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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

Ibu (Indonesia) Frequent ash plumes and small lava flows active in the crater through June 2019

Ebeko (Russia) Continuing frequent moderate explosions though May 2019; ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Weak thermal anomalies and moderate Strombolian-type eruptions in September 2018-June 2019

Yasur (Vanuatu) Strong thermal activity with incandescent ejecta continues, February-May 2019

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Infrequent thermal anomalies, no ash emissions, February-May 2019

Ambae (Vanuatu) Declining thermal activity and no explosions during February-May 2019

Sangay (Ecuador) Explosion on 26 March 2019; activity from 10 May through June produced ash plumes, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows

Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) Ash emissions and thermal anomalies during October 2018-April 2019; lava emissions at the E flank coast and summit area

Sarychev Peak (Russia) Brief ash emission reported on 16 May 2019

Nyiragongo (DR Congo) Lava lake remains active through May 2019; three new vents around the secondary cone

Bezymianny (Russia) Ongoing thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam plumes, and lava dome growth during February-May 2019; strong explosion in mid-March

Nevados de Chillan (Chile) Small ash explosions and dome growth during December 2018-May 2019; ballistic ejecta deposited around the crater, with a pyroclastic flow in May



Ibu (Indonesia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

1.488°N, 127.63°E; summit elev. 1325 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash plumes and small lava flows active in the crater through June 2019

Ibu volcano on Halmahera island in Indonesia began the current eruption episode on 5 April 2008. Since then, activity has largely consisted of small ash plumes with less frequent lava flows, lava dome growth, avalanches, and larger ash plumes up to 5.5 km above the crater. This report summarizes activity during December 2018 through June 2019 and is based on Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) reports by MAGMA Indonesia, reports by Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), and various satellite data.

During December PVMBG reported ash plumes ranging from 200 to 800 m above the crater. There were 11 MODVOLC thermal alerts that registered during 1-12 December. An explosion on 12 January 2019 produced an ash plume that reached 800 m above the crater and dispersed to the S (figure 15). A report released for this event by Sutopo at BNPB said that Ibu had erupted almost every day over the past three months; an example given was of activity on 10 January consisting of 80 explosions. There were four MODVOLC thermal alerts through the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. An eruption at Ibu at 1712 on 21 January 2019 produced an ash plume that rose to 800 m above the crater. Courtesy of BNPB (color adjusted).

Throughout February explosions frequently produced ash plumes as high as 800 m above the crater, and nine MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued. Daily reports showed variable plume heights of 200-800 m most days throughout the month. Wind directions varied and dispersed the plumes in all directions. A VONA released at 1850 on 6 February reported an ash plume that rose to 1,925 m altitude (around 600 m above the summit) and dispersed S. Activity continued through March with the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG reporting explosions producing ash plumes to heights of 200-800 m above the crater and dispersing in various directions. There were ten MODVOLC alerts through the month.

Similar activity continued through April, May, and June, with ash plumes reaching 200-800 m above the crater. There were 12, 6, and 15 MODVOLC Alerts in April, May, and June, respectively.

Planet Scope satellite images show activity at a two vents near the center of the crater that were producing small lava flows from February through June (figure 16). Thermal anomalies were frequent during December 2018 through June 2019 across MODVOLC, MIROVA, and Sentinel-2 infrared data (figures 17 and 18). Sentinel-2 data showed minor variation in the location of thermal anomalies within the crater, possibly indicating lava flow activity, and MIROVA data showed relatively constant activity with a few reductions in thermal activity during January and February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Planet Scope natural color satellite images showing activity in the Ibu crater during January through June 2019, with white arrows indicating sites of activity. One vent is visible in the 21 February image, and a 330-m-long (from the far side of the vent) lava flow with flow ridges had developed by 24 March. A second vent was active by 12 May with a new lava flow reaching a maximum length of 520 m. Activity was centered back at the previous vent by 23-27 June. Natural color Planet Scope Imagery, copyright 2019 Planet Labs, Inc.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Examples of thermal activity in the Ibu crater during January through May 2019. These Sentinel-2 satellite images show variations in hot areas in the crater due to a vent producing a small lava flow. Sentinel-2 false color (urban) images (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared at Ibu from September 2018 through June 2019. The registered energy was relatively stable through December, with breaks in January and February. Regular thermal anomalies continued with slight variation through to the end of June. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km wide and 400 m deep, contained several small crater lakes through much of historical time. The outer crater, 1.2 km wide, is breached on the north side, creating a steep-walled valley. A large parasitic cone is located ENE of the summit. A smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks. Only a few eruptions have been recorded in historical time, the first a small explosive eruption from the summit crater in 1911. An eruption producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater began in December 1998.

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/); 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/); 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/); 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/); 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); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/).


Ebeko (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continuing frequent moderate explosions though May 2019; ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk

The Ebeko volcano, located on the northern end of the Paramushir Island in the Kuril Islands, consists of many craters, lakes, and thermal features and has been frequently erupting since late February 2017. Typical activity includes ash plumes, explosive eruptions, and gas-and-steam activity. The previous report through November 2018 (BGVN 43:12) described frequent ash explosions that sometimes caused ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk (7 km E). The primary source of information is the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT). This report updates the volcanic activity at Ebeko for December 2018 through May 2019.

Frequent moderate explosive activity continued after November 2018. Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk observed explosions sending up ash, which drifted N, NE, and E, resulting in ash falls on Severo-Kurilsk on 28 different days between December 2018 and March 2019. On 25 December 2018 an explosion sent ash up to a maximum altitude of 4.5 km and then drifted N for about 5 km. Explosions occurring on 8-10 March 2019 sent ash up to an altitude of 4 km, resulting in ashfall on Severo-Kurilsk on 9-10 March 2019. An ash plume from these explosions rose to a height of 2.5 km and drifted to a maximum distance of 30 km ENE.

Satellite data analyzed by KVERT registered 12 thermal anomalies from December 2018 through May 2019. According to satellite data analyzed by MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), only one thermal anomaly was recorded from December 2018-May 2019, and no hotspot pixels were recognized using satellite thermal data from the MODVOLC algorithm.

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/); 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/).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

56.056°N, 160.642°E; summit elev. 4754 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Weak thermal anomalies and moderate Strombolian-type eruptions in September 2018-June 2019

Klyuchevskoy has had alternating eruptive and less active periods since August 2015. Activity has included lava flows, a growing cinder cone, thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam plumes, and ash explosions. Though some eruptions occur near the summit crater, major explosive and effusive eruptions have also occurred from flank craters (BGVN 42:04 and 43:05). Intermittent moderate gas-and-steam and ash emissions were previously reported from mid-February to mid-August 2018. The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) is the primary source of information for this September 2018-June 2019 reporting period.

KVERT reported that moderate gas-and-steam activity, some of which contained a small amount of ash, and weak thermal anomalies occurred intermittently from the beginning of September 2018 through mid-April 2019. On 21-22 April 2019 webcam data showed a gas-and-steam plume extending about 160 km SE (figure 31). Moderate Strombolian-type volcanism began late April 2019 and continued intermittently through June 2019. On 11-12 June webcam data showed explosions that sent ash up to a maximum altitude of 6 km, with the resulting ash plume extending about 200 km WNW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Gas-and-steam plume containing some amount of ash rising from the summit of Klyuchevskoy on 22 April 2019. Photo by A. Klimova, courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS FEB RAS).

Thermal anomalies were noted by KVERT during two days in September 2018, six days in April 2019, eleven days in May 2019, and six days in June 2019. MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed infrequent weak thermal anomalies December 2018 through early May 2019.

Geologic Background. Klyuchevskoy (also spelled Kliuchevskoi) is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank 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/); 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/).


Yasur (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strong thermal activity with incandescent ejecta continues, February-May 2019

Yasur volcano on Tanna Island has been characterized by Strombolian activity with large incandescent bombs, frequent explosions, lava fountaining, and ash emissions for much of its known eruptive history. Melanesians from nearby islands are believed to have settled Tanna in about 400 BCE; it is now part of the nation of Vanuatu, independent since 1980. The Kwamera language (or Tannese) spoken on the SE coast of the island is thought to be the source of the name of the island. No known oral history describes volcanic activity; the first written English-language documentation of activity dates to 5 August 1774, when Captain James Cook saw "a great fire" on Tanna Island. Cook realized that it "was a Volcano which threw up vast quantities of fire and smoak and made a rumbling noise which was heard at a good distance" (The Captain Cook Society) (figure 51).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Incandescence, steam, and dark ash from Yasur fill the sky in this sketch representing Captain James Cook's landing in the 'Resolution' at Tanna Island on 5 August 1774. The form of the volcano is behind the ship, the incandescence is in the upper right next to the ship's masts. "Landing at Tanna" by William Hodges, 1775-1776, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. The Maritime Museum noted that this is one of a group of panel paintings produced by Hodges of encounters with islanders during the voyage, in which the European perception of each society at the time is portrayed. Image taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Based on numerous accounts from ships logs and other sources, volcanic activity has been continuous since that time. During periods of higher activity, multiple vents within the summit crater send ejecta 100 m or more above the crater rim, with large bombs occasionally landing hundreds of meters away. Continued activity during February-May 2019 is covered in this report with information provided by the Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) which monitors the volcano and satellite data; photographs from tourists also provide valuable information about this remote location.

VMGD has maintained Alert Level 2 at Yasur since October 2016, indicating that it is in a major state of unrest. There is a permanent exclusion zone within 395 m of the eruptive vents where access is prohibited due to multiple hazards, primarily from large incandescent bombs up to 4 m in diameter which have been ejected from the vents onto the crater rim in the past, resulting in fatalities (BGVN 20:08).

Satellite and ground based information all support high levels of thermal activity during February -May 2019. MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued 11 times in February, 27 times in March, and 20 times each in April and May. The MIROVA graph also indicated the ongoing consistently high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 52). Plumes of SO2 emissions are common from Vanuatu's volcanoes; newer higher resolution data available beginning in 2019 reveal a persistent stream of SO2 from Yasur on a near-daily basis (figure 53).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. The MIROVA graph of thermal energy at Yasur from 3 September 2018 through May 2019 indicates the ongoing activity at the volcano. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. The SO2 plumes from Yasur were persistent during January-May 2019 when they were visible many days of each week throughout the period. Top left: On 12 January plumes were visible drifting E from both Ambrym (top) and Yasur (bottom). Top right: Plumes drifted W from three Vanuatu volcanoes on 7 February, Gaua (top), Ambrym (middle) and Yasur (bottom). Bottom left: On 12 March N drifting plumes could be seen from Ambae (top) and Yasur (bottom). On 27 April, only Yasur had an SO2 plume drifting W. Courtesy of Goddard Space Flight Center.

Satellite imagery confirmed that the heat sources from Yasur were vents within the summit crater of the pyroclastic cone. Both northern and southern vent areas were active. On 7 March 2019 the N vent area had a strong thermal signal. Ten days later, on 17 March, similar intensity thermal anomalies were present in both the N and S vent areas (figure 54). On 6 April the S vent area had a stronger signal, and gas emissions from both vents were drifting N (figure 55). Satellite imagery from 21 May 2019 indicated a strong thermal signal inside the crater in the area of the vents, and included a weaker signal clearly visible on the inside E crater rim. Strong Strombolian activity or spatter sending large incandescent bombs as far as the crater rim are a likely explanation for the signal (figure 56), underscoring the hazardous nature of approaching the crater rim.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Strong thermal anomalies from the crater of Yasur's pyroclastic cone seen in satellite images confirmed the ongoing high level of activity. Left: 7 March 2019, a strong thermal anomaly from the N vent area, shown with "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2). Right: 17 March 2019, thermal anomalies at both the N and S vent areas, shown with "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). The crater is about 500 m in diameter. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Strong thermal anomalies (left) and gas emissions (right) at Yasur were captured with different bands in the same Sentinel-2 satellite image on 6 April 2019. Left: The thermal anomaly in the S vent area was stronger than in the N vent area, "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Right: Gas plumes drifted N from both vent areas, "Natural color" rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). The crater is about 500 m in diameter. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Thermal activity from the crater of Yasur on 21 May 2019 produced a strong thermal signal from the center of the crater and a weaker signal on the inside E crater rim, likely the result of hazardous incandescent bombs and ejecta, frequent products of the activity at Yasur. Left: "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Right: "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2). The crater is about 0.5 km in diameter. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Tourists visit Yasur on a regular basis. A former lake on the N side of Yasur has left ripples in the sand deposits over older volcanic rocks on the N side of the volcano (figure 57) since it drained in 2000 (BGVN 28:01). Visitors are allowed to approach the S rim of the crater where incandescence from both the N and S vents is usually visible (figure 58). Incandescent spatter from the convecting lava in the vents is highly dangerous and unpredictable and often covers the inner slopes of the rim as well as sending bombs outside the crater (figure 59).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. The pyroclastic cone of Yasur viewed from the north on 6 May 2019. Ripples in volcaniclastic sand in the foreground are remnants of a lake that was present on the N side of the volcano until a natural dam breached in 2000. Copyrighted photo by Nick Page, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Two glowing vents were visible from the south rim of Yasur on 6 May 2019. The S vent area is in the foreground, the N vent area is in the upper left. Copyrighted by Nick Page, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Incandescent spatter at Yasur on 6 May 2019 sent fragments of lava against the inside crater wall and onto the rim. The convecting lava in the vent can be seen in the lower foreground. Copyrighted photo by Nick Page, used with permission.

Geologic Background. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); 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/); 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); 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/); The Captain Cook Society (URL: https://www.captaincooksociety.com/home/detail/225-years-ago-july-september-1774); Royal Museums Greenwich (URL: https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/13383.html); Wikimedia Commons, (URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Landing_at_Tana_one_of_the_New_Hebrides,_by_William_Hodges.jpg); Nick Page, Australia,Flickr: (URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/152585166@N08/).


Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — June 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)


Infrequent thermal anomalies, no ash emissions, February-May 2019

With historical eruptions reported back to 1842, Papua New Guinea's Bagana volcano on the island of Bougainville has been characterized by viscous andesitic lava flows down the steep flanks of its cone, along with intermittent ash plumes and pyroclastic flows. Ongoing thermal anomalies and frequent ash plumes have been typical of activity during the current eruption since it began in early 2000. Activity declined significantly in December 2018 and remained low through May 2019, the period covered in this report (figure 33). Information for this report comes primarily from satellite images and thermal data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. The MIROVA plot of radiative power at Bagana from 1 September 2018 through May 2019 shows a marked decline in thermal activity during December 2018 after ash explosions and satellite observations of flows during the previous months. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The last ash emission at Bagana was reported on 1 December 2018 by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). A Sentinel-2 satellite image showed a linear thermal anomaly trending NW from the summit on 14 December (BGVN 50:01). On 8 January 2019, an image contained a dense steam plume drifting E and a very faint thermal anomaly on the N flank a few hundred meters from the summit. A more distinct thermal anomaly at the summit appeared on 22 February 2019 (figure 34). A visitor to the region photographed incandescence on the flank, likely from the volcano, at dawn around 19 February 2019 (figure 35).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery revealed thermal anomalies at Bagana in January and February 2019. Left: a very faint thermal anomaly was N of the summit at the edge of the E-drifting steam plume on 8 January 2019. Right: A thermal anomaly was located at the summit, at the base of the NE-drifting steam plume on 22 February 2019. Sentinel-2 satellite images with "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. A visitor near Bagana spotted incandescence on the flank at dawn, possibly from a lava flow. Posted online 19 February 2019. Courtesy of Emily Stanford.

Two faint thermal anomalies were visible at the summit in satellite imagery on 19 March; a single one appeared on 29 March 2019 (figure 36). No thermal anomalies were recorded in Sentinel-2 images during April or May, but steam plumes and gas emissions were visible through cloud cover on multiple occasions (figure 37).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Faint thermal anomalies at Bagana were recorded in satellite imagery twice during March 2019. Left: 19 March, two anomalies appear right of the date label. Right: 29 March, a small anomaly appears right of the date label. Sentinel-2 image rendered with "Atmospheric Penetration" (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Steam and gas emissions at Bagana were recorded in satellite imagery during April and May 2019. Left: A steam plume drifted NW from the summit on 23 April, visible through dense cloud cover. Right: A gas plume drifted SW from the summit on 18 May. Sentinel-2 image with "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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/); 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/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Emily Stanford (Twitter: https://twitter.com/NerdyBatLady, image posted at https://twitter.com/NerdyBatLady/status/1098052063009792001/photo/1).


Ambae (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Declining thermal activity and no explosions during February-May 2019

Ambae (Aoba) is a large basaltic shield volcano in the New Hebrides arc, part of the multi-island country of Vanuatu. Its periodic phreatic and pyroclastic explosions originating in the summit crater lakes have been recorded since the 16th century. A pyroclastic cone appeared in Lake Voui during November 2005-February 2006 (BGVN 31:12, figure 30); an explosive eruption from a new pyroclastic cone in the lake began in mid-September 2017 (BGVN 43:02). Activity included high-altitude ash emissions (9.1 km), lava flows, and Strombolian activity. Intermittent pulses of ash emissions during the following months resulted in extensive ashfall and evacuations; multiple communities were affected by lahars. The most recent episode of the eruption from July to September 2018 (BGVN 44:02) resulted in 11-km-altitude ash plumes and the evacuation of the entire island due to heavy ashfall and lahars. This report covers activity from February to May 2019, with information provided by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory of the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) and satellite data from multiple sources.

Activity diminished after the extensive eruptive phase of July-September 2018 when substantial ash plumes and ashfall resulted in evacuations. An explosion with an ash plume on 30 October 2018 was the last activity reported for 2018. Thermal alerts were reported by the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) MODVOLC thermal alerts system through January 2019, and the Log Radiative Power graph prepared by the MIROVA project showed decreasing thermal anomalies into June 2019 (figure 92). Satellite images recorded in April and May 2019 (figure 93) showed the configuration of the summit lakes to be little changed from the previous November except for the color (BGVN 44:02, figure 89). No ash emissions or SO2 plumes were reported during the period. VMGD noted that the volcano remained at Alert Level 2 through May 2019 with a 2-km-radius exclusion zone around the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. The MIROVA log radiative power plot for Ambae showed ongoing intermittent thermal anomalies from early September 2018 through May 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. Satellite imagery in April and May 2019 showed little change in the configuration of lakes at the summit of Ambae since November 2018 (see BGVN 44:02, figure 89). Left: 24 April 2019. Right: 29 May 2019. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery with "Natural Color" rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); 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/); 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).


Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosion on 26 March 2019; activity from 10 May through June produced ash plumes, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows

Sangay is the southernmost active volcano in Ecuador, with confirmed historical eruptions going back to 1628. The previous eruption occurred during August and December and was characterized by ash plumes reaching 2,500 m above the crater. Lava flows and pyroclastic flows descended the eastern and southern flanks. This report summarizes activity during January through July 2019 and is based on reports by Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

After the December 2018 eruption there was a larger reduction in seismicity, down to one event per day. During January, February, and most of March there was no recorded activity and low seismicity until the Washington VAAC reported an ash plume at 0615 on 26 March. The ash plume rose to a height of around 1 km and dispersed to the SW as seen in GOES 16 satellite imagery as a dark plume within white meteorological clouds. There was no seismic data available due to technical problems with the station.

More persistent eruptive activity began on 10 May with thermal alerts (figure 30) and an ash plume at 0700 that dispersed to the W. An explosion was recorded at 1938 on 11 May, producing an ash plume and incandescent material down the flank (figure 31). Two M 2 earthquakes were detected between 3.5 and 9 km below the crater on 10 May, possibly corresponding to explosive activity. By 17 May there were two active eruptive centers, the central crater and the Ñuñurcu dome (figure 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared at Sangay for the year ending June 2019. The plot shows the August to December 2018 eruption, a break in activity, and resumed activity in May 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. An explosion at Sangay on 10 May 2019 sent ballistic projectiles up to 650 m above the crater at a velocity of over 400 km/hour, an ash plume that rose to over 600 m, and incandescent blocks that traveled over 1.5 km from the crater at velocities of around 150 km/hour. Screenshots are from video by IG-EPN.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. A photograph of the southern flank of Sangay on 17 May 2019 with the corresponding thermal infrared image in the top right corner. The letters correspond to: a) a fissure to the W of the lava flow; b) an active lava flow from the Ñuñurcu dome; c) the central crater producing a volcanic gas plume; d) a pyroclastic flow deposit produced by collapsing material from the front of the lava flow. Prepared by M. Almeida; courtesy of IG-EPN (special report No. 3 – 2019).

Activity at the central crater by 21 May was characterized by sporadic explosive eruptions that ejected hot ballistic ejecta (blocks) with velocities over 400 km/hour; after landing on the flanks the blocks travelled out to 2.5 km from the crater. Ash plumes reached heights between 0.9-2.3 km above the crater and dispersed mainly to the W and NW; gas plumes also dispersed to the W. The Ñuñurcu dome is located around 190 m SSE of the central crater and by 21 May had produced a lava flow over 470 m long with a maximum width of 175 m and an estimated minimum volume of 300,000 to 600,000 m3. Small pyroclastic flows and rockfalls resulted from collapse of the lava flow front, depositing material over a broad area on the E-SE flanks (figure 33). One pyroclastic flow reached 340 m and covered an area of 14,300 m2. During the 17 May observation flight the lava flow surface reached 277°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. A view of the ESE flanks of Sangay on 17 May 2019. The area within the black dotted line is the main area of pyroclastic flow deposition from the Ñuñurco Dome. Photo by M. Almeida; courtesy of IG-EPN (special report No. 4 – 2019).

At the end of June activity was continuing at the central crater and Ñuñurco Dome. At least three lava flows had been generated from the dome down the SE flank and pyroclastic flows continued to form from the flow fronts (figure 34). Pyroclastic material had been washed into the Upano river and steam was observed in the Volcán River possibly due to the presence of hot rocks. Ash plumes continued through June reaching heights of 800 m above the crater (figure 35), but no ashfall had been reported in nearby communities.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. Sentinel-2 natural color (left) and thermal (center) images (bands 12, 11, 4), and 1:50 000 scale maps (right) of Sangay with interpretation on the background of a 30 m numerical terrain model (WGS84; Zone 17S) (Prepared by B. Bernard). The dates from top to bottom are 17 May, 22 May, 27 May, 16 June, and 26 June 2019. Prepared by B. Bernard; courtesy IG-EPN (special report No. 4 – 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Plots giving the heights and dispersal direction of ash plumes at Sangay during May and June 2019. Top: Ash plume heights measures in meters above the crater. Bottom: A plot showing that the dominant dispersal direction of ash plumes is to the W during this time. Courtesy of IG-EPN (special report No. 4 – 2019).

Geologic Background. The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec); 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, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); 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/); 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).


Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) — May 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kadovar

Papua New Guinea

3.608°S, 144.588°E; summit elev. 365 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions and thermal anomalies during October 2018-April 2019; lava emissions at the E flank coast and summit area

Steeply-sloped Kadovar Island is located about 25 km NNE from the mouth of the Sepik River on the mainland of Papua New Guinea. The first confirmed historical eruption with ash plumes and lava extrusion began in early January 2018, resulting in the evacuation of around 600 residents from the N side of the approximately 1.4-km-diameter island (BGVN 43:03); continuing activity from October 2018 through April 2019 is covered in this report. Information was provided by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), satellite sources, and photos from visiting tourists.

Activity during March-September 2018. After the first recorded explosions with ash plumes in early January 2018, intermittent ash plumes continued through March 2018. A lava flow on the E flank extended outward from the island, extruding from a vent low on the E flank and forming a dome just offshore. The dome collapsed and regrew twice during February 2018; the growth rate slowed somewhat during March. A satellite image from 21 March 2018 was one of the first showing the new dome growing off the E flank with a thermal anomaly and sediment plumes in the water drifting N and E from the area. Thermal anomalies were visible at both the summit vent and the E-flank coastal dome in in April and May 2018, along with steam and gas rising from both locations (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Kadovar provided clear evidence of thermal activity at the new E-flank coastal dome during March-May 2018. Sediment plumes were visible drifting N and E in the water adjacent to the coastal dome. The summit crater also had a persistent steam plume and thermal anomaly in April and May 2018. Left: 21 March 2018. Middle 10 April 2018. Right: 15 May 2018. Images all shown with "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A trip to Kadovar by tourists in mid-May 2018 provided close-up views of the dense steam plumes at the summit and the growing E-flank coastal dome (figures 20 and 21). The thermal anomaly was still strong at the E-flank coastal dome in a mid-June satellite image, but appeared diminished in late July. Intermittent puffs of steam rose from both the summit and the coastal dome in mid-June; the summit plume was much denser on 29 July (figure 22). Ash emissions were reported by the Darwin VAAC and photographed by tourists during June (figure 23) and September 2018 (BGVN 43:10), but thermal activity appeared to decline during that period (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. A tourist photographed Kadovar and posted it online on 19 May 2018. Steam plumes rose from both the summit and the E-flank coastal dome in this view taken from the SE. Courtesy of Tico Liu.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. A closeup view of the E-flank coastal dome at Kadovar posted online on 19 May 2018 showed steam rising from several places on the dome, and dead trees on the flank of the volcano from recent eruptive activity. Courtesy of Tico Liu.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. The thermal anomaly was still strong at the E-flank coastal dome of Kadovar in a 14 June 2018 satellite image (left), but appeared diminished on 29 July 2018 (right). Intermittent puffs of steam rose from both the summit and the coastal dome on 14 June; the summit plume was much denser on 29 July. Sentinel-2 images both show "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. An ash plume rose from the summit of Kadovar and drifted W while steam and gas rose from the E-flank coastal dome, posted online 27 June 2018. Courtesy of Shari Kalt.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Thermal activity at Kadovar for the year ending on 26 April 2019 was consistent from late April 2018 through mid-June 2018; a quiet period afterwards through late September ended with renewed and increased thermal activity beginning in October 2018. All distances are actually within 1 km of the summit of Kadovar, a DEM georeferencing error makes some locations appear further away. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Multiple satellite images during August and early September 2018 showed little or no sign of thermal activity at the E-flank coastal dome, with only intermittent steam plumes from the summit. A new steam plume on the eastern slope appeared in a 22 September 2018 image (figure 25). The Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reported explosive activity on the afternoon of 21 September. Noises of explosions were accompanied by dark gray and brown ash clouds that rose several hundred meters above the summit crater and drifted NW. Local reports indicated that the activity continued through 26 September and ashfall was reported on Blupblup island during the period. Ground observers noted incandescence visible from both the summit and the E-flank coastal dome.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Steam plumes were seen in satellite images of Kadovar during August and early September 2018, but no thermal anomalies. Intermittent steam plumes rose from the summit vent on 28 August (left). A new dense steam plume originating mid-way down the E flank appeared on 22 September 2018 (right). Sentinel-2 images both show "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during October-December 2018. Evidence of both thermal and explosive activity reappeared in October 2018 (figure 24). The Darwin VAAC reported intermittent ash plumes rising to 2.7 km altitude and drifting W on 1 October 2018. Low-level continuous ash emissions rising less than a kilometer and drifting W were reported early on 3 October. A higher plume drifted WNW at 2.4 km altitude on 7 October. Intermittent discrete emissions of ash continued daily at that altitude through 16 October, drifting NW or W. Ash emissions drifting NW and thermal anomalies at the summit were visible in satellite imagery on 2 and 12 October (figure 26). A brief ash emission was reported on 21 October 2018 at 2.4 km altitude drifting NE for a few hours. Intermittent ash emissions also appeared on 29 October moving SE at 1.8 km altitude. For the following three days ash drifted SW, W, then NW at 2.1 km altitude, finally dissipating on 1 November; the thermal anomaly at the summit was large and intense in satellite images on 27 October and 1 November compared with previous images (figure 27).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Ash emissions drifting NW and thermal anomalies at the summit of Kadovar were visible in satellite imagery on 2 and 12 October 2018; no thermal activity was noted at the E-flank coastal dome. Sentinel-2 images both show "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Strong thermal anomalies at the summit of Kadovar on 27 October and 1 November 2018 were not concealed by the steam plumes drifting SW and NW from the summit. Sentinel-2 images both show "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

An ash explosion was photographed by tourists on a cruise ship on the afternoon of 6 November 2018 (figure 28). After the explosion, a dense steam plume rose from a large dome of lava near the summit at the top of the E flank (figure 29). Continuous ash emissions rising to 1.8 km altitude were reported by the Darwin VAAC beginning on 9 November 2018 moving WNW and lasting about 24 hours. A new ash plume clearly identifiable on satellite imagery appeared on 13 November at 2.4 km altitude moving E, again visible for about 24 hours. Another shipboard tourist photographed an ash plume on 18 November rising a few hundred meters above the summit (figure 30).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. An explosion at Kadovar photographed on the afternoon of 6 November 2018 sent a dense gray ash plume hundreds of meters above the summit drifting W; blocks of volcanic debris descended the flanks as well. View is from the S. Courtesy of Coral Expeditions, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Tourists on a cruise ship passed by Kadovar on 6 November 2018 and witnessed a steam plume drifting W from a large dome of lava near the summit at the top of the E flank after an ash explosion. Smaller steam plumes were visible in the middle and at the base of the E flank, but no activity was visible at the coastal dome off the E flank (lower right). View is from the SE. Courtesy of Coral Expeditions, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. An ash plume rose at dusk from the summit of Kadovar and was witnessed by a cruise ship tourist on 18 November 2018. View is from the E; the E-flank coastal dome is a lighter area in the lower foreground. Courtesy of Philip Stern.

Low-level ash emissions were reported briefly on 28 November at about 1 km altitude moving SE. Intermittent puffs of ash were seen drifting WSW on 2 and 3 December at about 1.2 km altitude. They were the last VAAC reports for 2018. Two thermal anomalies were visible at the summit in satellite imagery on 26 November, they grew larger and more intense through 16 December when multiple anomalies appeared at the summit and on the E flank (figure 31).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Multiple thermal anomalies near the summit of Kadovar grew larger and more intense between 26 November and 16 December 2018. Sentinel-2 images show "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during January-April 2019. Multiple thermal anomalies were still visible at the summit in satellite imagery on 5 January 2019 as regular puffs of steam drifted SE from the summit, leaving a long trail in the atmosphere (figure 32). Additional imagery on 10 and 30 January showed a single anomaly at the summit, even through dense meteorologic clouds. A short-lived ash emission rose to 2.4 km altitude on 11 January 2019 and drifted E; it dissipated the next day. Multiple minor intermittent discrete ash plumes extended WNW at 3.0 km altitude on 18 January; they dissipated within six hours.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Multiple thermal anomalies were visible in satellite imagery of Kadovar on 5 January 2019 as regular puffs of steam drifted SE from the summit. Sentinel-2 image shows "Geology" rendering using bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force released images of eruptive activity on 10 February 2019 (figure 33). Satellite imagery in February was largely obscured by weather; two thermal anomalies were barely visible through clouds at the summit on 14 February. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash emission at 1.8 km altitude drifting ESE on 16 February; a similar plume appeared on 21 February that also dissipated in just a few hours.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. The Royal New Zealand Air Force released images of an ash plume at Kadovar on 10 February 2019. Courtesy of Brad Scott.

Satellite imagery on 1 March 2019 confirmed a strong thermal anomaly from the summit and down the E flank almost to the coast. A month later on 5 April the anomaly was nearly as strong and a dense ash and steam plume drifted N from the summit (figure 34). A tourist witnessed a dense steam plume rising from the summit on 4 April (figure 35). Multiple discrete eruptions were observed in satellite imagery by the Darwin VAAC on 9 April at 1.2-1.5 km altitude drifting SE. The thermal anomaly at the summit persisted in satellite imagery taken on 15 April 2019.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. A strong thermal anomaly appeared from the summit down the E flank of Kadovar on 1 March 2019 (left). A month later on 5 April the strong anomaly was still present beneath a dense plume of ash and steam (right). Sentinel-2 imagery shows "Geology" rendering with bands 12, 4, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. A dense steam plume is shown here rising from the summit area of Kadovar, posted online on 4 April 2019. View is from the N. Courtesy of Chaiyasit Saengsirirak.

Geologic Background. The 2-km-wide island of Kadovar is the emergent summit of a Bismarck Sea stratovolcano of Holocene age. Kadovar is part of the Schouten Islands, and lies off the coast of New Guinea, about 25 km N of the mouth of the Sepik River. The village of Gewai is perched on the crater rim. A 365-m-high lava dome forming the high point of the andesitic volcano fills an arcuate landslide scarp that is open to the south, and submarine debris-avalanche deposits occur in that direction. Thick lava flows with columnar jointing forms low cliffs along the coast. The youthful island lacks fringing or offshore reefs. No certain historical eruptions are known; the latest activity was a period of heightened thermal phenomena in 1976.

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; 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/); Tico Liu, Hong Kong (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tico.liu. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155389178192793&set=pcb.10155389178372793&type=3&theater); Shari Kalt (Instagram user LuxuryTravelAdvisor: https://www.instagram.com/luxurytraveladviser/, https://www.instagram.com/p/BkhalnuHu2j/); Coral Expeditions, Australia (URL: https://www.coralexpeditions.com/, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coralexpeditions); Philip Stern (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sternph, https://www.facebook.com/sternph/posts/2167501866616908); Brad Scott, GNS Science Volcanologist at GNS Science, New Zealand (Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eruptn); Chaiyasit Saengsirirak, Bangkok, Thailand (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chaiyasit.saengsirirak, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2197513186969355).


Sarychev Peak (Russia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sarychev Peak

Russia

48.092°N, 153.2°E; summit elev. 1496 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Brief ash emission reported on 16 May 2019

Located on Matua Island in the central Kurile Islands of Russia, Sarychev Peak has historical observations of eruptions dating back to 1765. Thermal activity in October 2017 (BGVN 43:11) was the first sign of renewed activity since a major eruption with ash plumes and pyroclastic flows in June 2009 (BGVN 34:06). The following month (November 2017) there was fresh dark material on the NW flank that appeared to be from a flow of some kind. After that, intermittent thermal anomalies were the only activity reported until explosions with ash plumes took place that lasted for about a week in mid-September 2018 (figure 24). Additional explosions in mid-October were the last reported for 2018. A single ash explosion in May 2019 was the only reported activity from November 2018 to May 2019, the period covered in this report. Information is provided by the Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) and the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), members of the Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS), and from satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Multiple ash plumes were observed at Sarychev Peak during September 2018. Left: 13 September. Right: 18 September. Photos by S. A. Tatarenkov, courtesy of IMGG FEB RAS.

Satellite imagery in mid-September and early October 2018 showed gas emissions from the summit vent, and a weak thermal anomaly in October (figure 25). KVERT lowered the Aviation Color Code from Orange to Yellow on 1 November 2018, and SVERT released a VONA on 12 November 2018 lowering the Aviation Color Code from Yellow to Green after the ash emissions in October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Minor gas emissions were visible at Sarychev Peak in satellite imagery in mid-September and early October 2018; a possible weak thermal anomaly appeared in the summit vent in October. Top left: 13 September. Top right: 18 September. Bottom left: 8 October. Bottom right: 11 October. The 13 September image uses "Natural Color" rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) and the other images use "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2). Sentinel-2 satellite imagery courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Sentinel-2 satellite instruments in March, April, and May 2019 acquired images that showed dark streaks in the snow-covered peak radiating out from the summit vent in various directions. As the spring snows melted, more dark streaks appeared. It is unclear whether the streaks represent fresh ash, particulates from gas emissions in the snow, or concentrated material from earlier emissions that were exposed during the spring melting (figure 26). No further activity was reported until the Tokyo VAAC noted an eruption on 16 May 2019 that produced an ash plume which rose to 2.4 km altitude and drifted S. It was visible in satellite imagery for 3 or 4 hours before dissipating. SVERT reported the ash plume visible up to 50 km SE of the island. They also noted that weak thermal anomalies had been seen in satellite data on 10, 12, and 17 May 2019.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Streaks of brown radiate outward from the summit vent at Sarychev Peak in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery taken during March-May 2019. The exact material and timing of deposition is unknown. Top left: 17 March. Top middle: 14 April. Top right: 19 April. Bottom left: 29 April, Bottom middle: 6 May. Bottom right: 26 May 2019. Sentinel-2 images with "Natural Color" rendering using bands 4,3, and 2. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes of the Kuril Islands, occupies the NW end of Matua Island in the central Kuriles. The andesitic central cone was constructed within a 3-3.5-km-wide caldera, whose rim is exposed only on the SW side. A dramatic 250-m-wide, very steep-walled crater with a jagged rim caps the volcano. The substantially higher SE rim forms the 1496 m high point of the island. Fresh-looking lava flows, prior to activity in 2009, had descended in all directions, often forming capes along the coast. Much of the lower-angle outer flanks of the volcano are overlain by pyroclastic-flow deposits. Eruptions have been recorded since the 1760s and include both quiet lava effusion and violent explosions. Large eruptions in 1946 and 2009 produced pyroclastic flows that reached the sea.

Information Contacts: Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, (FEB RAS IMGG), 693 022 Russia, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, ul. Science 1B (URL: http://imgg.ru/ru); Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT), Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Science, Nauki st., 1B, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, 693022 (URL: http://www.imgg.ru/en/, http://www.imgg.ru/ru/svert/reports); 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/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — May 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 remains active through May 2019; three new vents around the secondary cone

Since at least 1971 scientists and tourists have observed a lava lake within the Nyiragongo summit crater. Lava flows have been a hazard in the past for the nearby city of Goma (15 km S). The previous report (BGVN 43:06) of activity between November 2017 and May 2018 described nearly daily record of thermal anomalies due to the active lava lake and lava fountaining, gas-and-steam plumes, and the opening of a new vent within the crater in February 2016. Monthly reports from the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) disseminate information regarding the volcano's activity. This report updates the activity during June 2018-May 2019.

OVG noted that the level of the lava lake changes frequently, and was lower when observed on October 2018, 12 April 2019, and 12 May 2019. According to data from the OVG, on 15 April 2019 the secondary cone that formed in February 2016 produced lava flows and ejecta. In addition, at least three other vents formed surrounding this secondary cone. During most of April 2019 the lava lake was still active; however, beginning on 12 April 2019, seismic and lava lake activity both declined.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data continues to show almost daily, strong thermal anomalies every month from June 2018 through 24 May 2019 (figure 66). Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reports a majority of the hotspot pixels (2,406) occurring within the lava lake at the summit crater (figure 67).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. Thermal anomalies at Nyiragongo for June 2018 through 24 May 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and strong. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Map showing the number of MODVOLC hotspot pixels at Nyiragongo from 1 June 2018 to 31 May 2019. Nyiragongo (2,423 pixels) is at the bottom center; Nyamuragira volcano (342 pixels) is about 13 km NW. Courtesy of HIGP-MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.

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), Goma, North Kivu, DR Congo (URL: https://www.facebook.com/Observatoire-Volcanologique-de-Goma-OVG-180016145663568/); 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/); 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/).


Bezymianny (Russia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam plumes, and lava dome growth during February-May 2019; strong explosion in mid-March

Volcanism at Bezymianny has been frequent since 1955. During the last reporting period, observations primarily consisted of moderate gas-and-steam emissions and thermal anomalies. Lava dome growth has been reported, as well as the effusion of several lava flows onto the dome flanks. Monitoring is the responsibility of the Kamchatka Volcano Eruptions Response Team (KVERT). Activity during February to mid-March 2019 consisted of predominantly moderate gas-and-steam emissions. Incandescent, hot avalanches from the lava dome, strong fumarolic activity, and a thermal anomaly began to occur in mid-March 2019. This reporting period includes activity from February-May 2019.

One explosion occurred during this reporting period. According to video data from KVERT and seismic data from the Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, on 15 March 2019 an explosion sent ash up to an altitude of 15 km. According to the KVERT Weekly Reports, satellite data showed large ash clouds from this eruption drifting several thousands of kilometers east from the volcano. The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) issued by KVERT for this event described ash clouds to a distance of about 870 km. Ashfall was reported in Ust'-Kamchatsk (115 km E) on 15 March and Nikolskoe (350 km E) on 15-16 March 2019.

Beginning 15 March and continuing through May 2019, the number of hot avalanches from the lava dome top significantly increased, as well as the temperature of the thermal anomalies as reported by KVERT based on satellite data. Incandescent lava dome growth with extruding, viscous lava flows accompanying strong fumarolic activity and thermal anomalies continued in late April-May 2019 (figure 30).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Fumarolic plume rising above at Bezymianny on 14 April 2019. Photo by A. Klimova, courtesy of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

MODIS infrared data processed by MIROVA showed stronger and more frequent thermal anomalies in mid-March 2019 compared to the typical thermal activity since late January and afterwards through May (figure 31). According to the MODVOLC algorithm, 11 hotspot pixels were recorded between February and May 2019.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Thermal anomalies at Bezymianny for September 2018 through May 2019 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power). Courtesy of MIROVA.

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/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS) (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/); 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/).


Nevados de Chillan (Chile) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevados de Chillan

Chile

36.868°S, 71.378°W; summit elev. 3180 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash explosions and dome growth during December 2018-May 2019; ballistic ejecta deposited around the crater, with a pyroclastic flow in May

The current Nevados de Chillán eruption period began on 8 January 2018 with a phreatic explosion from the new Nicanor crater, within the Nuevo crater; a new dome was observed within this crater the next day. Dome growth continues with explosions that eject ash plumes and incandescent ejecta. This bulletin summarizes activity from December 2018 through May 2019 and is based on reports by Chile's Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)-Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) and satellite imagery.

Throughout December 2018 pulsating emissions from the Nicanor crater produced white plumes predominantly composed of water vapor, with occasional ash ejections giving the plume a gray appearance. Incandescence was frequently observed during the night due to the ejection of hot ballistic ejecta emplaced around the crater during explosions. After 11 months of observations, the dacite dome in the crater maintained a semi-stable extrusion rate of around 345 m3/day. Explosions were reported on 7, 17, 28, and 29 December.

Similar background activity continued through January with pulsating gas-and-steam plumes occasionally including ash, and incandescence observed during the nights due to hot ejecta around the crater. Explosions were recorded at 0500 and 1545 on 11 January, and on 13, 21, and 31 January (figures 33 and 34). During the night explosions and incandescent ejecta were observed impacting the area around the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. An explosion at Nevados de Chillán on 11 January 2019. The explosion ejected incandescent blocks that impacted the flanks. The timestamp is at the top left of each image; screenshots are of footage courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. An explosion at Nevados de Chillán on 31 January 2019 produced an ash plume from the Nicanor crater. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN.

Activity continued through February similar to previous months. The dome in the crater maintained a low extrusion, and activity alternated between dome growth and partial destruction during explosions. Steam-and-gas plumes with occasional ash content continued, with plumes reaching 1 km and drifting in multiple directions. Incandescence was observed during the night. Explosions were reported on 15 February.

During March through May, typical activity consisting of pulsating emission of steam plumes with occasional ash content, and incandescence at night, continued. Intermittent explosions associated with the partial destruction of the dome continued, with events reported on 1 March at 2323, and on 4, 7, and 8 March. Several explosions were reported during 8-9 and 23-30 April. Three explosions were reported on 3 May with one of them producing a 2-km-high ash plume and a pyroclastic flow on 10 May (figure 35). Additional explosions occurred on the 12 and 18 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. An explosion at Nevados de Chillán on 10 May 2019 produced an ash plume that rose to 2 km above the crater and a pyroclastic flow. The white plume in the bottom two images is steam from the interaction of the hot pyroclastic material and the snow. Screenshots are of a video courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN with timestamps indicated in the top left of each image.

Satellite data from December 2018 through May 2019 recorded intermittent thermal energy, with an increase after February 2019 (figure 36). Thermal anomalies from MODIS instruments were detected by the MODVOLC system on 29 March and 17 May 2019 (two anomalies). A thermal anomaly in the Nicanor crater was persistent in Sentinel-2 data throughout this period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Thermal anomalies at the active Nicanor crater of the Nevados de Chillán complex. Top: Sentinel-2 thermal image of showing the location of the thermal anomaly (orange). Bottom: MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared data from September 2018 through May 2019. Thermal signatures are intermittent and increase after February 2019. Note that the black lines are not from the crater and are unlikely to be related to volcanic activity. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground and MIROVA.

Geologic Background. The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The largest stratovolcano, dominantly andesitic, Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado), is located at the NW end of the group. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The new Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed between 1906 and 1945 between the two volcanoes and grew to exceed Volcán Viejo in elevation. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was constructed SE of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986 and eventually exceeded its height.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); 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).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 25, Number 07 (July 2000)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Apoyo (Nicaragua)

Tectonic seismicity between Apoyo and Masaya in July 2000

Arenal (Costa Rica)

Larger-than-average pyroclastic flow engulfs three people on 23 August

Fournaise, Piton de la (France)

Eruptions in February, March, June, and July 2000

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Forceful ash emissions on 5 and 9 April rise 1-2 km

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

An increase in activity at Southern Crater 3-4 June

Masaya (Nicaragua)

Summary of activity; nearby M 5.4 earthquake at 1 km focal depth on 6 July

Miyakejima (Japan)

Robust, multifaceted eruptions from new summit crater

Popocatepetl (Mexico)

Ash plumes, minor ashfalls, and mudflows during 15 June-22 August

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Two periods of increased summit explosive activity in June

Semeru (Indonesia)

Ongoing eruptive activity; 27 July explosion causes injuries and two fatalities

Tungurahua (Ecuador)

January-July volcanism possibly decreased; lava fountains and many lahars

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

Vapor emissions during May and June; moderate seismicity in June

White Island (New Zealand)

New crater formed on 27 July during the largest eruption in about 20 years



Apoyo (Nicaragua) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Apoyo

Nicaragua

11.92°N, 86.03°W; summit elev. 600 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Tectonic seismicity between Apoyo and Masaya in July 2000

[The following was originally included within the Masaya report, not as a stand-alone report about Apoyo.]

July 2000 seismicity near Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo. During July 2000 there were over 300 earthquakes near Laguna de Apoyo (Apoyo volcano) and Masaya. The earthquakes, determined to be of tectonic rather than volcanic origin, caused surficial damage at both volcanoes.

At 1329 on 6 July a small M 2 earthquake occurred near the N rim of Laguna de Apoyo that was followed at 1330 by a M 5.4 earthquake (figure 1). It was located ~32 km SE of Managua, at 11.96°N, 86.02°E, with a focal depth less than 1 km (figure 2). The earthquake was felt in most of Nicaragua and was most strongly felt in the cities of Managua (Modified Mercalli V-VI) and Masaya (VI), and in the region near Laguna de Apoyo (maximum intensity of VII or VIII). The earthquake caused numerous landslides down the volcano's crater walls and surface faulting was observed. In towns located in the epicentral zone, trees and electric lines fell and many houses were partially or totally destroyed. About 70 people were injured and four children were killed by collapsing walls or roofs of homes. At Masaya volcano, ~8 km from the epicenter, there were minor collapses of Santiago crater's walls. No change in degassing was observed at the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Seismogram showing the M 2 and M 5.4 earthquakes near the Masaya volcano station on 6 July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Epicenters near Masaya for the M 5.4 earthquake on 6 July, and the M 4.8 earthquake on 25 July 2000 (stars). The aftershocks from these earthquakes are also shown (small circles). Courtesy of INETER.

Immediately after the earthquake there were many smaller, shallow earthquakes in a zone that includes the area between Masaya, Laguna de Apoyo, and W of Granada (figure 2). In the epicentral zone property was destroyed, cracks opened in the ground, landslides occurred, and trees fell. Several landslides occurred at the edges and steep walls of Laguna de Apoyo. A large number of earthquakes continued until 10 July (figure 3 and table 1). The number of earthquakes then diminished until 1554 on 25 July when a M 4.8 earthquake took place, initiating a series of smaller earthquakes that lasted until about 27 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Graph showing the number of earthquakes in the Masaya region between 4 and 30 July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.

Table 1. A summary of earthquakes in vicinity of Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo in early July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.

Date Time Number of daily earthquakes Maximum magnitude
07 Jul 2000 1330 180 5.2
08 Jul 2000 1100 70 3.8
09 Jul 2000 1200 81 3.6
10 Jul 2000 1800 27 3.1
11 Jul 2000 1800 6 3.3
13 Jul 2000 1800 16 2.8

The July earthquakes were the most destructive seismic events since the 1972 Managua earthquake. The epicentral zone of the July 2000 earthquakes correlates with the same active zones of past earthquakes, which are caused by fault movement between the Cocos and Caribbean plates.

Geologic Background. The scenic 7-km-wide, lake-filled Apoyo caldera is a large silicic volcanic center immediately SE of Masaya caldera. The surface of Laguna de Apoyo lies only 78 m above sea level; the steep caldera walls rise about 100 m to the eastern rim and up to 500 m to the western rim. An early shield volcano constructed of basaltic-to-andesitic lava flows and small rhyodacitic lava domes collapsed following two major dacitic explosive eruptions. The caldera-forming eruptions have been radiocarbon dated between about 21,000-25,000 years before present. Post-caldera ring-fracture eruptions of uncertain age produced lava flows below the scalloped caldera rim. The slightly arcuate, N-S-trending La Joya fracture system that cuts the eastern flank of the caldera only 2 km east of the caldera rim is a younger regional fissure system structurally unrelated to Apoyo caldera.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/).


Arenal (Costa Rica) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Arenal

Costa Rica

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Larger-than-average pyroclastic flow engulfs three people on 23 August

During January to July 2000 Arenal's outbursts generally remained low but included frequent pyroclastic explosions, gas emissions, and avalanches. In late August explosions spawned a pyroclastic flow that injured three people several kilometers from the crater; two later died. Three days later a small airplane crashed into the volcano.

In January through parts of June crater C continued its usual activities, consisting of a constant gas emission, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional incandescent avalanches. Crater D exhibited fumarolic activity. The lava continued to flow variously toward the NNE, E, SE flanks. The NE and SE flank were continually affected by acid rain and pyroclastic material that contributed to the destruction of the vegetation on these flanks, resulting in major erosion that created small avalanches on the rivers Calle de Arenas, Manolo, Guillermina, and Agua Caliente.

The EDM network (established along the subradial lines) continued to show an average annual contraction of 7-10 ppm. The dry inclinometers ("dry tilt") showed variations in the radial component, deflation at ~5 µrad per year.

During the last half of April and throughout May eruptive activity increased, but few ash columns rose to ~500 m over crater C. The columns of ash were carried by the predominating winds toward the NW and SE flank causing both acid rain and ash fall. In May a narrow channel of lava began to flow toward the NNE flank. It later widened into a fan burning vegetation on the N and NE flanks.

From April to May the seismometer detected an increase in both number of eruptions and the hours of tremor. On 16 May two MR 3 earthquakes were recorded and located on the flanks of the volcano at 2 and 5 km from the summit. These earthquakes were reported to be felt in La Fortuna, 6.5 km NE of the volcano.

Eruptive activity remained low in June; few eruption clouds rose more than 500 m over crater C. In July crater C continued with the emission of gases, lava flows, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional pyroclastic flows. The eruptive activity increased in July with respect to June, although the number of eruptions, their intensity, and the quantity of pyroclastic material ejected remained low.

In August Arenal became more active and underwent a series of explosions. One began at 0945 on 23 August; mutiple pyroclastic flows came down the volcano's NE side (figure 89) as a series of pulses. Pulses occurred at 0955, 0956, and 0958. The most important pulse occurred at 1001 and continued for six minutes. Two more pulses followed at 1008 and 1012. For the next two hours activity returned to normal, but at 1323 a new series of explosions began. At 1336 a pyroclastic flow began and lasted for ten minutes. Various pulses descended the NNE flank. Normal low-level activity resumed 19 hours after the afternoon explosions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. A map of Arenal and vicinity showing the distribution of deposits from the 23 August pyroclastic flows (N-directed swath of dark-gray color). The light gray shows the lava field formed by past eruptions. Courtesy of Rafael Barquero (OSIVAM).

News reports. One of the pyroclastic flows on 23 August engulfed a Costa Rican tour guide and two tourists from the United States. OVSICORI-UNA stated that the victims were burnt by the front of the flow ~2.3 km from the crater. According to a local volcanologist, the flow was traveling at 80 km/hour at that point.

The three victims were sent to San José to be treated for their burns and injuries. On the night of 23 August the tour guide died in the hospital. An 8-year-old girl from Massachusetts died on 6 September as a result of her burns.

The National Emergency Commission (NEC) ordered evacuations of the tourist centers of Los Lagos, the Tabacón hot springs and resort, Hotel Montaña del Fuego, Arenal Lodge, and other areas. The NEC and Red Cross workers evacuated 600 tourists and residents and closed the route around the volcano to Tilarán. On 24 August the volcano returned to its normal behavior. The 23 August explosive eruptions were believed to be the strongest since the deadly 1968 eruption.

On 26 August a ten-passenger airplane crashed into the NE flank ~200 m below the summit. All of the occupants died. The cause of the crash is unknown at this point and no further details are available.

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: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica; Oficina de Sismología y Vulcanología del Arenal y Miravalles (OSIVAM), Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Apartado 10032-1000, San José, Costa Rica; The Tico Times (URL: http://www.ticotimes.net/); La Nacion (URL: http://www.nacion.co.cr/).


Piton de la Fournaise (France) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Piton de la Fournaise

France

21.244°S, 55.708°E; summit elev. 2632 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions in February, March, June, and July 2000

During 14 February to 4 March 2000 an eruption occurred at Piton de la Fournaise that was briefly mentioned in a previous report (BGVN 25:01) and is discussed here in more detail. After 4 March through May, there was no volcanic activity and seismicity was low with 1-2 events per month. On 23 June volcanism recommenced with an eruption that lasted more than a month.

Eruption of 14 February 2000. Three and a half months after its previous eruption (BGVN 24:09), Piton de la Fournaise erupted on 14 February. Throughout January, seismicity was well above normal levels until the beginning of February when a relative lull in seismicity lasted for two weeks (figure 50). At 2314 on 13 February a seismic crisis began that lasted 64 minutes. A total of 261 earthquakes occurred with magnitudes up to 1.9. The deepest events were localized at sea level, just below Dolomieu summit crater (figure 51).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. Seismic events at Piton de la Fournaise during December 1999- February 2000 shown as a series of five day averages. Heightened activity occurred through January, and a relative lull in activity occurred two weeks prior to the eruption on 14 February. Seismic information was not available for the beginning of the eruption (February 14-24). Courtesy of OVPDLF.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Map of the N flank of Piton de la Fournaise showing the lava flows from the 14 February 2000 eruption (black), fissure vents (white lines within the flow), and the major features associated with the flow. Note Dolomieu summit crater at lower edge of the map. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

On 13 February, three minutes after the beginning of the seismic crisis, the first significant variations in deformation were recorded at 2317 and 2320, on radial and tangential components, respectively, by the "Dolomieu Sud" tiltmeter station. After initial deformation was observed, tiltmeter and extensometer stations at "Soufriere," "Bory," "Tunnel Catherine," and "Flanc Est" (figure 52) registered variations, with up to 270 µrad recorded for the "Soufriere tiltmeter" radial component. The intrusion of magma caused inflation under the summit crater. The inflation center started S of Dolomieu summit crater, migrated below Dolomieu, and then traveled to the N flank of the volcano where several vents opened (figure 53). At 0018 on 14 February, tremors registered at all of the seismic stations marking the beginning of the eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. Map showing the location of radon, deformation, magnetic, and seismic stations on Piton de la Fournaise in February 2000. Courtesy of OVPDLF.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. During the 14 February 2000 eruption at Piton de la Fournaise the center of inflation migrated. The incenter of inflation was calculated on 5-minute intervals and plotted on this sketch map. The center of inflation was estimted based on the shift of deformation vectors over time. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

Inclement weather produced by cylone Eline passing 200 km N of Reunion inhibited visual observations for several days. After that, scientists found that several en echelon fissures were localized on the N flank starting at 2,490 m elevation (white lines within black lava flows, figure 53). An aa flow inundated the "Puy Mi-Côte" crater, passed to the W and E of the crater, and continued in the direction of "Piton Partage." Both vents were inactive at the time of observation. Eruptive activity was concentrated on a vent 300 m E of Puy Mi-Côte, where stable 20- to 30-m-high fountains were observed from a new crater, whose rim grew to 20 m high at that time. A second, much smaller crater was active about 100 m above the main crater. A large aa lava flow and meter-sized blocks descended in the direction of "Piton Kapor" (site of the 1998 eruption), then joined the first lava flow and followed the "rempart Fouqué" to the E. This lava flow terminated about 4 km away at 1,950 m altitude near "Nez Coupé de Saint Rose." Beginning on 24 February a large number of small pahoehoe lava flows were observed. For several hours on 4 March a large number of gas-piston events were observed and then at 1800 tremor stopped, marking the end of the eruption.

Retrospective analysis revealed that the initial aa lava flow represented most of the erupted material. The lava was particularly irregular with scoria that ranged in size from tens of centimeters to meter-sized blocks. Pahoehoe flows from the 24 February phase of the eruption partly covered the aa lava that was emitted earlier. The entire lava flow covered an area of about 1.3 x 106 m2 and comprised a total volume of about 4 x 106 m3 of aphyric basalt. The main new crater was called "Piton Célimène" (figure 53).

Eruption of 23 June 2000. Beginning in June, long-term deformation was observed at several stations near the volcano. Since the beginning of the month up to 0.1 mm of inflation took place at the "Soufrière" extensometer (figure 52). Starting on 12 June clear inflation of up to 70 µrad was observed at the "Dolomieu Sud" tiltmeter. After 20 June inflation of up to 20 µrad was observed at the "Château Fort" tiltmeter. The Château Fort extensometer showed variations in opening, shear, and vertical movement components.

Seismicity increased during 9-14 June with twelve deep earthquakes ~6 km below the W flank. During 15-21 June seismicity drastically increased with 2, 2, 4, 10, 29, 69, and 101 earthquakes recorded on successive days (figure 54). All of these earthquakes occurred below Dolomieu summit crater, with focal depths between sea level and 1 km above sea level. They had magnitudes up to 1.8 that increased with the number of earthquakes recorded. During the same time period, five deep earthquakes also occurred.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. The number of daily seismic events recorded at two seismic stations at Piton de la Fournaise during 1 June through 6 July 2000. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

During 0600-0640 on 22 June, following 50 seismic events, there was a small seismic crisis that consisted of 36 low-energy seismic events. For 36 hours after the seismic crisis only very low-energy earthquakes occurred. At 1650 on 23 June another seismic crisis took place (figure 54). It consisted of about 300 earthquakes, including some greater than M 2 and possibly as high as M 2.5. Some of the earthquakes were recorded at the seismic station in Cilaos, more than 30 km from the volcano.

During the seismic crisis one shallow earthquake was centered under the E flank of the volcano. Around this time the observatory's tiltmeter network showed uplift of the central part of the volcano to over 200 µrad. The inferred effect of an intrusion was first localized under the summit region, then shifted to the SE. At 1800 eruption tremor began, and tremor localization suggested the eruption site was on the SE flank between "Signal de l' Enclose" and "Château Fort" craters between 1.9 and 2.2 km elevation. Figure 55 shows these named locations and the actual fissure vent and extent of lava flows.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Map and image composite of the 23 June 2000 lava flows on the E flank of Piton de la Fournaise. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

According to the observatory staff, the 23 June eruption began with the formation of a short-lived, 500-m-long, SE-trending fissure on the SE flank at an elevation of ~2,100 m (figure 55). A second, 200-m-long, ESE trending vent also formed on the SE flank at ~1,800 m. About eight lava fountains initially rose up to 50 m above the second vent. In addition, a 300-m-long aa lava flow traveled down the "Grandes Pentes" to an elevation of 580 m. About two days after the eruption began, the intensity of the lava fountains decreased, and the crater rim reached a height of 10-15 m.

Within 24 hours after the onset of the eruption, tremor rapidly decreased to less than 10% of the initial value. Unlike typical eruptions at Piton de la Fournaise, seismicity under the central crater continued for the first five days of the eruption. During 24-28 June there were 26, 22, 17, 17 and six seismic events, respectively, up to M 2.5. Similar seismic events occurred during eruptions in 1986, 1988, and 1998; in two cases they preceded the formation of new vents. However, no new vents formed during 24-28 June. After 29 June no seismic events were recorded, and starting on 27 June there was an increase in tremors that remained around initial levels and lasted three weeks. Throughout most of the eruption there was a lava lake in the eruption crater and several meter-sized lava flows emerged at its base reaching up to 300-400 m below the crater. Lava samples were collected during the eruption, and a lava temperature of 1,160°C was measured several times using a thermocouple.

On 30 July the eruption stopped after 37 days of activity. The initial flow was entirely aa lava, while the later outspreading lava flows were aa and pahoehoe lava. The entire lava flow covered an area of ~3 x 102 m2 and comprised a total volume of ~1 x 107 m3. The final crater was 26 m high and was named "Piton Pârvédi."

Geologic Background. The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three calderas formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping of the volcano. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest caldera, which is 8 km wide and breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures on the outer flanks of the caldera. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.

Information Contacts: Thomas Staudacher, Nicolas Villeneuve, Jean Louis Cheminée, Kei Aki, Jean Battaglia, Philippe Catherine, Valérie Ferrazzini, and Philippe Kowalski, Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, 14 RN3 - Km 27, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, Réunion, France (URL: http://www.ipgp.fr/fr/ovpf/observatoire-volcanologique-piton-de-fournaise).


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — July 2000 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)


Forceful ash emissions on 5 and 9 April rise 1-2 km

This report covers April through June 2000. Activity remained at a low level in April. From visual observation reports received only up to 9 April, Crater 2 periodically gently released moderate to thick ash clouds. However, on 5 and 9 April, the ash clouds were released more forcefully and with rumbling sounds. These ash clouds rose 1-2 km above the summit before being blown SE. Crater 3 released light white vapor throughout the month.

Visual observations were next reported after 16 June. Crater 2 produced thick, white ash clouds in moderate volume. On 23 and 24 June, these clouds were accompanied by blue vapor. On 16 and 18 June, rumbling noises were heard. Crater 3 was inactive in June with the exception of a weak trail of thin white vapor escaping on 16 June.

The seismograph remained non-operational throughout the entire reporting period.

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: I. Itikarai, D. Lolok, K. Mulina, and F. Taranu, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — July 2000 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)


An increase in activity at Southern Crater 3-4 June

This report covers April-June 2000. Inflation that began in January 2000 (BGVN 25:03) peaked in early April. By mid-April the water-tube tiltmeter 4 km SW of the summit detected a 2.5 µrad decrease in tilt. By the end of April the tilt had recovered 1.5 µrad. Emissions from both the summit craters, Main and Southern, consisted of gentle releases of light to moderate volumes of white vapor. Seismicity remained low with the number of events ranging from 500 to 1,200 events a day. Seismic amplitude measurements were steady at background levels.

During May, Manam continued to produce varying amounts of white vapor from both craters. Rabaul Volcanic Observatory (RVO) characterized the seismicity as normal. Tiltmeter readings showed no particular trend.

Throughout June, Main Crater released light to moderate volumes of white vapor. However, during 3-4 June, Southern crater increased in activity.

At 1235 on 3 June, an explosive eruption produced thick, dark ash clouds and produced fine-ash and scoria deposits at Yassa village, W of the summit. The ash clouds reached an altitude of 1-1.2 km. The initial explosion was followed by light to moderate release of ash. At 0004 on 4 June, booming sounds lasting 1-2 minutes were accompanied by the ejection of glowing lava fragments. These fragments fell in the SW valley and had free fall times (FFT) of 5-10 s. Some weak to low fluctuating night time glows were visible during the intervals between lava fragment ejections. Prior to and after the events of 3-4 June, Southern crater produced light amounts of white vapor.

Although there were no water-tiltmeter readings after 19 June, the values taken 4 km S of the crater showed an inflation of 10 µrad from 1-19 June. Since December 1999, there has been an overall inflation of 16 µrad. There were no seismic readings during 1-10 June. Low-level seismicity the remainder of the month had counts ranging from 600-1,360 a day. Seismic amplitude measurements were relatively steady at normal background levels.

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: I. Itikarai, D. Lolok, K. Mulina, and F. Taranu, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Masaya (Nicaragua) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

11.984°N, 86.161°W; summit elev. 635 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Summary of activity; nearby M 5.4 earthquake at 1 km focal depth on 6 July

Since the last report on Masaya, of continued degassing and marked gravity decreases (BGVN 24:04), there have been sporadic reports about its activity, which are summarized below prior to discussion of a nearby M 5.4 earthquake on 6 July 2000.

Reports of ash-and-steam emissions. Between November 1999 and January 2000 there were several reports from the Washington VAAC of ash-and-steam emissions from Masaya. On 22 November 1999 the VAAC reported that GOES-8 imagery suggested that Masaya may have awakened. Satellite imagery showed activity at or very near Masaya, including a plume of ash or "smoke" moving to the WSW, and a hotspot that was visible for over two hours. At about 1600 the imagery suggested that an explosion may have occurred and by 1615 the resultant plume was at ~800 m (near Masaya's summit), and had been blown WSW.

On 22 December 1999 the Washington VAAC issued an ash advisory stating that a continuous low-level plume was being emitted from Masaya. Volcanic activity was confirmed by INETER who noted that seismic activity was consistent with ash emissions. The cloud was ~2 km in altitude and was blown to the WSW.

On 18 January 2000 the VAAC reported that GOES-8 imagery through 0845 detected a low-level thin ash plume from Masaya's summit. The plume reached an altitude of ~900 m, was blown to the SW, and rapidly dissipated.

Seismic activity during April 1999-March 2000. Seismic activity at the volcano remained low with eight microearthquakes registered for the month. The RSAM (seismic tremor) stayed at ~30 units. During the first two weeks of April the RSAM signal was not obtained due to technical problems in the seismic power station. On 23 April two explosions were detected by RSAM, which were confirmed by observers at the Masaya Volcano National Park. In that case, RSAM began to show a small increase until 0800, and an hour later the two explosions occurred.

May 1999: The number of microearthquakes was 21 for the month. The RSAM stayed at ~24 units. June: The number of microearthquakes was 18 for the month. The RSAM stayed at ~24 units. August: The number of microearthquakes was 47 for the month. The RSAM remained at ~40 units. Constant gas emissions occurred. September: The number of microearthquakes was 87 for the month. The RSAM stayed constant at ~40 units. Constant gas emissions occurred. October: The number of microearthquakes was 22 for the month. The RSAM stayed constant at ~20 units. Constant gas emissions occurred. November: There were 49 microearthquakes for the month. The RSAM stayed constant. Constant gas emissions occurred. December: Twenty one earthquakes were registered for the month. The RSAM stayed constant.

January 2000: Eleven earthquakes were registered for the month. The RSAM stayed constant. At 1145 on 6 January an explosion occurred in Santiago crater. February: Six microearthquakes and the RSAM remained constant. March: There were three microearthquakes for the month. The RSAM was at a similar level as the previous month.

July 2000 seismicity near Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo. During July 2000 there were over 300 earthquakes near Laguna de Apoyo (Apoyo volcano) and Masaya. The earthquakes, determined to be of tectonic rather than volcanic origin, caused surficial damage at both volcanoes.

At 1329 on 6 July a small M 2 earthquake occurred near the N rim of Laguna de Apoyo that was followed at 1330 by a M 5.4 earthquake (figure 10). It was located ~32 km SE of Managua, at 11.96°N, 86.02°E, with a focal depth less than 1 km (figure 11). The earthquake was felt in most of Nicaragua and was most strongly felt in the cities of Managua (Modified Mercalli V-VI) and Masaya (VI), and in the region near Laguna de Apoyo (maximum intensity of VII or VIII). The earthquake caused numerous landslides down the volcano's crater walls and surface faulting was observed. In towns located in the epicentral zone, trees and electric lines fell and many houses were partially or totally destroyed. About 70 people were injured and four children were killed by collapsing walls or roofs of homes. At Masaya volcano, ~8 km from the epicenter, there were minor collapses of Santiago crater's walls. No change in degassing was observed at the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Seismogram showing the M 2 and M 5.4 earthquakes near the Masaya volcano station on 6 July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Epicenters near Masaya for the M 5.4 earthquake on 6 July, and the M 4.8 earthquake on 25 July 2000 (stars). The aftershocks from these earthquakes are also shown (small circles). Courtesy of INETER.

Immediately after the earthquake there were many smaller, shallow earthquakes in a zone that includes the area between Masaya, Laguna de Apoyo, and W of Granada (figure 11). In the epicentral zone property was destroyed, cracks opened in the ground, landslides occurred, and trees fell. Several landslides occurred at the edges and steep walls of Laguna de Apoyo. A large number of earthquakes continued until 10 July (figure 12 and table 2). The number of earthquakes then diminished until 1554 on 25 July when a M 4.8 earthquake took place, initiating a series of smaller earthquakes that lasted until about 27 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Graph showing the number of earthquakes in the Masaya region between 4 and 30 July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.

Table 2. A summary of earthquakes in vicinity of Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo in early July 2000. Courtesy of INETER.

Date Time Number of daily earthquakes Maximum magnitude
07 Jul 2000 1330 180 5.2
08 Jul 2000 1100 70 3.8
09 Jul 2000 1200 81 3.6
10 Jul 2000 1800 27 3.1
11 Jul 2000 1800 6 3.3
13 Jul 2000 1800 16 2.8

The July earthquakes were the most destructive seismic events since the 1972 Managua earthquake. The epicentral zone of the July 2000 earthquakes correlates with the same active zones of past earthquakes, which are caused by fault movement between the Cocos and Caribbean plates.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras pyroclastic shield volcano and is 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 twin volcanoes of Nindirí and Masaya, 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 6500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and have confined a lake to the far eastern end of the caldera. 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 cause health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); Washington VAAC, Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/).


Miyakejima (Japan) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Miyakejima

Japan

34.094°N, 139.526°E; summit elev. 775 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Robust, multifaceted eruptions from new summit crater

This report covers the period 8 July-31 August 2000, an interval marked by strong outbursts, spectacular plumes, pyroclastic flows, ashfalls, and a remarkable series of concentric crater collapses that followed the initial crater collapse on 8 July 2000 (figures 6 and 7). Striking ash-column photos, some marked with azimuthal angles and calculated plume heights, appear on Japanese-language websites (see below).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. An oblique aerial view of Miyake-jima's pre-eruption summit; the sketched-in curve indicates the area of the collapse on 8 July 2000. That area is sub-circular in plan view (figure 7) and has a diameter of ~ 0.9 km. View is looking NNE. Courtesy of Tokyo Metropolitan Islands Promotion Corporation.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Map of Miyake-jima's active summit crater documenting the crater's expansion during July and August 2000. The margins were drawn from aerial photos taken on the specified dates. The progression was thought to be closely linked with summit deflation; this deflation had been detected since the end of June and accelerated on 8 July. Large dots indicate the locations of a series of small migrating vents seen in the crater during 10-26 August. From the website of K. F. Fujita.

Continuous deflation at the summit had been recorded since the end of June. However, on 8 July the deflation accelerated. Following 4 days of earthquake swarms under the summit, at 1841 on 8 July, a small, phreatic explosion sent a cloud to 800 m above the summit (BGVN 25:07). This explosion lasted several minutes. At the same time, a large pit crater formed with a diameter of ~800-1,000 m and a depth of 100-200 m. A small amount of ash was ejected but was not comparable to the volume of the depression. Red ash and cinder deposits from this eruption were estimated to amount to less than 1 x 106 m3. The volume of collapse was estimated at 50 x 106 m3. No scoriae or any other juvenile material was found. The rapid deflation is thought to have formed as the result of "drain-back" of magma that had intruded near the surface. This appears to have been the catalyst for the explosion.

After the 8 July explosion, tiltmeters recorded periods of sudden inflation. Inflations were preceded and accompanied by long-period earthquakes located less than 2 km below the surface. The intervals of inflation and earthquakes were followed by continued steady deflation. This cycle repeated itself approximately every 12 hours from the 8 July eruption to 23 July.

Following a series of foreshocks, at 1601 on 1 July a Mb 6.1 earthquake struck near Kozu-shima Island, NW of Miyake-jima. This was followed on 14 July by a M 5.3 earthquake off the coast of Miyake-jima. At about 0400, shortly after the earthquake, a phreatic eruption occurred. Thick layers of ash were deposited on the N and E parts of the islands. This eruption continued until about 1300 on 15 July. Photographs taken by Asahi News Network (ANN) on the afternoon of 14 July showed that the 8 July crater had expanded to a diameter of 1,000 m and a depth of 400 m. Observers looking at the bottom of the 8 July crater saw small phreatic explosions yielding plumes with convoluted and scrolled shapes (reminiscent of cock's tails); these originated from a new pit crater that was ~100 m in diameter. The volume of ash from this eruption was estimated to be less than 10 x 106 m3. The volume of collapse was estimated at 200 x 106 m3.

Measurements in early August showed that the collapsed crater had enlarged to a diameter of 1.4 km and a depth of 450 m. According to The Japan Times, an eruption on 10 August produced a plume that rose 3 km above the summit and deposited ash over the NE section of the island. Yukio Hayakawa reported that small pyroclastic flows accompanied this event. After 10 August, phreatic explosions occurred intermittently. Figure 7 shows the progressive expansion of the crater associated with the deflation. GPS measurements made at four stations around the summit indicated continued summit deflation, including during the explosion on 18 August.

At 1700 on 18 August, a large phreatic eruption occurred. This was the largest eruption since activity began on 26 June 2000. Yukio Hayakawa reported small pyroclastic flows. According to articles by the Associated Press and Reuters, white clouds rising to 8 km above the summit were encountered by a commercial airline pilot who was in route from Guam to Narita airport in Tokyo. The plane, which was flying over the island of Miyake shortly after the eruption, later landed safely at Narita. Aviation contacts later revealed that while in flight a commercial airliner encountered airborne ash and underwent a dual-engine flame-out, but managed to land safely. The airliner sustained ~$4 million (US dollars) in damage.

Ash fall was reported to be heaviest on the western part of the island, but ash in the NW sector accumulated up to 15 cm thick as far as 3 km from the crater (figure 8). Ballistics, which included basaltic bombs, were ejected at the end of the eruption and were deposited in a uniform, radial pattern around the crater (figure 9). On the W slope of the volcano, 2-m-diameter ballistics destroyed roofs of cowsheds and formed craters in the meadows. To the SE, there were reports of broken car windows and cinders 5 cm in diameter at the airport. It is uncertain whether these ballistics were juvenile material.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Isopach map of ash-fall deposits from Miyake-jima's eruption on 18 August 2000. Courtesy of Joint University Research Group, Geological Survey of Japan.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Isopleth map of ballistics from Miyake-jima's eruption on 18 August 2000. Courtesy of Joint University Research Group, Geological Survey of Japan.

Although several lower plume-height observations and estimates were made, for example by aviators, one based on a photograph of the actively rising ash column indicated that the 18 August plume rose to at least 15 km. Laser radar (lidar) provided additional constraints on the height of airborne volcanic aerosols at distance from the volcano, detecting them on 23 August at 16 and 17.5 km altitude. More details follow.

For the 18 August eruption, lidar data collected by Takashi Shibata established these values at Nagoya, Japan (35°N, 137°E, on S Honshu Island, 290 km SE of the volcano) around 2100 on 23 August: backscatter ratio at 532 nm, 1.1; depolarization ratio at 532 nm, 5%; plume height, 16 km; and plume width, 100 km.

On 23 August the lidar instrument run by Motowo Fujiwara and Kouichi Shiraishi in Fukuoka (33.5°N, 130.4°E, on NW Kyushu Island, 850 km W of the volcano) detected a thin aerosol layer. Their measurement took place over an interval that began at 0013 and extended over the next hour and a half. They detected relatively strong scattering in the lower stratosphere and found these values: peak backscatter ratio at 532 nm, 1.20-1.25; depolarization ratio at 532 nm, 8-15%; layer height, 17.5 km; and layer width, 1 km. The cited height corresponds to the peak (strongest effect) of the layer; this altitude was ~1.7 km above the tropopause observed by Fukuoka Meteorological Observatory at 2100 on 22 August. Fujiwara and Shiraishi suggested aerosols might have come from Miyake-jima, specifically its eruption at 1702 on 18 August. The Meteorological Observatory reported that during the period from 18-21 August the wind direction around the layer height (17-18 km) changed from ENE to SSE (i.e., basically easterly) and its speed changed from 3 to 7 m/s. These easterly winds further suggested that the lidar-detected aerosol layer originated from a Miyake-jima eruption.

Observations made on 20 August by Osamu Oshima of the University of Tokyo revealed 3 small cones with open pits inside the summit crater, multiple mudflows from the crater pits onto the crater floor, and step faults that crossed new ash layers. He interpreted the step faults to indicate continued subsistence of the crater floor.

The Tokyo VAAC reported three small eruptions at Miyake-jima on 28 August. The eruption clouds reached respective heights of about 5.8, 3.8, and 5 km. On 29 August at 0430, Miyake-jima erupted vigorously again; according to the Eruption Committee this was the second-largest outburst of the recent eruptive episode (the most vigorous being the 18 August eruption). There were two pyroclastic flows, one to the NE that extended 5 km to the sea, and one to the SW that extended for 3 km. The pyroclastic flows contained large amounts of HCl, unlike those of 18 August. The eruption was theorized to be the result of either the collapse of an unstable hydrothermal system or contact between magma and meteoric water inside the volcano. Photos of the pyroclastic flows appeared on the internet (see references).

According to an article by the Associated Press and the Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun, on 29 August all students, teachers, and school officials on Miyake-jima were evacuated to Tokyo, and all remaining residents of the island were ordered to evacuate. Residents who had not yet left the island as of 31 August were being housed in shelters due to the threat of mudslides produced by thick ash and rain.

Geologic Background. The circular, 8-km-wide island of Miyakejima forms a low-angle stratovolcano that rises about 1100 m from the sea floor in the northern Izu Islands about 200 km SSW of Tokyo. The basaltic volcano is truncated by small summit calderas, one of which, 3.5 km wide, was formed during a major eruption about 2500 years ago. Parasitic craters and vents, including maars near the coast and radially oriented fissure vents, dot the flanks of the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions have occurred since 1085 CE at vents ranging from the summit to below sea level, causing much damage on this small populated island. After a three-century-long hiatus ending in 1469, activity has been dominated by flank fissure eruptions sometimes accompanied by minor summit eruptions. A 1.6-km-wide summit caldera was slowly formed by subsidence during an eruption in 2000; by October of that year the crater floor had dropped to only 230 m above sea level.

Information Contacts: Miyake-jima Meterological Observatory and Volcanological Division; Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Akihiko Tomiya, Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3 Higashi, Ibaraki, Tsukuba 305, Japan (URL: https://www.gsj.jp/); Setsuya Nakada, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Takashi Shibata, STEL, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan; Yukio Hayakawa, Faculty of Education, Gunma University, Aramaki, Maebashi 371, Japan (URL: http://www.hayakawayukio.jp/); Motowo Fujiwara and Kouichi Shiraishi, Department of Earth System Science, Fukuoka University, 8-19-1 Nanakuma, Jonann-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan; U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA (URL: http://www.usgs.gov); The Japan Times, 5-4, Shibaura 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023 (URL: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/); Asahi Shimbun (URL: http://www.asahi.com/english/english.html); Associated Press; Reuters.


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, minor ashfalls, and mudflows during 15 June-22 August

This report covers the period form 15 June to 22 August 2000. The highest ash column in this period rose to over 5 km above the summit.

Throughout most of the reporting period, activity remained stable with periodic exhalations of small amplitude and duration. However, two small mudflows were reported: one on 23 June and the other on 24 June. According to CENAPRED, the mudflow on 24 June did not reach any human settlements. No information was available concerning the 23 June mudflow.

On 3 July, two small exhalations generated ash clouds that reached 1 and 2.5 km above the summit and ash fell over the volcano's SW sector. On 4 July, ash from a small exhalation fell in Tetela, a town ~15 km SW of the crater. On 14 July, the volcano erupted and produced an ash cloud that reached 1.6 km in height. According to the Associated Press (AP), the ash from this eruption was blown N and did not significantly impact any populated regions surrounding the volcano.

On 4 August, two closely spaced explosive eruptions occurred. The first at 1251, a moderately large exhalation, lasted 2 minutes. The second one occurred at 1255 and lasted 1.5 minutes. The resulting ash cloud rose to greater than 5 km above the volcano. Ash reportedly fell in nearby communities (Atlautla, San Juan Tehuixtitlan, San Pedro Nexapa, Amecameca, and Tenango).

At 0910 on 10 August, Popocatépetl erupted again. Ash reached to 3.5 km above the volcano. The ash clouds traveled to the W. A second eruption was visible in GOES 8 imagery. It was expected that nearby Mexican states would be coated with a thin layer of ash. At 19:15 on 23 August, a moderate exhalation produced ashfall in the nearby communities of San Pedro Nexapa and Amecameca (~12 km NW and ~16 km NW of the summit, respectively). Throughout the rest of the reporting period there were exhalations of low intensity and short duration that mainly involved gas with small amounts of ash.

Several volcano-tectonic earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 1.7 to 2.3, occurred during the month of July. The first of these was on 2 July. It was followed by earthquakes on 6, 8, 9, 11, 15, and 23 of July. Three volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred on 20 July, all under M 2.5. On 1 August, three more tectonic earthquakes were recorded, M 1.9 - 2.7. Other earthquakes occurred on 5 and 10 August; both were less than M 2.

Popocatépetl's volcanic hazard level remained at yellow. CENAPRED recommended that all visitors remain 7 km or more from the crater.

Geologic Background. Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Information Contacts: The National Center of the Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED) (URL: https://www.gob.mx/cenapred/); Discovery.com (URL: http://www.discovery.com); Washington VAAC (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); Volcano World (URL: http://volcano.oregonstate.edu).


Rabaul (Papua New Guinea) — July 2000 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)


Two periods of increased summit explosive activity in June

This report covers the period April-June 2000. During mid-April, the inflationary trend that began in February 2000 tapered off (BGVN 25:03). However, the realtime GPS system, along with electronic and water tilt data, continued to indicate a long-term inflation trend.

Emissions from the 1941 vent were characterized by thin, white vapor throughout the months of April and May. The 1995 vent was free of vapor emissions except for gentle puffs of grey ash-clouds on 5, 14-16, and 28-30 April, and 5 and 30 May. During April, these ash clouds rose several hundred meters above the summit before being blown to the W, NW, and SW. Towards the end of May, the general haze produced began to contain a weak ash component and there was a strong smell of SO2.

In April, a single high-frequency earthquake was recorded and located NE of the caldera wall. Low-frequency earthquakes continued to occur throughout April and were related to the eruptive activity associated with Tavurvur (figure 35). The number of these earthquakes fluctuated within background levels. There was a significant decrease in the number of trigger counts from 78 in February and 90 in March to 28 in April. The number rose again in May to 64. However, it should be noted that these trigger counts include only events that trigger two or more stations. The count that includes non-triggered events (seismic events that do not trigger more than one station) is much higher. On 15 and 30 April, bands of sub-continuous, 2-3 hour long, non-harmonic tremor were recorded.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Map of Rabaul caldera showing locations of volcanic vents, selected towns, and features (modified from Almond and McKee, 1982).

For most of May, seismic activity was low. The exception was a ~M 4.8 earthquake that occurred at 1649 on 10 May and was centered 30 km NE of Rabaul. This produced several aftershocks; a total of 95 high-frequency triggered events were recorded on this date. Because of the proximity of these events to the established 'NE earthquake zone,' which is associated with ongoing eruptive activity, there was an expectation that higher levels of summit activity would occur at Tavurvur.

In June, 13 high-frequency events were recorded. Most originated NE of the Rabaul caldera. The S-P interval for these events was 1-4 seconds. Earthquakes occurring in this region have apparently been associated with the ongoing eruptive activity that began on 28 November 1995. A total of 185 low-frequency triggered events were recorded in June. Most of these events were related to explosions during two episodes of ashfall, one on 5 June and the other on 28 June. In addition, quasi-monochromatic volcanic tremor with durations ranging from a few minutes to a few hours were recorded during these periods. An increase in low- frequency non-triggered events was noted before each of the two episodes.

The 5 and 28 June episodes were characterized by moderate ashfall that emanated from Tavurvur. The first episode began on 5 June with a Vulcanian eruption that deposited lithic blocks beyond the crater rim. Through 8 June there was moderate-to-heavy ashfall. On 6 June at 1150 a loud explosion occurred at the 1941 vent. This was followed by increased explosive activity until the afternoon of 7 June when explosions occurred at 30-minute intervals. The explosion clouds contained moderate amounts of ash and rose to about 1.0-1.5 km above the summit. These ash clouds were blown such that they deposited ash towards the N, NE, and NW where Rabaul Town is located. By 8 June, the explosions had subsided to occasional emissions of light-to-moderate white vapor. For the following two weeks, the areas to the N, NE, and NW were continuosly blanketed in a thin fog of white vapor from Tavurvur.

At 0527(?) on 28 June, another explosion from the 1941 vent triggered the second period of light-to-moderate ashfall. The explosion was followed immediately by a dark grey ash cloud that rose to 1.5 km above the summit before being blown to the N and NW. Over the next two days, further ash clouds were produced that attained heights of several hundred meters. Discrete explosions, occurring at long intervals, marked the end of this period of activity. The last explosion occurred on 30 June.

Beginning in early May, electronic and wet-tilt measurements showed a downward tilt with a total deflation of ~9.0 µrad throughout May and June. However, an inflation of 4.0 µrad was recorded before the activity of 5-8 June and 5.5 µrad was recorded before the 27-30 June activity.

The low-lying Rabaul caldera forms a sheltered harbor once utilized by New Britain's largest city Rabaul prior to the 1994 eruption, which forced the abandonment of the city. Tavurvur and Vulcan are two eruption centers within the Rabaul caldera complex. These volcanoes have had virtually simultaneous eruptions in 1878, 1937, and 1994.

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: Ima Itikarai, David Lolok, Herman Patia, and Steve Saunders, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Semeru (Indonesia) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing eruptive activity; 27 July explosion causes injuries and two fatalities

Semeru has been undergoing nearly constant eruptive activity since 1967. Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) reports through mid-September 1999 (BGVN 24:09) and earlier described seismicity (including seismically detected pyroclastic flows) and ongoing eruptive outbursts. Accessible Darwin VAAC reports since 3 June 1998 help to characterize the long-term eruptive patterns (table 3). VSI reports are not available for September 1999 through January 2000.

Table 3. A summary of aviation reports (Volcanic Ash Advisories) describing Semeru's plumes during 3 June 1998-21 August 2000. The first two columns describe the time and date when a report was issued. Time entries with commas signify that multiple reports were generated with similar comments. Where available, the time of the observations appear with the comment. Dash marks indicate lack of mention in report. Note that for plume heights, Semeru's summit lies at 3,676 m above sea level. Information sources include air reports (for example, routed via airlines, AIREPS), pilot reports (PIREPS), Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), satellite data, and reports from ground observations. Source data was provided by the Darwin VAAC.

Date Time (GMT) Information Sources Plume altitude (km) Satellite confirmed ash (Y/N) Clouds (Y/N) Comment
03 Jun 1998 0525 AIREP -- N -- Volcanic activity observed S of Surabaya, cloud moving S.
11 Jul 1998 0635 AIREP 6.1 -- -- Small volcanic plume.
31 Aug 1998 0635 AIREP 6.1 -- -- Small ash plume.
01 Sep 1998 1500 AIREP 7.6 N -- Volcanic activity observed at 1037.
02 Sep 1998 0800 AIREP 5.2 N -- Volcanic activity observed at 0551.
19 Apr 1999 1228 AIREP 7.6 N -- Eruption observed at 1003.
13 Jun 1999 1003 AIREP 6.1 N -- Plume tops seen.
09 Jul 1999 0942 NOTAM 6.1 N -- Report of ash cloud.
16 Jul 1999 1226 AIREP 4.6 Y -- Eruption reported at 0905. Weak ash plume apparent on satellite imagery extending 16.7 km WSW at 0936; no ash apparent on subsequent lower resolution imagery at 1030 and 1130.
16 Jul 1999 1817 AIREP -- N -- Satellite imagery shows no further evidence of ash cloud at 1732.
05 Aug 1999 0451 AIREP 6.1 N -- Reported plume at 0350; satellite imagery at 0232 showed no evidence of ash cloud.
05 Aug 1999 0538 AIREP 6.1 N Y Follow-up to plume (reported above).
23 Aug 1999 0304 NOTAM 4.6 (top) N N Volcanic ash drifting SW; satellite image at 0132 and last 3 hourly images (no plume visible).
13 Jun 2000 1144 AIREP 7.6 N -- Ash plume.
13 Jun 2000 1211 AIREP 7.6 N -- Ash plume.
23 Jun 2000 1228 AIREP 4.6 N -- Ash plume at 0445.
16 Jul 2000 1128 AIREP 7.6 N -- Ash cloud at 0335.
18 Jul 2000 0946 AIREP 9.2 N -- Ash cloud 0600.
18 Jul 2000 1536, 2129 AIREP -- N -- Ash cloud follow-up but cloud appears to have dissipated.
19 Jul 2000 0044 NOAA 9.2 Y -- Satellite imagery at 2115 and 2330; ash extending 56 km WSW bearing 257° from Mt. Semeru, plume width not more than 11 km; winds in area suggest height of ash above 5.5 km.
19 Jul 2000 0652, 1245, 1837 GMS-5 satellite and Meteorological & Geophysical Agency of Indonesia 4.6-9.2 -- -- Apparently undergoing a phase of enhanced activity; ground based reports over last month have given plume heights of 4.6 km; no ash clouds observed by satellite since 0030.
20 Jul 2000 0019 GMS-5 satellite and Meteorological & Geophysical Agency of Indonesia -- N -- Latest imagery at 2333 on 19 July.
19 Aug 2000 0653, 0812 PIREP 10.7 N Y Possible smoke plume at 0438; scattered cloud in area.
20 Aug 2000 0944 AIREP 7.3 Y N Smoke plume at 0427; satellite imagery mostly clear of cloud shows a weak plume extending SSE 56-74 km.
21 Aug 2000 0938 -- -- N -- Satellite imagery lacks clear plume at 0830.

Activity during February-July 2000. Explosive activity during February 2000 included ash emissions, numerous rockfalls, and a few deep A-type earthquakes (table 4). Plumes of thick white ash were seen to rise up to 400 m above the summit on many occasions. Persistent haze or cloudy weather prevented direct observation throughout most of the month. At night during the week of 8-14 February observers noted a 60-m-high flame. Generally, explosions and rockfalls dominated recorded seismicity.

Table 4. Summary of seismicity at Semeru, 31 January-29 August 2000. * Six days of data, through 15 July. Courtesy of VSI.

Dates Deep (A-type) Shallow (B-type) Tectonic Explosion Avalanche Tremor Pyroclastic Flows
31 Jan-07 Feb 2000 2 3 6 142 49 4 --
08 Feb-14 Feb 2000 2 -- 9 390 5 31 --
15 Feb-21 Feb 2000 8 -- 3 327 9 0 --
22 Feb-27 Feb 2000 1 -- 4 548 11 -- --
29 Feb-07 Mar 2000 "Seismic activity was relatively similar to last week... dominated by explosion and avalanche earthquakes."
07 Mar-13 Mar 2000 19 5 5 628 38 -- 1
14 Mar-20 Mar 2000 3 -- 15 530 18 -- --
21 Mar-27 Mar 2000 5 4 8 733 26 -- --
28 Mar-03 Apr 2000 5 4 8 733 26 16 --
04 Apr-10 Apr 2000 8 -- 7 737 45 56 1
11 Apr-17 Apr 2000 1 -- 3 805 50 18 --
18 Apr-24 Apr 2000 -- 1 4 678 45 48 --
25 Apr-01 May 2000 2 -- 4 703 31 17 3
02 May-08 May 2000 -- 13 3 770 46 -- 5
09 May-16 May 2000 -- -- 2 535 15 -- 4
17 May-23 May 2000 7 3 1 705 95 -- 3
24 May-30 May 2000 No data available.
31 May-05 Jun 2000 No data available.
06 Jun-12 Jun 2000 No data available.
13 Jun-19 Jun 2000 -- -- 7 557 25 7 2
20 Jun-26 Jun 2000 1 1 4 709 56 4 --
27 Jun-02 Jul 2000 -- 1 6 600 86 15 6
03 Jul-09 Jul 2000 1 -- 6 717 36 9 8
10 Jul-15 Jul 2000* -- 1 6 557 27 6 8
17 Jul-23 Jul 2000 No data available.
24 Jul-30 Jul 2000 14 4 18 542 60 -- 7
31 Jul-07 Aug 2000 -- -- -- 657 64 -- 5
08 Aug-14 Aug 2000 -- -- -- 584 43 -- 2
15 Aug-21 Aug 2000 -- -- -- 420 17 -- 0
22 Aug-29 Aug 2000 23 1 21 542 27 -- 3

Explosions and lava avalanches continued in March. Clouds and haze often obscured the volcano, but sometimes thick white emissions appeared above the summit to a maximum height of 500 m. Visual activity and seismicity appeared to increase in late March-early April.

During 4-10 April explosions and lava avalanches were still continuing and became stronger. Seismicity also increased significantly; tremor earthquakes took place 56 times, with maximum amplitudes of 3-15 mm. One pyroclastic flow traveled 1,500 m down the Besuk Kembar river. Many observations in clear conditions showed that the ash cloud was thick and white, rising 400-600 m above the summit. Emissions continued the following week, and explosions increased. "Red flames" sometimes appeared at the summit during night observations. Similar activity continued throughout April. The number of pyroclastic flows increased in late April, and continued at a typical rate of 2-7 per week for the next few months (table 4). On 30 April at 0743, from a location 15 km NNW of Semeru, a pyroclastic flow was observed travelling 800 m down the SSW flank.

Ashfall occurred at the Semeru Volcano Observatory during the week of 2-8 May, when five pyroclastic flows were recorded. Seismicity decreased again, but "red flame" was still seen at night and plumes rose as high as 600 m through 23 May.

Explosive activity was continuing in the second half of June; observers noted white-gray plumes ~600 m above the summit. Pyroclastic flows that reached maximum distances of ~2.5-3 km were reported on 1-2, 4, 10, and 15 July.

Observations on 2 May 2000. John Seach and Geoff Mackley made observations during a 3-hour summit stay on 2 May 2000. During the climb from Ranu Pani village in the N, ash deposits were observed to cover vegetation at a distance of 10 km from the volcano. The bottom third of the cone was vegetated, and zones of mass-wasting had sliced away 20- m-wide sections of forest. The top two-thirds of the cone consisted of ash, cinders, and blocks up to 1.5 m in diameter. There were areas of deep erosion and the risk of rockfalls posed a hazard to climbers.

The summit area (Mahameru) lay covered by ash and baseball-sized blocks with a density of 50/m2. A 20-m-wide, 60-m-deep, W-sloping valley separated Mahameru from the active Jonggring Seloko crater, but they are joined by a ridge. The highest N rim of the crater was approximately 30 m below the summit peak. A 2-m-diameter block was located 15 m below the summit on the wall of the valley.

Between 0725 and 1010, 13 eruptive events were observed. During this interval the N rim of Jonggring could not be approached because of the intermittent rain of blocks falling outside the crater and into the valley 50 m from the crater. Two vents produced short-lived Vulcanian eruptions with variable timing and size. Eruptions commenced with degassing, explosions, or the sound of breaking rock, followed by falling bombs and brown ash emission. The explosions were relatively quiet and not accompanied by groundshaking. Brown ash clouds rose to 600 m above the vent and drifted SE. The plume detached from the summit before the next eruption began. Steam emission occurred between eruptions.

Observations on 14 July 2000. Volcanologists on an International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) field trip in east Java observed eruptions of Semeru from an observation point on the N rim of the Sand Sea caldera at Bromo (figure 10). Eruption plumes became visible just before sunrise. Gray ash-and-steam plumes rose a few hundred meters and drifted out over the ocean. Multiple plumes from earlier eruptions were visible downwind. Eruptions lasted up to 2 minutes, and occurred at intervals of between 5 and 30 minutes during the approximately 2 hours of observations. One explosion event was quickly followed by another explosion, apparently from a second location within the crater. Plumes were frequently seen during the next two days from other points around the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Photograph taken just after sunrise on 14 July 2000 showing an ash eruption from Semeru (upper right) and a steam plume rising from Bromo (lower left). The cone in the lower right is Batok, another young cone within the Sand Sea caldera of the Bromo-Tengger volcanic complex. Note the extensive ash cover on the upper part of Semeru. View is towards the S. Courtesy of Ed Venzke, Smithsonian Institution.

Explosion on 27 July 2000. At approximately 0706 on the morning of 27 July an explosion resulted in two deaths and injuries to five other volcanologists near the NE rim of the active summit crater Jonggring Seloko (see map in BGVN 17:10). The group consisted of a five-member Semeru evaluation team of the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), four local porters, and foreign scientists who had attended the IAVCEI conference in Bali the previous week. The fatalities and injuries were caused by impacts and burns from ballistic clasts. These originated from the second of two closely spaced explosions from separate vents that ejected material out to a few hundred meters. Both fatalities were VSI staff members: Asep Wildan was the team leader, and Mukti was a volcano observer from the Semeru Volcano Observatory. Those injured included Suparno, a VSI volcano observer from the Semeru Volcano Observatory, Amit Mushkin from the Hebrew University in Israel, Mike Ramsey from the University of Pittsburgh, and Lee Siebert and Paul Kimberly from the Smithsonian Institution. Kimberly sustained the most serious injuries among the five survivors, including a broken hand, broken arm, and 3rd-degree burns. Following surgeries in Singapore and burn treatments in the United States, Kimberly was released from the hospital in early September.

Continuing activity through August. Visual observations were hindered by bad weather the first week of August. Activity generally decreased through 22 August. White to light-brown ash clouds rising to about 600 m in height were frequently seen during this period. Seismicity increased again in late August, and on 25 and 27 August three pyroclastic flows were recorded. Thin white-gray ash plumes rose ~600 m.

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: Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 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/); John Seach, P.O. Box 16, Chatsworth Island, NSW 2469, Australia; Ed Venzke, Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20560-0119, USA.


Tungurahua (Ecuador) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Tungurahua

Ecuador

1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


January-July volcanism possibly decreased; lava fountains and many lahars

During January-July 2000 Tungurahua volcano experienced continuous but relatively mild activity with occasional lava fountaining. There were periods (hours to days) of relative calm during June and July.

The volcano continues to generate a variety of seismic events, most events being the long-period (LP) type. Two episodes of volcano-tectonic (VT) events were observed; one between late January and early March, and one less intense event between early May and mid-June. Epicenters for these events were across the top of the volcano's cone with focal depths at 3-13 km. Hybrid events, whose waveforms consist of a short, higher-frequency onset followed by lower-frequency, larger-amplitude signals, were most abundant in January and February (~50 events/week), partially coinciding with the greater VT activity. Subsequently these events diminished to 1-2 events/week, except for a brief swarm in early April.

Events of classical LP waveform were frequent, varying from ~400 events/week in January, ~600 in February, ~400 in March, ~600 in April, ~500 in May, and ~400 in June. A sharp increase to ~950 events/week was observed in July. Some of the LP events (3.7-4.0 Hz) were located tentatively at depths of 7-10 km below the crater. However, the great majority of LP events (1.5-3.3 Hz) were 3-7 km deep. They were often associated with explosion clouds or forceful emissions of ash-and-steam within 1-3 seconds of the seismic onset, suggesting a high-level origin.

Explosions, recognized principally by their impulsive onset, were more frequent during January and February (~80-90 events/week), but in subsequent months dropped to ~20-30 events/week, with many accompanied by a sonic boom. Reduced displacement values for the explosions typically were 5-10 cm2, and occasionally 12-18 cm2.

Low-frequency tremor with spectral frequencies between 0.5-1.6 Hz, but monochromatic at times, were observed in April and May, but only sporadically in June and July. During the period from the 2nd week of April through the 2nd week of May, the low-frequency episode coincided with lava fountaining in the summit crater. The fountains, comprised of the continuous ejection of incandescent material 100-500 m into the air, lasted hours; sustained roaring and surf-like noises heard 12 km away.

The constant glow of incandescent material in the crater, which was observed frequently in late 1999, was seen only occasionally during August, possibly due to unfavorable weather conditions. Better viewing conditions in late June and July confirmed that incandescent lava still remained in the crater or immediately below it.

The emissions have consisted of a permanent, grayish-white to light-gray column of steam with varying amounts of fine-grained ash that commonly rise less than 1 km above the crater. Explosions or strong emissions have consisted of blocks being thrown hundreds of meters into the air and by the formation of Vulcanian-like eruption clouds that are medium-to-dark gray in color and sometimes with a mushroom shape. The clouds have reached as high as 5 km above the summit. Primarily, easterly winds have carried the very fine ash to the W and WSW, but occasionally anywhere in the azimuthal arc between NW and SW. Both national and international flights reported the ash plume. The ash deposits were several centimeters thick on the lower W flank of the cone, but only several millimeters in the agriculturally important lands farther W.

Ballistic blocks were vesicular, black, glassy andesite containing phenocrysts of olivine, plagioclase, augite, and hypersthene, in a glassy matrix with 10-20% microlites. More recent samples had fewer olivines and larger augites. Chemical analyses of these blocks as well as collected ash gave the following typical values: SiO2 ~58.5%, K2O ~1.72%, MgO ~3.9%, Ni ~33 ppm, and Cr ~65 ppm.

COSPEC monitoring since November was hindered by heavy cloud cover. Following the consistently high SO2 flux values of 6,000-8,000 metric tons/day (t/d) during September-October 1999, values decreased to an average of 3,000-4,000 t/d in November-December 1999. Values then rose to ~8,000 t/d in January and subsequently dropped to an average of ~1,000-2,000 t/d in June and July 2000. An exception to this trend was an increase to ~4,000 t/d observed in April-May, 2000, which coincided with the lava fountaining episode. In general, higher SO2 values seem to be associated with greater tremor activity.

Monthly water analyses of hot springs at both the N and S bases of the edifice have not shown any variation in temperature, pH, conductivity, nor in the concentrations of SO4, Cl-, Na+, CO3--, Ca++, Mg++, and K+, since chemical monitoring began in 1992 and since the activity on Tungurahua began in July 1999.

Lahars coincided with the rainy season and became frequent in October and November 1999; they rapidly cut the main highway at every stream crossing along the western half of the cone (the area of greatest ash fall). Occasional rains from December to June generated flows of debris. The main highway to Baños and to the Amazon Basin was frequently blocked for hours due to lahar deposits.

In general, the activity appeared to be subsiding. However, during the 1916-18 eruptive period the volcano experienced 1.5 years of little activity between major eruptions. An orange alert is still in effect. In the past, Tungurahua typically generated both Merapi- and St. Vincent-like nuées ardentes. The W sector of Baños (17,000 inhabitants) lies at the mouth of a canyon that starts near the summit of the volcano, 9 km away and 3,000 m above the town.

Following the evacuation of Baños on 17 October 1999, the town remained abandoned until late December (BGVN 25:01). As of August 2000, about 80% of the population had returned and tourism has re-established itself.

Geologic Background. Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. Three major edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks. Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice. Tungurahua II itself collapsed about 3000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit and a horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the west, inside which the modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater, accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base. Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Baños at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.

Information Contacts: Geophysical Institute (Instituto Geofísico), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador.


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — July 2000 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)


Vapor emissions during May and June; moderate seismicity in June

This report covers the period from April to June 2000. There were no unusual reports from Ulawun in April. Throughout May, moderate to thick white vapor was emitted. Emissions in June consisted of thin white vapor. However, on 5 and 7 June, the emissions were thick white vapor. Seismic activity for June was at a moderate level.

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 north coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1000 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: I. Itikarai, D. Lolok, K. Mulina, and F. Taranu, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


White Island (New Zealand) — July 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

White Island

New Zealand

37.52°S, 177.18°E; summit elev. 321 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New crater formed on 27 July during the largest eruption in about 20 years

This report covers June and July 2000. On 18 April 2000, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS) increased the alert level from 1 to 2 (level 5 being the most severe) following minor eruptive activity that began on 7 March 2000 and included elevated seismicity and higher than normal SO2 gas flux (BGVN 25:03).

The IGNS reported that for the week ending 16 June 2000, the active MH vent continued to emit an ash plume. This plume sometimes extended as far as 60 km downwind and deposited ash as far as 15 km away. Up to several centimeters of ash were deposited on White Island. Until 16 June, seismic activity was significantly less than in May.

Field observations on 12 July indicated little change in activity since April. Furthermore, no direct relationship between seismic activity during this time and the eruptive activity could be determined. The ash continued to be vented to an altitude of 800-1,000 m. By 19 July, strong NE winds had periodically blown the ash plume towards the mainland, resulting in minor ash deposition there. Ashfall at Turango airport led to landing and departure restrictions. Air traffic was also disrupted around the Bay of Plenty.

On 22 July IGNS staff noticed an increase in activity compared to previous observations. A yellowish-brown gas and an ash plume extending to a height of 1500 m were blown to the E and SE. This continued to disrupt air traffic and deposit ash on the mainland. In fact, the IGNS staff were unable to land due to ash accumulation at the landing site. However, they noted that yellowish-brown ash now covered the island with thicknesses ranging from several mm to several cm. They saw no evidence of ballistic bombs or evidence that the eruptive style had changed from the previous months. However, they did note that the height of the MH vent had decreased from its previous location above the acid lake to a height level with the lake.

On Thursday 27 July between 1700 and 2200, a period of strong seismic activity was recorded. Visual and satellite observations were not possible due to poor weather conditions. A tour operator arriving at the island the morning of 28 July, confirmed that there had been an eruption. IGNS staff arrived 29 July and discovered that a large explosive eruption formed a new crater 120 x 150 m wide in the site formerly occupied by a warm acidic lake in the 1978-90 Crater Complex. The eruption deposited as much as 30 cm of ash and pyroclastic material, including juvenile pumice blocks, over the eastern part of the island. This was the largest eruption at White Island in about 20 years; deposits from this eruption were found in areas frequently visited by tourists. The IGNS advised all visitors that similar eruptions pose serious risks to anyone on the island.

Observations on 31 July found the MH vent, which had enlarged to ~50 m, spewing a dark ash cloud while a reddish-brown ash cloud rose from the new 27 July vent. The plumes combined and rose as high as 1-1.2 km above the vents. After this event, activity returned to the level typical since April: minor eruptions that produced plumes of gas, steam, and volcanic ash.

Geologic Background. Uninhabited 2 x 2.4 km White Island, one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, is the 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, four sea stacks that are remnants of a lava dome, lie 5 km NNE. Intermittent moderate phreatomagmatic and strombolian eruptions have occurred throughout the short historical period beginning in 1826, but its activity 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.

Information Contacts: Brent Alloway, Brad Scott, and Steven Sherburn, Wairakei Research Center, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS), Private Bag 2000, Wairakei, New Zealand (URL: http://www.gns.cri.nz/).

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/).