days earlier. These two recent visits revealed no evidence of eruptive activity.

On 4 July, unusually thick accumulations of snow prevented deformation surveys and emphasized the need to install tiltmeters in key locations to improve the continuity of monitoring. Snow and ice were removed from the ARGOS satellite installation, but the solar panel could not be located under deep snow and battery and transmission power steadily declined.

A working party coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Defence has considered developing a contingency plan for volcanic hazards. They also may adopt a system using "Volcanic Alert Levels" graded from 1 (low level) to 5 (highest level, hazardous eruption in progress).

Geologic Background. Ruapehu, one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, is a complex stratovolcano constructed during at least four cone-building episodes dating back to about 200,000 years ago. The 110 km3 dominantly andesitic volcanic massif is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and surrounded by another 100 km3 ring plain of volcaniclastic debris, including the Murimoto debris-avalanche deposit on the NW flank. A series of subplinian eruptions took place between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago, but pyroclastic flows have been infrequent. A single historically active vent, Crater Lake, is located in the broad summit region, but at least five other vents on the summit and flank have been active during the Holocene. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have occurred in historical time from the Crater Lake vent, and tephra characteristics suggest that the crater lake may have formed as early as 3000 years ago. Lahars produced by phreatic eruptions from the summit crater lake are a hazard to a ski area on the upper flanks and to lower river valleys.

Information Contacts: P. Otway, B. Scott, and A. Hurst, IGNS Wairakei.


Semeru (Indonesia) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash eruptions to 500 m above the summit

Eruptive activity on 3 February 1994 produced ashfalls, lava avalanches, and pyroclastic flows, destroying a village and killing 6 people (19:01). Total volume of the pyroclastic-flow deposits was about 6 million m3.

During 5-14 August observations, visual and seismic activity . . . were normal. The daily number of explosion earthquakes fluctuated between 40 and 100 events, and volcanic tremor was occasionally recorded with a maximum amplitude of 4 mm. Ash eruptions generated clouds up to 500 m above the summit. There were no pyroclastic flows or lava avalanches.

Geologic Background. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

Information Contacts: VSI.


Telica (Nicaragua) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Telica

Nicaragua

12.606°N, 86.84°W; summit elev. 1036 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruption causes ashfall >12 km SW of the summit

An eruption on 31 July produced a gas-and-ash column that rose ~800 m above the 1,060-m-high summit. Ashfall was reported SW of the volcano (figure 6). Phreatic activity continued until 12 August with gas emission and minor ash explosions. Seismicity has been recorded continuously since December 1993, when a permanent telemetered seismic station (TELN: short-period, vertical-component) was installed ~500 m E of the active crater rim (figure 7). Also since December 1993, the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) has collaborated with the government, local authorities, civil defense, and the media, to educate the population about the situation at the volcano. Due to the relatively low magnitude of this eruption, it was not necessary to carry out the prepared evacuation plans.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Ashfall from Telica, 31 July-6 August 1994. Courtesy of INETER.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Sketch map of the summit area at Telica, showing locations of crater fumaroles (left) and seismic stations (right). Courtesy of INETER.

A seismic event on 15 June 1994 was recorded by several stations of the Nicaraguan seismic network, up to distances of ~40 km from Telica. This event at a depth of 6 km had a maximum magnitude of 2.1. The 31 July eruption was preceded by a steady increase in seismicity during 15-25 July (figure 8), recorded by station TELN. Seismicity had increased from25 events/day at the end of May. By the end of July there were up to 150 events/day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Seismicity at Telica, February-August 1994. Courtesy of INETER.

Crater and fumarole observations, March-June 1994. Beginning on 3 June, scientists from Florida International Univ (FIU) and INETER spent 15 days at Telica as part of an ongoing investigation to determine the areal extent and intensity of degassing, and the role of structural controls on degassing from the volcanic complex. A lacustrine deposit was observed in March at the S end of the crater, and a small, muddy brown lake was visible in May-June. All observations were made from the NE rim, where jetting sounds were clearly audible. Sulfur-rich steam from the crater sometimes moved down the slopes of the volcano, filling the NW valley with high concentrations of SO2; sulfur odor could occasionally be smelled on the NE slope. Residents on the flanks of the volcano stated that the activity was not unusual for this time of the year.

Fumarole temperatures near station TELN were in the 81-86°C range, similar to temperatures in September 1993 and March 1994. A low-temperature fumarole was discovered on the lower ESE slope of the ridge occupied by the seismic station. A data-logger recorded fumarole temperatures and barometric pressure for four days. Fumaroles near TELN and in the active crater exhibited increased flux since March. At times the crater fumaroles appeared to be emitting steam and gases in discrete clouds at intervals of several minutes. The most intense fumarole was in the upper NW corner of the crater (A on figure 7). Other fumaroles were observed in the lower NW corner, on the N, E, and SE crater walls, and in avalanche deposits on the S and SE parts of the crater floor. Fumarole A had temperatures of 150-160°C in July 1994 (figure 7). In the NE corner of the crater, fumarole B increased in temperature from 55°C in April to 174°C in July. Another fumarole area on the E side of the crater (C) had a temperature of 498°C in July, a significant increase from 246°C in 1990.

Eruptive activity. A relatively small explosive eruption at about 1645 on 31 July produced a gas-and-ash column that rose ~800 m above the summit. The light-gray ash cloud was driven SW by the wind, depositing about 2 mm of ash in the towns of Chichigalpa (20 km WSW), Quezalguaque (12.5 km SSW), and Posoltega (16 km SW) (figure 6). No seismic events were felt by residents near the volcano, but the sound of the explosion was heard at distances up to 10 km.

Following the 31 July eruption, phreatic activity continued in the next hours and days with varying intensity of gas emanation and ash expulsion. One of the strongest explosions, on 5 August, produced an ash column 1,200 m high. One phase of gas emission reached heights of 200-300 m above the crater rim. Gas also filled a valley W of the volcano with high concentrations of SO2, sometimes causing breathing problems for INETER scientists who traveled through the valley at a distance of ~2 km from the crater. Seismicity at shallow depths (~2 km) beneath the crater was recorded by TELN and four stations installed after the eruption began: telemetric stations TEL 2, 3, & 4, and local digital registration station TEL 5 (figure 7). The numerous weak events during the eruption were only recorded by the local seismic stations.

Chemical analyses of washed ash samples collected on different days indicated an increase of the SO42- and Cl- contents over time. Several very heavy rainfalls occurred during the eruptive period. Analyzed rainwater samples also showed high concentrations of SO42- with respect to Cl- and F2-, and a corresponding low pH level. Similar measurements two weeks before the eruption showed normal low concentrations of SO42- and Cl-.

Early eruption products consisted of very fine-grained, light-colored, blocky ash. INETER volcanologists believe that the ash was non-juvenile, and was ejected during phreatic or phreatomagmatic eruptions. Major explosions generally lasted for ~10-25 minutes. Early eruption columns were mostly white in color, and ranged from several hundred meters to 1,400 m above the vent. On 9 and 10 August, the ash was black, significantly darker than before, with correspondingly darker eruption plumes. The ash remained blocky and non-vesicular.On 10 August, 40-50 high-frequency seismic events were recorded, including one that lasted 4.5 hours. High-frequency events prior to 10 August occurred at a rate of ~70-90/day and were associated with more frequent explosions (10-20/day). The number of daily explosions also decreased to 6 on 10 August, including one major explosion that lasted for 16 minutes. An explosion at 1800 on 11 August generated a plume that rose 350 m, but only 16 high-frequency events were detected that day. On the early morning of 12 August one of the strongest explosions of this eruption occurred; activity then decreased throughout the day. By that evening the explosions had stopped and gas emanation and seismicity reached very low levels.

Seismicity had increased slightly by 16 August, five microseismic events were detected during 24 hours on 17-18 August, and on 20 August tremor lasted for 6.2 hours. However, no seismic events were detected on 21-22 August, and activity remained low as of 26 August.

On 23 August, Oto Matias (INSIVUMEH, Guatemala) arrived with a COSPEC instrument to assist INETER scientists in making SO2-flux measurements. Attempts to carry out COSPEC measurements of the SO2 concentration in the gas plume were made on 24 August, but low levels of gas emission and cloudy skies prevented good results.

Soil sampling. During three field surveys by FIU and INETER scientists in early June, >60 stations were deployed over 50 km2 to determine the concentration of radon (Rn), CO2, Hg, and He in soils. One identified anomaly had intensified between March and May/June 1994. This anomaly, ~750 m long and 250 m wide, surrounded the TELN seismic station. Along this anomaly, Hg values ranged from several tens of ppb to >2,900 ppb, He from 5,399 to 5,415 ppb, CO2 to 2.1 volume %, and Rn to 1,819 pico-Curies/liter.

San Jacinto Hot Springs. The village of San Jacinto, 9 km NE of the town of Telica and 2 km E of Santa Clara volcano, contains a field of boiling mudpots (BGVN 19:03). Soil samples for Hg and CO2 measurements were collected from the hydrothermal field in March and May/June 1994. The March samples contained CO2 concentrations up to 0.09 volume % and Hg from 6,710 to 21,512 ppb. The onset of the rainy season had resulted in an increase in both the size of the field and the steam flux since 9 March. Exploration for a new geothermal power plant was taking place approximately 250 m WNW.

Historical activity. Telica is a composite volcano located 19 km N of León at the NW end of a large volcanic complex. Known historical activity dates from a strong eruption that occurred in 1527-29. Strong activity was also noted in 1685, 1740-43, and at least 7 times in the 20th century. During several eruptions ash has damaged agricultural crops. In February 1982 several strong explosions generated ash columns of 3.5 km height and the ashfall affected nearby towns. The most recent eruption of Telica in November 1987 included Strombolian-type activity.

Eruptions in pre-historical times produced ash deposits of 50 cm thickness or more within a radius of 50 km. A volcanic hazard map (figure 9) suggests that ashfall poses the greatest threat to the local population. Lava flows have occurred, but with low frequency, most recently ~1,000 years ago. The hazard zone for pyroclastic eruptions lies within ~2 km of the crater. Lahars have occurred as a result of very strong eruptions during the rainy season.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Volcanic hazards map of Telica. Hazard zones are shown for ashfall and tephra, lava flows, and column collapse. Courtesy of INETER.

Geologic Background. Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Information Contacts: H. Taleno, L. Urbina, M. Navarro, O. Canales, C. Guzman, C. Buitrago, A. Izaguirre, Christian Lugo M. (Vulcanology); W. Strauch (Seismology); C. Urbina, and A. Acosta (Electronics), INETER, Managua; Peter C. La Femina, Michael Conway, and Andrew MacFarlane, Florida International Univ, USA.


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Ulawun

Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


White vapor emissions and low-frequency tremor

"The level of activity . . . was slightly lower in July . . . . The summit crater continued to emit mainly white vapour, of variable volume. Faint blue vapour emissions were seen on 3, 5, 9, and 20 July. No sounds or night glow were reported.

"Seismic activity . . . continued the pattern of previous months, with mainly sub-continuous, low-level, low-frequency tremor, and the occasional larger low-frequency earthquake. Only two high-frequency earthquakes were recorded during the month. Amplitude measurements and RSAM monitoring were made difficult at the start of the month by storm-generated noise. However, both showed a gradual increase through the month until about 23 July when there were sharp drops; gradual increases were again seen through the end of the month."

Geologic Background. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. The volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the N coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1,000 m is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

Information Contacts: B. Talai, R. Stewart, and C. McKee, RVO.


Unzendake (Japan) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

Unzendake

Japan

32.761°N, 130.299°E; summit elev. 1483 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lobe 13 grows endogenously but then nearly stops growing in late-July

Lobe 13 . . . grew endogenously at slow rates until late-July. Its final size was ~80 m long, 70 m wide, and 30 m high; it lies hidden behind the roughly 10x longer lobe 11, which forms the prominent bulge on figures 73 and 74.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Sketch of the Unzen lava done showing features of the 22 July photograph (figure 74); view is roughly [from] the N. Vegetated surfaces are shown in black, undifferentiated dome, talus, pyroclastic-flow, and other deposits shown lightly shaded. Courtesy of S. Nakada.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Photograph of the lava dome at Unzen, 22 July 1994. Taken from a helicopter looking [from] approximately N. Courtesy of S. Nakada.

In Unzen's summit area, the endogenous dome developed three E-W trending ridges along its top. The highest (central) ridge uplifted in early-July between two other ridges. The central ridge and a N ridge moved to the N at a rate of ~2 m/day during July, leaving behind the S ridge and increasing the width of a graben between them. The central ridge also rose vertically at a rate of <1 m/day. The E part of the central ridge consisted of brown-colored massive lava that was rounded, convex upward, and relatively smooth. The ridge was composed of massive lava squeezed from the interior of the dome, an effect also seen in April. When the lava reached the top of the ridge it broke and collapsed.

The ridges stopped moving N at the end of July. Occasionally there were small, low-density rockfalls to the SW in early- to mid-August. Owing to fragmentation, the massive lava of the central ridges decreased its height by ~20 m during the first two weeks in August, and at the same time the talus slope hardly advanced in any direction. These observations imply that for this two-week period in August an extremely low eruption rate (estimated at 4m3/day) prevailed.

During mid-July to early-August a continuous rain of N-directed rockfalls occurred when the N ridge became exposed at the cliff top. These rockfalls transformed into small pyroclastic flows, generally with run-out distances under 1 km. Pyroclastic flows were detected seismically at a station 1 km WSW of the dome and real-time monitoring of the dome was accomplished by four sets of visible and thermal infrared video cameras. During July this system detected 44 pyroclastic flows.

During most of July, microearthquakes beneath the dome generally took place <80 times a day. The total number of earthquakes in July was 2,488, roughly a 20% drop from the previous two months.

EDM by the JMA and the GSJ found that during late-June through mid-July the radial distance to one reflector on Unzen's N flank shortened rapidly, by tens of centimeters/day. The lack of confirmation from other reflectors suggested that the area in motion was of limited size.

Geologic Background. The massive Unzendake volcanic complex comprises much of the Shimabara Peninsula east of the city of Nagasaki. An E-W graben, 30-40 km long, extends across the peninsula. Three large stratovolcanoes with complex structures, Kinugasa on the north, Fugen-dake at the east-center, and Kusenbu on the south, form topographic highs on the broad peninsula. Fugendake and Mayuyama volcanoes in the east-central portion of the andesitic-to-dacitic volcanic complex have been active during the Holocene. The Mayuyama lava dome complex, located along the eastern coast west of Shimabara City, formed about 4000 years ago and was the source of a devastating 1792 CE debris avalanche and tsunami. Historical eruptive activity has been restricted to the summit and flanks of Fugendake. The latest activity during 1990-95 formed a lava dome at the summit, accompanied by pyroclastic flows that caused fatalities and damaged populated areas near Shimabara City.

Information Contacts: S. Nakada, Kyushu Univ; JMA.


White Island (New Zealand) — July 1994 Citation iconCite this Report

White Island

New Zealand

37.52°S, 177.18°E; summit elev. 294 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


No eruptive activity, but new shifts in leveling and magnetic data

Routine monitoring visits on 23 April and 28 June 1994 found no evidence of any eruptive activity. On 23 April the floor of Princess Crater was occupied by a muddy pond that contained fresh landslide debris (see figure 21). The divide between Wade and Royce craters had been destroyed. Active fumaroles included those in TV1 Crater, and those escaping from beneath landslide debris in the Royce area.

Scientists who made brief trips on 12 and 15 May noted 5-10 m subsidence of the lake occupying the active vent area on the floor of Wade Crater; the lowered lake level persisted until at least 29 May. A triangulation survey on 28 June determined the lake to be 56 m below sea level and 92 m below the rim of the 1978/90 Crater Complex.

Deformation was surveyed in nearly ideal conditions on 28 June, achieving a good error of closure; the results showed that since 19 January 1994 a subtle but significant crater-wide uplift, typically 5-10 mm, has taken place. Stronger uplifts occurred at Donald Mound (+15 mm) and SE of Peg M (+21 mm). This kind of crater-wide inflation was last seen in the three years preceding the 1976-93 eruptions.

A magnetic survey of established sites revealed a pattern of net magnetic changes very similar to the two previous periods of measurements in 1993. A negative anomaly lay to the N of Donald Mound (-100 nT), and a positive one to the S (+60 nT). P. Rickerby noted that "these anomalies could be interpreted as resulting from shallow heating under Donald Mound (~50 m deep) and shallow cooling under TV1."

Seismicity recorded during January-June 1994 has generally showed little change; tremor in this interval has remained near background, though it has been present on 54% of the obtained records.

Geologic Background. The uninhabited White Island, also known as Whakaari in the Maori language, is the 2 x 2.4 km emergent summit of a 16 x 18 km submarine volcano in the Bay of Plenty about 50 km offshore of North Island. The island consists of two overlapping andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcanoes. The summit crater appears to be breached to the SE, because the shoreline corresponds to the level of several notches in the SE crater wall. Volckner Rocks, sea stacks that are remnants of a lava dome, lie 5 km NW. Descriptions of eruptions since 1826 have included intermittent moderate phreatic, phreatomagmatic, and Strombolian eruptions; activity there also forms a prominent part of Maori legends. Formation of many new vents during the 19th and 20th centuries has produced rapid changes in crater floor topography. Collapse of the crater wall in 1914 produced a debris avalanche that buried buildings and workers at a sulfur-mining project. Explosive activity in December 2019 took place while tourists were present, resulting in many fatalities.

Information Contacts: T. Hunt, B. Scott, T. Kabayashi, and T. Tosha, IGNS, Wairakei; P. Rickerby, Victoria Univ, Wellington.

Atmospheric Effects

The enormous aerosol cloud from the March-April 1982 eruption of Mexico's El Chichón persisted for years in the stratosphere, and led to the Atmospheric Effects section becoming a regular feature of the Bulletin. Descriptions of the initial dispersal of major eruption clouds remain with the individual eruption reports, but observations of long-term stratospheric aerosol loading will be found in this section.

Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989)  Atmospheric Effects (1995-2001)

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements

Additional Reports

Reports are sometimes published that are not related to a Holocene volcano. These might include observations of a Pleistocene volcano, earthquake swarms, or floating pumice. Reports are also sometimes published in which the source of the activity is unknown or the report is determined to be false. All of these types of additional reports are listed below by subregion and subject.

Kermadec Islands


Floating Pumice (Kermadec Islands)

1986 Submarine Explosion


Tonga Islands


Floating Pumice (Tonga)


Fiji Islands


Floating Pumice (Fiji)


Andaman Islands


False Report of Andaman Islands Eruptions


Sangihe Islands


1968 Northern Celebes Earthquake


Southeast Asia


Pumice Raft (South China Sea)

Land Subsidence near Ham Rong


Ryukyu Islands and Kyushu


Pumice Rafts (Ryukyu Islands)


Izu, Volcano, and Mariana Islands


Acoustic Signals in 1996 from Unknown Source

Acoustic Signals in 1999-2000 from Unknown Source


Kuril Islands


Possible 1988 Eruption Plume


Aleutian Islands


Possible 1986 Eruption Plume


Mexico


False Report of New Volcano


Nicaragua


Apoyo


Colombia


La Lorenza Mud Volcano


Pacific Ocean (Chilean Islands)


False Report of Submarine Volcanism


Central Chile and Argentina


Estero de Parraguirre


West Indies


Mid-Cayman Spreading Center


Atlantic Ocean (northern)


Northern Reykjanes Ridge


Azores


Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone


Antarctica and South Sandwich Islands


Jun Jaegyu

East Scotia Ridge


Additional Reports (database)

08/1997 (BGVN 22:08) False Report of Mount Pinokis Eruption

False report of volcanism intended to exclude would-be gold miners

12/1997 (BGVN 22:12) False Report of Somalia Eruption

Press reports of Somalia's first historical eruption were likely in error

11/1999 (BGVN 24:11) False Report of Sea of Marmara Eruption

UFO adherent claims new volcano in Sea of Marmara

05/2003 (BGVN 28:05) Har-Togoo

Fumaroles and minor seismicity since October 2002

12/2005 (BGVN 30:12) Elgon

False report of activity; confusion caused by burning dung in a lava tube



False Report of Mount Pinokis Eruption (Philippines) — August 1997

False Report of Mount Pinokis Eruption

Philippines

7.975°N, 123.23°E; summit elev. 1510 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


False report of volcanism intended to exclude would-be gold miners

In discussing the week ending on 12 September, "Earthweek" (Newman, 1997) incorrectly claimed that a volcano named "Mount Pinukis" had erupted. Widely read in the US, the dramatic Earthweek report described terrified farmers and a black mushroom cloud that resembled a nuclear explosion. The mountain's location was given as "200 km E of Zamboanga City," a spot well into the sea. The purported eruption had received mention in a Manila Bulletin newspaper report nine days earlier, on 4 September. Their comparatively understated report said that a local police director had disclosed that residents had seen a dormant volcano showing signs of activity.

In response to these news reports Emmanuel Ramos of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) sent a reply on 17 September. PHIVOLCS staff had initially heard that there were some 12 alleged families who fled the mountain and sought shelter in the lowlands. A PHIVOLCS investigation team later found that the reported "families" were actually individuals seeking respite from some politically motivated harassment. The story seems to have stemmed from a local gold rush and an influential politician who wanted to use volcanism as a ploy to exclude residents. PHIVOLCS concluded that no volcanic activity had occurred. They also added that this finding disappointed local politicians but was much welcomed by the residents.

PHIVOLCS spelled the mountain's name as "Pinokis" and from their report it seems that it might be an inactive volcano. There is no known Holocene volcano with a similar name (Simkin and Siebert, 1994). No similar names (Pinokis, Pinukis, Pinakis, etc.) were found listed in the National Imagery and Mapping Agency GEOnet Names Server (http://geonames.nga.mil/gns/html/index.html), a searchable database of 3.3 million non-US geographic-feature names.

The Manila Bulletin report suggested that Pinokis resides on the Zamboanga Peninsula. The Peninsula lies on Mindanao Island's extreme W side where it bounds the Moro Gulf, an arm of the Celebes Sea. The mountainous Peninsula trends NNE-SSW and contains peaks with summit elevations near 1,300 m. Zamboanga City sits at the extreme end of the Peninsula and operates both a major seaport and an international airport.

[Later investigation found that Mt. Pinokis is located in the Lison Valley on the Zamboanga Peninsula, about 170 km NE of Zamboanga City and 30 km NW of Pagadian City. It is adjacent to the two peaks of the Susong Dalaga (Maiden's Breast) and near Mt. Sugarloaf.]

References. Newman, S., 1997, Earthweek, a diary of the planet (week ending 12 September): syndicated newspaper column (URL: http://www.earthweek.com/).

Manila Bulletin, 4 Sept. 1997, Dante's Peak (URL: http://www.mb.com.ph/).

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the world, 2nd edition: Geoscience Press in association with the Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program, Tucson AZ, 368 p.

Information Contacts: Emmanuel G. Ramos, Deputy Director, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C. P. Garcia Ave., University of the Philippines, Diliman campus, Quezon City, Philippines.


False Report of Somalia Eruption (Somalia) — December 1997

False Report of Somalia Eruption

Somalia

3.25°N, 41.667°E; summit elev. 500 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Press reports of Somalia's first historical eruption were likely in error

Xinhua News Agency filed a news report on 27 February under the headline "Volcano erupts in Somalia" but the veracity of the story now appears doubtful. The report disclosed the volcano's location as on the W side of the Gedo region, an area along the Ethiopian border just NE of Kenya. The report had relied on the commissioner of the town of Bohol Garas (a settlement described as 40 km NE of the main Al-Itihad headquarters of Luq town) and some or all of the information was relayed by journalists through VHF radio. The report claimed the disaster "wounded six herdsmen" and "claimed the lives of 290 goats grazing near the mountain when the incident took place." Further descriptions included such statements as "the volcano which erupted two days ago [25 February] has melted down the rocks and sand and spread . . . ."

Giday WoldeGabriel returned from three weeks of geological fieldwork in SW Ethiopia, near the Kenyan border, on 25 August. During his time there he inquired of many people, including geologists, if they had heard of a Somalian eruption in the Gedo area; no one had heard of the event. WoldeGabriel stated that he felt the news report could have described an old mine or bomb exploding. Heavy fighting took place in the Gedo region during the Ethio-Somalian war of 1977. Somalia lacks an embassy in Washington DC; when asked during late August, Ayalaw Yiman, an Ethiopian embassy staff member in Washington DC also lacked any knowledge of a Somalian eruption.

A Somalian eruption would be significant since the closest known Holocene volcanoes occur in the central Ethiopian segment of the East African rift system S of Addis Ababa, ~500 km NW of the Gedo area. These Ethiopian rift volcanoes include volcanic fields, shield volcanoes, cinder cones, and stratovolcanoes.

Information Contacts: Xinhua News Agency, 5 Sharp Street West, Wanchai, Hong Kong; Giday WoldeGabriel, EES-1/MS D462, Geology-Geochemistry Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545; Ayalaw Yiman, Ethiopian Embassy, 2134 Kalorama Rd. NW, Washington DC 20008.


False Report of Sea of Marmara Eruption (Turkey) — November 1999

False Report of Sea of Marmara Eruption

Turkey

40.683°N, 29.1°E; summit elev. 0 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


UFO adherent claims new volcano in Sea of Marmara

Following the Ms 7.8 earthquake in Turkey on 17 August (BGVN 24:08) an Email message originating in Turkey was circulated, claiming that volcanic activity was observed coincident with the earthquake and suggesting a new (magmatic) volcano in the Sea of Marmara. For reasons outlined below, and in the absence of further evidence, editors of the Bulletin consider this a false report.

The report stated that fishermen near the village of Cinarcik, at the E end of the Sea of Marmara "saw the sea turned red with fireballs" shortly after the onset of the earthquake. They later found dead fish that appeared "fried." Their nets were "burned" while under water and contained samples of rocks alleged to look "magmatic."

No samples of the fish were preserved. A tectonic scientist in Istanbul speculated that hot water released by the earthquake from the many hot springs along the coast in that area may have killed some fish (although they would be boiled rather than fried).

The phenomenon called earthquake lights could explain the "fireballs" reportedly seen by the fishermen. Such effects have been reasonably established associated with large earthquakes, although their origin remains poorly understood. In addition to deformation-triggered piezoelectric effects, earthquake lights have sometimes been explained as due to the release of methane gas in areas of mass wasting (even under water). Omlin and others (1999), for example, found gas hydrate and methane releases associated with mud volcanoes in coastal submarine environments.

The astronomer and author Thomas Gold (Gold, 1998) has a website (Gold, 2000) where he presents a series of alleged quotes from witnesses of earthquakes. We include three such quotes here (along with Gold's dates, attributions, and other comments):

(A) Lima, 30 March 1828. "Water in the bay 'hissed as if hot iron was immersed in it,' bubbles and dead fish rose to the surface, and the anchor chain of HMS Volage was partially fused while lying in the mud on the bottom." (Attributed to Bagnold, 1829; the anchor chain is reported to be on display in the London Navy Museum.)

(B) Romania, 10 November 1940. ". . . a thick layer like a translucid gas above the surface of the soil . . . irregular gas fires . . . flames in rhythm with the movements of the soil . . . flashes like lightning from the floor to the summit of Mt Tampa . . . flames issuing from rocks, which crumbled, with flashes also issuing from non-wooded mountainsides." (Phrases used in eyewitness accounts collected by Demetrescu and Petrescu, 1941).

(C) Sungpan-Pingwu (China), 16, 22, and 23 August 1976. "From March of 1976, various large anomalies were observed over a broad region. . . . At the Wanchia commune of Chungching County, outbursts of natural gas from rock fissures ignited and were difficult to extinguish even by dumping dirt over the fissures. . . . Chu Chieh Cho, of the Provincial Seismological Bureau, related personally seeing a fireball 75 km from the epicenter on the night of 21 July while in the company of three professional seismologists."

Yalciner and others (1999) made a study of coastal areas along the Sea of Marmara after the Izmet earthquake. They found evidence for one or more tsunamis with maximum runups of 2.0-2.5 m. Preliminary modeling of the earthquake's response failed to reproduce the observed runups; the areas of maximum runup instead appeared to correspond most closely with several local mass-failure events. This observation together with the magnitude of the earthquake, and bottom soundings from marine geophysical teams, suggested mass wasting may have been fairly common on the floor of the Sea of Marmara.

Despite a wide range of poorly understood, dramatic processes associated with earthquakes (Izmet 1999 apparently included), there remains little evidence for volcanism around the time of the earthquake. The nearest Holocene volcano lies ~200 km SW of the report location. Neither Turkish geologists nor scientists from other countries in Turkey to study the 17 August earthquake reported any volcanism. The report said the fisherman found "magmatic" rocks; it is unlikely they would be familiar with this term.

The motivation and credibility of the report's originator, Erol Erkmen, are unknown. Certainly, the difficulty in translating from Turkish to English may have caused some problems in understanding. Erkmen is associated with a website devoted to reporting UFO activity in Turkey. Photographs of a "magmatic rock" sample were sent to the Bulletin, but they only showed dark rocks photographed devoid of a scale on a featureless background. The rocks shown did not appear to be vesicular or glassy. What was most significant to Bulletin editors was the report author's progressive reluctance to provide samples or encourage follow-up investigation with local scientists. Without the collaboration of trained scientists on the scene this report cannot be validated.

References. Omlin, A, Damm, E., Mienert, J., and Lukas, D., 1999, In-situ detection of methane releases adjacent to gas hydrate fields on the Norwegian margin: (Abstract) Fall AGU meeting 1999, Eos, American Geophysical Union.

Yalciner, A.C., Borrero, J., Kukano, U., Watts, P., Synolakis, C. E., and Imamura, F., 1999, Field survey of 1999 Izmit tsunami and modeling effort of new tsunami generation mechanism: (Abstract) Fall AGU meeting 1999, Eos, American Geophysical Union.

Gold, T., 1998, The deep hot biosphere: Springer Verlag, 256 p., ISBN: 0387985468.

Gold, T., 2000, Eye-witness accounts of several major earthquakes (URL: http://www.people.cornell.edu/ pages/tg21/eyewit.html).

Information Contacts: Erol Erkmen, Tuvpo Project Alp.


Har-Togoo (Mongolia) — May 2003

Har-Togoo

Mongolia

48.831°N, 101.626°E; summit elev. 1675 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fumaroles and minor seismicity since October 2002

In December 2002 information appeared in Mongolian and Russian newspapers and on national TV that a volcano in Central Mongolia, the Har-Togoo volcano, was producing white vapors and constant acoustic noise. Because of the potential hazard posed to two nearby settlements, mainly with regard to potential blocking of rivers, the Director of the Research Center of Astronomy and Geophysics of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bekhtur, organized a scientific expedition to the volcano on 19-20 March 2003. The scientific team also included M. Ulziibat, seismologist from the same Research Center, M. Ganzorig, the Director of the Institute of Informatics, and A. Ivanov from the Institute of the Earth's Crust, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Geological setting. The Miocene Har-Togoo shield volcano is situated on top of a vast volcanic plateau (figure 1). The 5,000-year-old Khorog (Horog) cone in the Taryatu-Chulutu volcanic field is located 135 km SW and the Quaternary Urun-Dush cone in the Khanuy Gol (Hanuy Gol) volcanic field is 95 km ENE. Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic rocks are also abundant in the vicinity of the Holocene volcanoes (Devyatkin and Smelov, 1979; Logatchev and others, 1982). Analysis of seismic activity recorded by a network of seismic stations across Mongolia shows that earthquakes of magnitude 2-3.5 are scattered around the Har-Togoo volcano at a distance of 10-15 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Photograph of the Har-Togoo volcano viewed from west, March 2003. Courtesy of Alexei Ivanov.

Observations during March 2003. The name of the volcano in the Mongolian language means "black-pot" and through questioning of the local inhabitants, it was learned that there is a local myth that a dragon lived in the volcano. The local inhabitants also mentioned that marmots, previously abundant in the area, began to migrate westwards five years ago; they are now practically absent from the area.

Acoustic noise and venting of colorless warm gas from a small hole near the summit were noticed in October 2002 by local residents. In December 2002, while snow lay on the ground, the hole was clearly visible to local visitors, and a second hole could be seen a few meters away; it is unclear whether or not white vapors were noticed on this occasion. During the inspection in March 2003 a third hole was seen. The second hole is located within a 3 x 3 m outcrop of cinder and pumice (figure 2) whereas the first and the third holes are located within massive basalts. When close to the holes, constant noise resembled a rapid river heard from afar. The second hole was covered with plastic sheeting fixed at the margins, but the plastic was blown off within 2-3 seconds. Gas from the second hole was sampled in a mechanically pumped glass sampler. Analysis by gas chromatography, performed a week later at the Institute of the Earth's Crust, showed that nitrogen and atmospheric air were the major constituents.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Photograph of the second hole sampled at Har-Togoo, with hammer for scale, March 2003. Courtesy of Alexei Ivanov.

The temperature of the gas at the first, second, and third holes was +1.1, +1.4, and +2.7°C, respectively, while air temperature was -4.6 to -4.7°C (measured on 19 March 2003). Repeated measurements of the temperatures on the next day gave values of +1.1, +0.8, and -6.0°C at the first, second, and third holes, respectively. Air temperature was -9.4°C. To avoid bias due to direct heating from sunlight the measurements were performed under shadow. All measurements were done with Chechtemp2 digital thermometer with precision of ± 0.1°C and accuracy ± 0.3°C.

Inside the mouth of the first hole was 4-10-cm-thick ice with suspended gas bubbles (figure 5). The ice and snow were sampled in plastic bottles, melted, and tested for pH and Eh with digital meters. The pH-meter was calibrated by Horiba Ltd (Kyoto, Japan) standard solutions 4 and 7. Water from melted ice appeared to be slightly acidic (pH 6.52) in comparison to water of melted snow (pH 7.04). Both pH values were within neutral solution values. No prominent difference in Eh (108 and 117 for ice and snow, respectively) was revealed.

Two digital short-period three-component stations were installed on top of Har-Togoo, one 50 m from the degassing holes and one in a remote area on basement rocks, for monitoring during 19-20 March 2003. Every hour 1-3 microseismic events with magnitude <2 were recorded. All seismic events were virtually identical and resembled A-type volcano-tectonic earthquakes (figure 6). Arrival difference between S and P waves were around 0.06-0.3 seconds for the Har-Togoo station and 0.1-1.5 seconds for the remote station. Assuming that the Har-Togoo station was located in the epicentral zone, the events were located at ~1-3 km depth. Seismic episodes similar to volcanic tremors were also recorded (figure 3).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Examples of an A-type volcano-tectonic earthquake and volcanic tremor episodes recorded at the Har-Togoo station on 19 March 2003. Courtesy of Alexei Ivanov.

Conclusions. The abnormal thermal and seismic activities could be the result of either hydrothermal or volcanic processes. This activity could have started in the fall of 2002 when they were directly observed for the first time, or possibly up to five years earlier when marmots started migrating from the area. Further studies are planned to investigate the cause of the fumarolic and seismic activities.

At the end of a second visit in early July, gas venting had stopped, but seismicity was continuing. In August there will be a workshop on Russian-Mongolian cooperation between Institutions of the Russian and Mongolian Academies of Sciences (held in Ulan-Bator, Mongolia), where the work being done on this volcano will be presented.

References. Devyatkin, E.V. and Smelov, S.B., 1979, Position of basalts in sequence of Cenozoic sediments of Mongolia: Izvestiya USSR Academy of Sciences, geological series, no. 1, p. 16-29. (In Russian).

Logatchev, N.A., Devyatkin, E.V., Malaeva, E.M., and others, 1982, Cenozoic deposits of Taryat basin and Chulutu river valley (Central Hangai): Izvestiya USSR Academy of Sciences, geological series, no. 8, p. 76-86. (In Russian).

Geologic Background. The Miocene Har-Togoo shield volcano, also known as Togoo Tologoy, is situated on top of a vast volcanic plateau. The 5,000-year-old Khorog (Horog) cone in the Taryatu-Chulutu volcanic field is located 135 km SW and the Quaternary Urun-Dush cone in the Khanuy Gol (Hanuy Gol) volcanic field is 95 km ENE. Analysis of seismic activity recorded by a network of seismic stations across Mongolia shows that earthquakes of magnitude 2-3.5 are scattered around the Har-Togoo volcano at a distance of 10-15 km.

Information Contacts: Alexei V. Ivanov, Institute of the Earth Crust SB, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia; Bekhtur andM. Ulziibat, Research Center of Astronomy and Geophysics, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Bator, Mongolia; M. Ganzorig, Institute of Informatics MAS, Ulan-Bator, Mongolia.


Elgon (Uganda) — December 2005

Elgon

Uganda

1.136°N, 34.559°E; summit elev. 3885 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


False report of activity; confusion caused by burning dung in a lava tube

An eruption at Mount Elgon was mistakenly inferred when fumes escaped from this otherwise quiet volcano. The fumes were eventually traced to dung burning in a lava-tube cave. The cave is home to, or visited by, wildlife ranging from bats to elephants. Mt. Elgon (Ol Doinyo Ilgoon) is a stratovolcano on the SW margin of a 13 x 16 km caldera that straddles the Uganda-Kenya border 140 km NE of the N shore of Lake Victoria. No eruptions are known in the historical record or in the Holocene.

On 7 September 2004 the web site of the Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation reported that villagers sighted and smelled noxious fumes from a cave on the flank of Mt. Elgon during August 2005. The villagers' concerns were taken quite seriously by both nations, to the extent that evacuation of nearby villages was considered.

The Daily Nation article added that shortly after the villagers' reports, Moses Masibo, Kenya's Western Province geology officer visited the cave, confirmed the villagers observations, and added that the temperature in the cave was 170°C. He recommended that nearby villagers move to safer locations. Masibo and Silas Simiyu of KenGens geothermal department collected ashes from the cave for testing.

Gerald Ernst reported on 19 September 2004 that he spoke with two local geologists involved with the Elgon crisis from the Geology Department of the University of Nairobi (Jiromo campus): Professor Nyambok and Zacharia Kuria (the former is a senior scientist who was unable to go in the field; the latter is a junior scientist who visited the site). According to Ernst their interpretation is that somebody set fire to bat guano in one of the caves. The fire was intense and probably explains the vigorous fuming, high temperatures, and suffocated animals. The event was also accompanied by emissions of gases with an ammonia odor. Ernst noted that this was not surprising considering the high nitrogen content of guano—ammonia is highly toxic and can also explain the animal deaths. The intense fumes initially caused substantial panic in the area.

It was Ernst's understanding that the authorities ordered evacuations while awaiting a report from local scientists, but that people returned before the report reached the authorities. The fire presumably prompted the response of local authorities who then urged the University geologists to analyze the situation. By the time geologists arrived, the fuming had ceased, or nearly so. The residue left by the fire and other observations led them to conclude that nothing remotely related to a volcanic eruption had occurred.

However, the incident emphasized the problem due to lack of a seismic station to monitor tectonic activity related to a local triple junction associated with the rift valley or volcanic seismicity. In response, one seismic station was moved from S Kenya to the area of Mt. Elgon so that local seismicity can be monitored in the future.

Information Contacts: Gerald Ernst, Univ. of Ghent, Krijgslaan 281/S8, B-9000, Belgium; Chris Newhall, USGS, Univ. of Washington, Dept. of Earth & Space Sciences, Box 351310, Seattle, WA 98195-1310, USA; The Daily Nation (URL: http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/); Uganda Tourist Board (URL: http://www.visituganda.com/).