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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

Pacaya (Guatemala) Lava flows and Strombolian explosions continued during February-July 2019

Colima (Mexico) Renewed volcanism after two years of quiet; explosion on 11 May 2019

Masaya (Nicaragua) Lava lake activity declined during March-July 2019

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) Occasional weak phreatic explosions during March-July 2019

Aira (Japan) Explosions with ejecta and ash plumes continue weekly during January-June 2019

Agung (Indonesia) Continued explosions with ash plumes and incandescent ejecta, February-May 2019

Kerinci (Indonesia) Intermittent explosions with ash plumes, February-May 2019

Suwanosejima (Japan) Small ash plumes continued during January through June 2019

Great Sitkin (United States) Small steam explosions in early June 2019

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



Pacaya (Guatemala) — August 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Pacaya

Guatemala

14.382°N, 90.601°W; summit elev. 2569 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows and Strombolian explosions continued during February-July 2019

Pacaya is one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, with activity largely consisting of frequent lava flows and Strombolian activity at the Mackenney crater. This report summarizes continued activity during February through July 2019 based on reports by Guatemala's Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH) and Sistema de la Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), visiting scientists, and satellite data.

At the beginning of February activity included Strombolian explosions ejecting material up to 5 to 30 m above the Mackenney crater and a degassing plume up to 300 m. Multiple lava flows were observed throughout the month on the N, NW, and W flanks, reaching 350 m from the crater and resulting in avalanches from the flow fronts. Strombolian activity continued with sporadic to continuous explosions ejecting material 5-75 m above the Mackenney crater. Degassing produced plumes up to 300 m above the crater, and incandescence from the crater and lava flows were seen at night. Daniel Sturgess of Bristol University observed activity on the 24th, noting a 70-m-long lava flow with individual blocks from the front of the flow rolling down the flanks (figure 108). He reported that mild Strombolian explosions occurred every 10-20 minutes and ejected blocks, up to approximately 4 m in diameter, as high as 5-30 m above the crater and towards the northern flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 108. An active lava flow on the NW flank of Pacaya on 24 February 2019 with incandescence visible in lower light conditions. Courtesy of Daniel Sturgess, University of Bristol.

Similar activity continued through March with multiple lava flows reaching a maximum of 200 m N and NW, and avalanches descending from the flow fronts. Ongoing Strombolian explosions expelled material up to 75 m above the Mackenney crater. Degassing produced a white-blue plume to a maximum of 900 m above the crater (figure 109) and incandescence was noted some nights.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 109. A degassing plume at Pacaya reaching 350 m above the crater and dispersing to the S on 19 March 2019. Courtesy of CONRED.

During April lava flows continued on the N and NW flanks, reaching a maximum length of 300 m, with avalanches forming from the flow fronts. Degassing formed plumes up to 600 m above the crater that dispersed with various wind directions. Strombolian activity continued with explosions ejecting material up to 40 m above the crater. On the 2nd and 3rd weak rumbles were heard at distances of 4-5 km. Similar activity continued through May with lava flows reaching 300 m to the N, degassing producing plumes up to 600 m above the crater, and Strombolian explosions ejecting material up to 15 m above the crater.

Lava flows continued out to 300 m in length to the N and NW during June (figures 110 and 111). Strombolian activity ejected material up to 30 m above the crater and degassing resulted in plumes that reached 300 m. During July there were multiple active lava flows that reached a maximum of 300 m in length on the N and NW flanks (figure 112). Avalanches generated by the collapse of material at the front of the lava flows were accompanied by explosions ejecting material up to 30 m above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 110. An active lava flow on Pacaya on 9 June 2019 with incandescent blocks rolling down the flank from the flow front. Courtesy of Paul Wallace, University of Liverpool.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 111. Activity at Pacaya on 22 June 2019 with a degassing plume dispersed to the W and a 300-m-long lava flow. Photos by Miguel Morales, courtesy of CONRED.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 112. Two lava flows were active to the N and NW at Pacaya on 20 July 2019. Photos courtesy of CONRED.

During February through July multiple lava flows and crater activity were detected in Sentinel-2 satellite thermal images (figures 113 and 114) and relatively constant thermal energy was detected by the MIROVA system with a slight decrease in the energy and frequency of anomalies during June (figure 115). The thermal anomalies detected by the MODVOLC system for each month from February through July spanned 6-30, with six during June and 30 during April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 113. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Pacaya show lava flows to the N and NW during February through April 2019. There was a reduction in visible activity in early March. False color (urban) satellite images (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 114. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Pacaya showing lava flow and hot avalanche activity during June and July 2019. False color (urban) satellite images (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 115. MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared at Pacaya during October 2018 through July 2019. Detected thermal energy is relatively stable with a decrease through June and subsequent increase during July. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. Eruptions from Pacaya, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes, are frequently visible from Guatemala City, the nation's capital. This complex basaltic volcano was constructed just outside the southern topographic rim of the 14 x 16 km Pleistocene Amatitlán caldera. A cluster of dacitic lava domes occupies the southern caldera floor. The post-caldera Pacaya massif includes the ancestral Pacaya Viejo and Cerro Grande stratovolcanoes and the currently active Mackenney stratovolcano. Collapse of Pacaya Viejo between 600 and 1500 years ago produced a debris-avalanche deposit that extends 25 km onto the Pacific coastal plain and left an arcuate somma rim inside which the modern Pacaya volcano (Mackenney cone) grew. A subsidiary crater, Cerro Chino, was constructed on the NW somma rim and was last active in the 19th century. During the past several decades, activity has consisted of frequent strombolian eruptions with intermittent lava flow extrusion that has partially filled in the caldera moat and armored the flanks of Mackenney cone, punctuated by occasional larger explosive eruptions that partially destroy the summit of the growing young stratovolcano.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/); Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Av. Hincapié 21-72, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://conred.gob.gt/www/index.php); 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/); Daniel Sturgess, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom (URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/earthsciences/); Paul Wallace, Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, 4 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L69 3GP, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/environmental-sciences/staff/paul-wallace/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Colima (Mexico) — August 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Colima

Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Renewed volcanism after two years of quiet; explosion on 11 May 2019

Frequent historical eruptions at Volcán de Colima date back to the 16th century and include explosive activity, lava flows, and large debris avalanches. The most recent eruptive episode began in January 2013 and continued through March 2017. Previous reports have covered activity involving ash plumes with extensive ashfall, lava flows, lahars, and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 41:01 and 42:08). In late April 2019, increased seismicity related to volcanic activity began again. This report covers activity through July 2019. The primary source of information was the Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia, Universidad de Colima (CUEIV-UdC).

On 11 May 2019, CUEIV-UdC reported an explosion that was recorded by several monitoring stations. A thermal camera located south of Colima captured thermal anomalies associated with the explosion as well as intermittent degassing, which mainly consisted of water vapor (figure 131). A report from the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima (UEPCC), and seismic and infrasound network data from CUEIV-UdC, recorded about 60 high-frequency events, 16 landslides, and 14 low-magnitude explosions occurring on the NE side of the crater during 11-24 May. Drone imagery showed fumarolic activity occurring on the inner wall of this crater on 22 May (figure 132).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. Gas emissions from Colima during the 11 May 2019 eruption as seen from the Naranjal station. Courtesy of CUEIV-UdC (Boletin Seminal de la Actividad del Volcan de Colima 17 mayo 2019 no 121).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. A drone photo showing fumarolic activity occurring within the NE wall of the crater at Colima on 22 May 2019. Courtesy of CUEIV-UdC (Boletin Seminal de la Actividad del Volcan de Colima 24 mayo 2019 no 122).

Small explosions and gas-and-steam emissions continued intermittently through mid-July 2019 concentrated on the NE side of the crater. An overflight on 9 July 2019 revealed that subsidence from the consistent activity slightly increased the diameter of the vent; other areas within the crater also showed evidence of subsidence and some collapsed material on the outer W wall (figure 133). During the weeks of 19 and 26 July 2019, monitoring cameras and seismic data recorded eight lahars.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. A drone photo of the crater at Colima on 8 July 2019 shows continuing fumarolic activity and evidence of a collapsed wall on the W exterior side. Courtesy of CUEIV-UdC (Boletin Seminal de la Actividad del Volcan de Colima 12 julio 2019 no 129).

Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4320 m high point of the complex) on the north and the 3850-m-high historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of cinder cones of late-Pleistocene age is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the Colima complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Information Contacts: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia, Universidad de Colima (CUEIV-UdC), Colima, Col. 28045, Mexico; Centro Universitario de Estudios Vulcanologicos y Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Colima, Avenida Universidad 333, Colima, Col. 28045, Mexico (URL: http://portal.ucol.mx/cueiv/); Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil, Colima, Roberto Esperón No. 1170 Col. de los Trabajadores, C.P. 28020, Mexico (URL: http://www.proteccioncivil.col.gob.mx/).


Masaya (Nicaragua) — August 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake activity declined during March-July 2019

Masaya, in Nicaragua, contains a lava lake found in the Santiago Crater which has remained active since its return in December 2015 (BGVN 41:08). In addition to this lava lake, previous volcanism included explosive eruptions, lava flows, and gas emissions. Activity generally decreased during March-July 2019, including the number and frequency of thermal anomalies, lava lake levels, and gas emissions. The primary source of information for this report comes from the Instituto Nicareguense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER).

On 21 July 2019 a small explosion in the Santiago Crater resulted in some gas emissions and an ash cloud drifting WNW. In addition to the active lava lake (figure 77), monthly reports from INETER noted that thermal activity and gas emissions (figure 78) were decreasing.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Active lava lake visible in the Santiago Crater at Masaya on 27 June 2019. Photo by Sheila DeForest (Creative Commons BY-SA license).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. Gas emissions coming from the Santiago Crater at Masaya on 29 June 2019. Photo by Sheila DeForest (Creative Commons BY-SA license).

On 15 May and 22 July 2019, INETER scientists used a FLIR SC620 thermal infrared camera to measure temperatures of fumaroles on the Santiago Crater. In May 2019 the temperature of fumaroles had decreased by 48°C since the previous month. Between May and July 2019 fumarole temperatures continued to decline; temperatures ranged from 90° to 136°C (figure 79). Compared to May 2019 these temperatures are 3°C lower. INETER reports that the level of the lava lake has been slowly dropping during this reporting period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. FLIR (forward-looking infrared) and visible images of the Santiago Crater at Masaya showing fumarole temperatures ranging from 90° to 136°C. The scale in the center shows the range of temperatures in the FLIR image. Courtesy of INETER (March 2019 report).

According to MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) data from MODIS satellite instruments, frequent thermal anomalies were recorded from mid-March through early May 2019, with little to no activity from mid-May to July 2019 (figure 80). Sentinel-2 thermal images show high temperatures in the active lava lake on 10 March 2019 (figure 81). Thermal energy detected by the MODVOLC algorithm showed 14 hotspot pixels with the most number of hotspots (7) occurring in March 2019.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. Thermal anomalies were relatively constant at Masaya from early September 2018 through early May 2019 and then abruptly decreased until mid-June 2019 as recorded by MIROVA. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image showing a detected heat signature from the active lava lake at Masaya on 10 March 2019. The lava lake is visible (bright yellow-orange). Approximate diameter of the crater containing the lava lake is 500 m. Thermal (urban) satellite image (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); 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); Sheila DeForest (URL: https://www.facebook.com/sheila.deforest).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — August 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Occasional weak phreatic explosions during March-July 2019

The acid lake of Rincón de la Vieja's active crater has generated intermittent weak phreatic explosions regularly since 2011, continuing during the past year through at least August 2019. The volcano is monitored by the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), and the information below comes from its weekly bulletins between 4 March and 2 September 2019. Clouds often prevented webcam and satellite views. The current report describes activity from March through July 2019.

OVSICORI-UNA reported that weak events occurred on 19 March at 1851 and on 29 March 2019 at 2043. A two-minute-long phreatic explosion on 1 April at 0802 produced a plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. Continuous emissions were visible during 3-4 April, rising 200 m above the crater rim. On 3 April, at 1437, a small explosion was detected. An explosion on 10 April at 0617 produced a gas-and-steam plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim and drifted SE. On 12 April at 0643, a plume rose 500 m. Another event took place at 0700 on 13 April, although poor weather conditions prevented visual observations. On 14 April, OVSICORI-UNA noted that aerial photographs showed a milky-gray acid lake at a relatively low water level with convection cells of several tens meters of diameter in the center and eastern parts of the lake.

According to an OVSICORI-UNA bulletin, a small phreatic explosion occurred on 1 May. Another explosion on 11 May at 0720 produced a white gas-and-steam plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. Phreatic explosions were recorded on 14 May at 1703 and on 17 May at 0357, though dense fog prevented visual confirmation of both events with webcams. On 15 May a local observer noted a diffuse plume of steam and gas, material rising from the crater, and photographed milky-gray deposits on the N part of the crater rim ejected from the event the day before. A major explosion occurred on 24 May.

OVSICORI-UNA recorded a significant phreatic 10-minute-long explosion that began on 11 June at 0343, but plumes were not visible due to weather conditions. No further phreatic events were reported in July.

Seismic activity was very low during the reporting period, and there was no significant deformation. Short tremors were frequent toward the end of April, but were only periodic in May and June; tremor almost disappeared in July. A few long-period earthquakes were recorded, and volcano-tectonic earthquakes were even less frequent.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/).


Aira (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions with ejecta and ash plumes continue weekly during January-June 2019

Sakurajima rises from Kagoshima Bay, which fills the Aira Caldera near the southern tip of Japan's Kyushu Island. Frequent explosive and occasional effusive activity has been ongoing for centuries. The Minamidake summit cone has been the location of persistent activity since 1955; the Showa crater on its E flank has also been intermittently active since 2006. Numerous explosions and ash-bearing emissions have been occurring each month at either Minamidake or Showa crater since the latest eruptive episode began in late March 2017. This report covers ongoing activity from January through June 2019; the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) provides regular reports on activity, and the Tokyo VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center) issues tens of reports each month about the frequent ash plumes.

From January to June 2019, ash plumes and explosions were usually reported multiple times each week. The quietest month was June with only five eruptive events; the most active was March with 29 (table 21). Ash plumes rose from a few hundred meters to 3,500 m above the summit during the period. Large blocks of incandescent ejecta traveled as far as 1,700 m from the Minamidake crater during explosions in February and April. All the activity originated in the Minamidake crater; the adjacent Showa crater only had a mild thermal anomaly and fumarole throughout the period. Satellite imagery identified thermal anomalies inside the Minamidake crater several times each month.

Table 21. Monthly summary of eruptive events recorded at Sakurajima's Minamidake crater in Aira caldera, January-June 2019. The number of events that were explosive in nature are in parentheses. No events were recorded at the Showa crater during this time. Data courtesy of JMA (January to June 2019 monthly reports).

Month Ash emissions (explosive) Max. plume height above crater Max. ejecta distance from crater
Jan 2019 8 (6) 2.1 km 1.1 km
Feb 2019 15 (11) 2.3 km 1.7 km
Mar 2019 29 (12) 3.5 km 1.3 km
Apr 2019 10 (5) 2.2 km 1.7 km
May 2019 15 (9) 2.9 km 1.3 km
Jun 2019 5 (2) 2.2 km 1.3 km

There were eight eruptive events reported by JMA during January 2019 at the Minamidake summit crater of Sakurajima. They occurred on 3, 6, 7, 9, 17, and 19 January (figure 76). Ash plume heights ranged from 600 to 2,100 m above the summit. The largest explosion, on 9 January, generated an ash plume that rose 2,100 m above the summit crater and drifted E. In addition, incandescent ejecta was sent 800-1,100 m from the summit. Incandescence was visible at the summit on most clear nights. During an overflight on 18 January no significant changes were noted at the crater (figure 77). Infrared thermal imaging done on 29 January indicated a weak thermal anomaly in the vicinity of the Showa crater on the SE side of Minamidake crater. The Kagoshima Regional Meteorological Observatory (KRMO) (11 km WSW) recorded ashfall there during four days of the month. Satellite imagery indicated thermal anomalies inside Minamidake on 7 and 27 January (figure 77).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. Incandescent ejecta and ash emissions characterized activity from Sakurajima volcano at Aira during January 2019. Left: A webcam image showed incandescent ejecta on the flanks on 9 January 2019, courtesy of JMA (Explanation of volcanic activity in Sakurajima, January 2019). Right: An ash plume rose hundreds of meters above the summit, likely also on 9 January, posted on 10 January 2019, courtesy of Mike Day.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. The summit of Sakurajima consists of the larger Minamidake crater and the smaller Showa crater on the E flank. Left: The Minamidake crater at the summit of Sakurajima volcano at Aira on 18 January 2019 seen in an overflight courtesy of JMA (Explanation of volcanic activity in Sakurajima, March 2019). Right: Two areas of thermal anomaly were visible in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 27 January 2019. "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, and 2) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity increased during February 2019, with 15 eruptive events reported on days 1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 24, and 27. Ash plume heights ranged from 600-2,300 m above the summit, and ejecta was reported 300 to 1,700 m from the crater in various events (figure 78). KRMO reported two days of ashfall during February. Satellite imagery identified thermal anomalies at the crater on 6 and 26 February, and ash plumes on 21 and 26 February (figure 79).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. An explosion from Sakurajima at Aira on 7 February 2019 sent ejecta up to 1,700 m from the Minamidake summit crater. Courtesy of JMA (Explanation of volcanic activity in Sakurajima, February 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Thermal anomalies and ash emissions were captured in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 6, 21, and 26 February 2019 originating from Sakurajima volcano at Aira. Top: Thermal anomalies within the summit crater were visible underneath steam and ash plumes on 6 and 26 February (closeup of bottom right photo). Bottom: Ash emissions on 21 and 26 February drifted SE from the volcano. "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, and 2) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The number of eruptive events continued to increase during March 2019; there were 29 events reported on numerous days (figures 80 and 81). An explosion on 14 March produced an ash plume that rose 3,500 m above the summit and drifted E. It also produced ejecta that landed 800-1,100 m from the crater. During an overflight on 26 March a fumarole was the only activity in Showa crater. KRMO reported 14 days of ashfall during the month. Satellite imagery identified an ash plume on 13 March and a thermal anomaly on 18 March (figure 82).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. A large ash emission from Sakurajima volcano at Aira was photographed by a tourist on the W flank and posted on 1 March 2019. Courtesy of Kratü.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. An ash plume from Sakurajima volcano at Aira on 18 March 2019 produced enough ashfall to disrupt the trains in the nearby city of Kagoshima according to the photographer. Image taken from about 20 km away. Courtesy of Tim Board.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. An ash plume drifted SE from the summit of Sakurajima volcano at Aira on 13 March (left) and a thermal anomaly was visible inside the Minamidake crater on 18 March 2019 (right). "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, and 2) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A decline in activity to only ten eruptive events on days 7, 13, 17, 22, and 25 was reported by JMA for April 2019. An explosion on 7 April sent ejecta up to 1,700 m from the crater. Another explosion on 13 April produced an ash plume that rose 2,200 m above the summit. Most of the eruptive events at Sakurajima last for less than 30 minutes; on 22 April two events lasted for almost an hour each producing ash plumes that rose 1,400 m above the summit. Ashfall at KRMO was reported during seven days in April. Two distinct thermal anomalies were visible inside the Minamidake crater on both 12 and 27 April (figure 83).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Two thermal anomalies were present inside Minamidake crater at the summit of Sakurajima volcano at Aira on 12 (left) and 27 (right) April 2019. "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, and 2) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

There were 15 eruptive events during May 2019. An event that lasted for two hours on 12 May produced an ash plume that rose 2,900 m from the summit and drifted NE (figure 84). The Meteorological Observatory reported 14 days with ashfall during the month. Two thermal anomalies were present in satellite imagery in the Minamidake crater on both 17 and 22 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. An ash plume rose 2,900 m above the summit of Sakurajima at Aira on 12 May 2019 (left); incandescent ejecta went 1,300 m from the summit crater on 13 May. Courtesy of JMA (Explanation of volcanic activity in Sakurajima, May 2019).

During June 2019 five eruptive events were reported, on 11, 13, and 24 June; the event on 11 June lasted for almost two hours, sent ash 2,200 m above the summit, and produced ejecta that landed up to 1,100 m from the crater (figure 85). Five days of ashfall were reported by KRMO.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. A large ash plume on 11 June 2019 rose 2,200 m above the summit of Sakurajima volcano at Aira. Courtesy of Aone Wakatsuki.

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

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html); 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); Mike Day, Minnesota, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/MikeDaySMM, photo at https://twitter.com/MikeDaySMM/status/1083489400451989505/photo/1); Kratü, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/TalesOfKratue, photo at https://twitter.com/TalesOfKratue/status/1101469595414589441/photo/1); Tim Board, Japan, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/Hawkworld_, photo at https://twitter.com/Hawkworld_/status/1107789108754038789); Aone Wakatsuke, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/AoneWakatsuki, photo at https://twitter.com/AoneWakatsuki/status/1138420031258210305/photo/3).


Agung (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

8.343°S, 115.508°E; summit elev. 2997 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued explosions with ash plumes and incandescent ejecta, February-May 2019

After a large, deadly explosive and effusive eruption during 1963-64, Indonesia's Mount Agung on Bali remained quiet until a new eruption began in November 2017 (BGVN 43:01). Lava emerged into the summit crater at the end of November and intermittent ash plumes rose as high as 3 km above the summit through the end of the year. Activity continued throughout 2018 with explosions that produced ash plumes rising multiple kilometers above the summit, and the slow effusion of the lava within the summit crater (BGVN 43:08, 44:02). Information about the ongoing eruptive episode comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), also known as the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and multiple sources of satellite data. This report covers the ongoing eruption from February through May 2019.

Intermittent but increasingly frequent and intense explosions with ash emissions and incandescent ejecta characterized activity at Agung during February through May 2019. During February, explosions were reported three times; events on seven days in March were documented with ash plumes and ashfall in surrounding villages. Five significant events occurred during April; two involved incandescent ejecta that traveled several kilometers from the summit, and ashfall tens of kilometers from the volcano. Most of the five significant events reported in May involved incandescent ejecta and ashfall in adjacent villages; air traffic was disrupted during the 24 May event. Ash plumes in May reached altitudes over 7 km multiple times. Thermal activity increased steadily during the period, according to both the MIROVA project (figure 44) and MODVOLC thermal alert data. MAGMA Indonesia reported at the end of May 2019 that the volume of lava within the summit crater remained at about 25 million m3; satellite information indicated continued thermal activity within the crater. Alert Level III (of four levels) remained in effect throughout the period with a 4 km exclusion radius around the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Thermal activity at Agung from 4 September 2018 through May 2019 was variable. The increasing frequency and intensity of thermal events was apparent from February-May. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Steam plumes rose 30-300 m high daily during February 2019. The Agung Volcano Observatory (AVO) and PVMBG issued a VONA on 7 February (UTC) reporting an ash plume, although it was not visible due to meteoric cloud cover. Incandescence, however, was observed at the summit from webcams in both Rendang and Karangasem City (16 km SE). The seismic event associated with the explosion lasted for 97 seconds. A similar event on 13 February was also obscured by clouds but produced a seismic event that lasted for 3 minutes and 40 seconds, and ashfall was reported in the village of Bugbug, about 20 km SE. On 22 February a gray ash plume rose 700 m from the summit during a seismic event that lasted for 6 minutes and 20 seconds (figure 45). The Darwin VAAC reported the plume visible in satellite imagery moving W at 4.3 km altitude. It dissipated after a few hours, but a hotspot remained visible about 10 hours later.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. An ash plume rose from the summit of Agung on 22 February 2019, viewed from the Besakih temple, 7 km SW of the summit. Courtesy of PunapiBali.

Persistent steam plumes rose 50-500 m from the summit during March 2019. An explosion on 4 March was recorded for just under three minutes and produced ashfall in Besakih (7 km SW); no ash plume was observed due to fog. A short-lived ash plume rose to 3.7 km altitude and drifted SE on 8 March (UTC) 2019. The seismic event lasted for just under 4 minutes. Ash emissions were reported on 15 and 17 March to 4.3 and 3.7 km altitude, respectively, drifting W (figure 46). Ashfall from the 15 March event spread NNW and was reported in the villages of Kubu (6 km N), Tianyar (14 km NNW), Ban, Kadundung, and Sukadana. MAGMA Indonesia noted that two explosions on the morning of 17 March (local time) produced gray plumes; the first sent a plume to 500 m above the summit drifting E and lasted for about 40 seconds, while the second plume a few hours later rose 600 m above the crater and lasted for 1 minute and 16 seconds. On 18 March an ash plume rose 1 km and drifted W and NW. An event on 20 March was measured only seismically by PVMBG because fog prevented observations. An eruption on 28 March produced an ash plume 2 km high that drifted W and NW. The seismic signal for this event lasted for about two and a half minutes. The Darwin VAAC reported the ash plume at 5.5 km altitude, dissipating quickly to the NW. No ash was visible four hours later, but a thermal anomaly remained at the summit (figure 47). Ashfall was reported in nearby villages.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Ash plumes from Agung on 15 (left) and 17 (right) March 2019 resulted in ashfall in communities 10-20 km from the volcano. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA Indonesia (Information on G. Agung Eruption, 15 March 2019 and Gunung Agung Eruption Press Release March 17, 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. A thermal anomaly was visible through thick cloud cover at the summit of Agung on 29 March 2019 less than 24 hours after a gray ash plume was reported 2,000 m above the summit. "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The first explosion of April 2019 occurred on the 3rd (UTC); PVMBG reported the dense gray ash plume 2 km above the summit drifting W. A few hours later the Darwin VAAC raised the altitude to 6.1 km based on infrared temperatures in satellite imagery. The seismic signal lasted for three and a half minutes and the explosion was heard at the PGA Post in Rendang (12 km SW). Incandescent material fell within a radius of 2-3 km, mainly on the S flank (figure 48). Ashfall was reported in the villages of Telungbuana, Badeg, Besakih, Pempatan, Teges, and Puregai on the W and S flanks (figure 49). An explosion on 11 April also produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 2 km above the summit and drifted W. A hotspot remained about six hours later after the ash dissipated.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 48. Incandescent ejecta appeared on the flanks of Agung after an eruption on 4 April 2019 (local time) as viewed from the observation post in Rendang (8 km SW). Courtesy of Jamie Sincioco.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Ashfall in a nearby town dusted mustard plants on 4 April 2019 from an explosion at Agung the previous day. Courtesy of Pantau.com (Photo: Antara / Nyoman Hendra).

PVMBG reported an eruption visible in the webcam early on 21 April (local time) that rose to 5.5 km altitude and drifted SW. The ash spread W and S and ash fell around Besakih (7 km SW), Rendang (8 km SW), Klungkung (25 km S), Gianyar (20 km WSW), Bangli (17 km WNW), Tabanan (50 km WSW), and at the Ngurah Rai-Denpasar Airport (60 km SW). About 15 hours later a new explosion produced a dense gray ash plume that rose to 3 km above the summit and produced incandescent ejecta in all directions as far as 3 km away (figure 50). The ash spread to the S and ashfall was reported in Besakih, Rendang, Sebudi (6 km SW), and Selat (12 km SSW). Both of the explosions were heard in Rendang and Batulompeh. The incandescent ejecta from the explosions remained within the 4-km exclusion zone. A satellite image on 23 April showed multiple thermal anomalies within the summit crater (figure 51). A dense gray plume drifted E from Agung on 29 April (30 April local time) at 4.6 km altitude. It was initially reported by ground observers, but was also visible in multispectral satellite imagery for about six hours before dissipating.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. An explosion at Agung on 21 April 2019 sent incandescent eject 3,000 m from the summit. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Gunung Agung Eruption Press Release April 21, 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Multiple thermal anomalies were still present within the summit crater of Agung on 23 April 2019 after two substantial explosions produced ash and incandescent ejecta around the summit two days earlier. "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

PVMBG reported an eruption on 3 May 2019 that was recorded on a seismogram with a signal that lasted for about a minute. Satellite imagery reported by the Darwin VAAC showed a growing hotspot and possible ash near the summit at 4.3 km altitude moving NE. A few days later, on 6 May, a gray ash plume rose to 5.2 km altitude and drifted slowly W before dissipating; it was accompanied by a seismic signal that lasted for about two minutes. Explosions on 12 and 18 May produced significant amounts of incandescent ejecta (figure 52). The seismic signal for the 12 May event lasted for about two minutes; no plume was observed due to fog, but incandescent ejecta was visible on the flanks and the explosion was heard at Rendang. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume from the explosion on 17 May (18 May local time) at 6.1 km altitude in satellite imagery moving E. They revised the altitude a short while later to 7.6 km based on IR temperature and movement; the plume drifted N, NE, and E in light and variable winds. A few hours after that it was moving NE at 7.6 km altitude and SE at 5.5 km altitude; this lasted for about 12 hours until it dissipated. Ashfall was reported in villages downwind including Cutcut, Tongtongan, Bonyoh (20 km WNW), and Temakung.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. Explosions on 12 (left) and 18 (right) May (local time) 2019 produced substantial ejecta on the flanks of Agung visible from a distance of 10 km or more in PVMBG webcams. The ash plume from the 18 May event resulted in ashfall in numerous communities downwind. Courtesy of PVMBG (Information Eruption G. Agung, May 13, 2019, Information Eruption G. Agung, May 18, 2019).

The initial explosion on 18 May was captured by a webcam at a nearby resort and sent incandescent ejecta hundreds of meters down the NE flank within 20 seconds (figure 53). Satellite imagery on 3, 8, 13, and 18 May indicated multiple thermal anomalies growing stronger at the summit. All of the images were captured within 24 hours of an explosive event reported by PVMBG (figure 54).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. The 18 May 2019 explosion at Agung produced an ash plume that rose to over 7 km altitude and large bombs of incandescent material that traveled hundreds of meters down the NE flank within the first 20 seconds of the explosion. Images taken from a private webcam located 12 km NE. Courtesy of Volcanoverse, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Satellite images from 3, 8, 13, and 18 May 2019 at Agung showed persistent and increasing thermal anomalies within the summit crater. All images were captured within 24 hours of explosions reported by PVMBG. "Atmospheric Penetration" rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

PVMBG issued a VONA on 24 May 2019 reporting a new ash emission. They indicated that incandescent fragments were ejected 2.5-3 km in all directions from the summit, and the seismic signal lasted for four and a half minutes (figure 55). A dense gray ash plume was observed from Tulamben on the NE flank rising 2 km above the summit. Satellite imagery indicated that the plume drifted SW and ashfall was reported in the villages of Besakih, Pempatan, Menanga, Sebudi, Muncan, Amerta Bhuana, Nongan, Rendang, and at the Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpassar. Additionally, ashfall was reported in the districts of Tembuku, Bangli, and Susut (20 km SW). The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 4.6 km altitude along with a thermal anomaly and incandescent lava visible in webcam imagery. The remains of the ash plume were about 170 km S of the airport in Denpasar (60 km SW) and had nearly dissipated 18 hours after the event. According to a news article several flights to and from Australia were cancelled or diverted, though the International Gusti Ngurah Rai (IGNR) airport was not closed. On 31 May another large explosion produced the largest ash plume of the report period, rising more than 2 km above the summit (figure 56). The Darwin VAAC reported its altitude as 8.2 km drifting ESE visible in satellite data. It split into two plumes, one drifted E at 8.2 km and the other ESE at 6.1 km altitude, dissipating after about 20 hours.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. A large explosion at Agung on 24 May 2019 produced incandescent ejecta that covered all the flanks and dispersed ash to many communities to the SW. Courtesy of PVMBG (Gunung Agung Eruption Press Release 24 May 2019 20:38 WIB, Kasbani, Ir., M.Sc.).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. An explosion at Agung on 31 May 2019 sent an ash plume to 8.2 km altitude, the highest for the report period. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical Agung stratovolcano, Bali's highest and most sacred mountain, towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means "Paramount," rises above the SE caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano, and the northern and southern flanks extend to the coast. The summit area extends 1.5 km E-W, with the high point on the W and a steep-walled 800-m-wide crater on the E. The Pawon cone is located low on the SE flank. Only a few eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded in historical time. The 1963-64 eruption, one of the largest in the 20th century, produced voluminous ashfall along with devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); 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); The Jakarta Post, Mount Agung eruption disrupts Australian flights, (URL: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/05/25/mount-agung-eruption-disrupts-australian-flights.html); PunapiBali (URL: http://punapibali.com/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/punapibali, image at https://twitter.com/punapibali/status/1098869352588288000/photo/1); Jamie S. Sincioco, Phillipines (URL: Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco. Image at https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco/status/1113765842557104130/photo/1); Pantau.com (URL: https://www.pantau.com/berita/erupsi-gunung-agung-sebagian-wilayah-bali-terpapar-hujan-abu?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter); Volcanoverse (URL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi3T_esus8Sr9I-3W5teVQQ); Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB (Twitter: @Sutopo_PN, URL: https://twitter.com/Sutopo_PN ).


Kerinci (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent explosions with ash plumes, February-May 2019

Frequently active, Indonesia's Mount Kerinci on Sumatra has been the source of numerous moderate explosive eruptions since its first recorded eruption in 1838. Intermittent explosions with ash plumes, usually multiple times per month, have characterized activity since April 2018. Similar activity continued during February-May 2019, the period covered in this report with information provided primarily by the Indonesian volcano monitoring agency, Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), MAGMA Indonesia, notices from the Darwin Volcano Ash Advisory Center (Darwin VAAC), and satellite data. PVMBG has maintained an Alert Level II (of 4) at Kerinci for several years.

On 13 February 2019 the Kerinci Volcano Observatory (KVO), part of PVMBG, noted a brownish-white ash emission that was drifting NE about 400 m above the summit. The seismicity during the event was dominated by continuous volcanic tremor. A brown ash emission was reported on 7 March 2019 that rose to 3.9 km altitude and drifted NE. Ash also drifted 1,300 m down the SE flank. Another ash plume the next morning drifted W at 4.5 km altitude, according to KVO. On 10, 11, and 13 March KVO reported brown ash plumes drifting NE from the summit at about 4.0-4.3 km altitude. The Darwin VAAC observed continuous ash emissions in satellite imagery on 15 March drifting W at 4.3 m altitude that dissipated after about 3 hours (figure 10). A gray ash emission was reported on 19 March about 600 m above the summit drifting NE; local news media noted that residents of Kayo Aro reported emissions on both 18 and 19 March (figure 11). An ash emission appeared in satellite imagery on 25 March (figure 10). On 30 March the observatory reported two ash plumes; a brown emission at 0351 UTC and a gray emission at 0746 UTC that both drifted NE at about 4.4 km altitude and dissipated within a few hours. PVMBG reported another gray ash plume the following day at a similar altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Kerinci from 15 (left) and 25 (right) March 2019 showed evidence of ash plumes rising from the summit. Kerinci's summit crater is about 500 m wide. "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Dense ash plumes from Kerinci were reported by local news media on 18 and 19 March 2019. Courtesy of Nusana Jambi.

Activity continued during April with a brown ash emission reported on 3 April by several different agencies; the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG daily reports noted that the plume was about 500 m above the summit (4.3 km altitude) drifting NE. KVO observed two brown ash emissions on 13 April (UTC) that rose to 4.2 km altitude and drifted NE. Satellite imagery showed minor ash emissions from the summit on 14 April; steam plumes 100-500 m above the summit characterized activity for the remainder of April (figure 12).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. A dilute ash emission rose from the summit of Kerinci on 14 April 2019 (left); only steam emissions were present on a clear 29 April in Sentinel-2 imagery (right). "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Ashfall on the NE and S flanks within 7 km of the volcano was reported on 2 May 2019. According to a news article, at least five villages were affected late on 2 May, including Tanjung Bungo, Sangir, Sangir Tengah, Sungai Rumpun, and Bendung Air (figures 13 and 14). The smell of sulfur was apparent in the villages. Brown ash emissions were observed on 3 and 4 May that rose to 4.6 and 4.1 km altitude and drifted SE. The Darwin VAAC reported an emission on 5 May, based on a pilot report, that rose to 6.7 km altitude and drifted NE for about an hour before dissipating. A brown ash emission on 10 May rose 700 m above the summit and drifted SE. Satellite imagery captured ash emissions from the summit on 14 and 24 May (figure 15). For the remainder of the month, 300-700-m-high dense steam plumes were noted daily until PVMBG reported white and brown plumes on 26 and 27 May rising 500-1,000 m above the summit. Although thermal anomalies were not reported during the period, persistent weak SO2 emissions were identified in TROPOMI instrument satellite data multiple times per month (figure 16).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Ashfall was reported from five villages on the flanks of Kerinci on 2 May 2019. Courtesy of Uzone.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. An ash plume at Kerinci rose hundreds of meters on 2 May 2019; ashfall was reported in several nearby villages. Courtesy of Kerinci Time.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Ash emissions from Kerinci were captured in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 14 (left) and 24 (right) May 2019. The summit crater is about 500 m wide. "Geology" rendering (bands 12, 4, 2), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Weak SO2 anomalies from Kerinci emissions were captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite multiple times each month from February to May 2019. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/); Nuansa Jambi, Informasi Utama Jambi: (URL: https://nuansajambi.com/2019/03/20/gunung-kerinci-semburkan-asap-tebal/); Kerinci Time (URL: https://kerincitime.co.id/gunung-kerinci-semburkan-abu-vulkanik.html); Uzone.id (URL: https://news.uzone.id/gunung-kerinci-erupsi-5-desa-tertutup-abu-tebal).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash plumes continued during January through June 2019

Suwanosejima is an active volcanic island south of Japan in the Ryuku islands with recent activity centered at Otake crater. The current eruption began in October 2004 and activity has mostly consisted of small ash plumes, ballistic ejecta, and visible incandescence at night. This report summarizes activity during January through June 2019 and is based on reports by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), and various satellite data.

Thermal activity recorded by the MIROVA system was low through January and February after a decline in November (figure 36), shown in Sentined-2 thermal infrared imagery as originating at a vent in the Otake crater (figure 37). During January an explosive event was observed at 1727 on the 3rd, producing a gray plume that rose 600 m above the crater. A white gas-and-steam plume rose to 1.5 km above the crater and nighttime incandescence was observed throughout the month. Reduced activity continued through February with no reported explosive eruptions and light gray plumes up to 900 m above the crater. Incandescence continued to be recorded at night using a sensitive surveillance camera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared data at Suwanosejima during September 2018 through June 2019. There was reduced activity in 2019 with periods of more frequent anomalies during March and June. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. A Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image shows Suwanosejima with the active Otake crater in the center with elevated temperatures shown as bright orange/yellow. There is a light area next to the vent that may be a gas plume. False color (urban) satellite image (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

There was an increase in thermal energy detected by the MIROVA system in mid-March and there was a MODVOLC thermal alert on the 15th. Occasional small explosions occurred but no larger explosive events were recorded. A white plume was noted on the 27th rising to 900 m above the crater and an event at 1048 on the 30th produced a light-gray plume that rose to 800 m. Incandescence was only observed using a sensitive camera at night (figure 38).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Incandescence from the Suwanosejima Otake crater reflecting in clouds above the volcano. Courtesy of JMA (Volcanic activity of Suwanosejima March 2019).

No explosive events were observed through April. A white gas-and-steam plume rose to 1,200 m above the crater on the 19th and incandescence continued intermittently. Minor explosions were recorded on 5, 30, and 31 May, but no larger explosive events were observed during the month. The event on the 30th produced ash plume that reached 1.1 km above the crater. Similar activity continued through June with one explosive event occurring on the 2nd. Overall, there was a reduction in the number of ash plumes erupted during this period compared to previous months (figure 39).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Observed activity at Suwanosejima for the year ending in July 2019. The black vertical bars represent steam, gas, or ash plume heights (scale in meters on the left axis), yellow diamonds represent incandescence observed in webcams, gray volcano symbols along the top are explosions accompanied by ash plumes, red volcano symbols represent large explosions with ash plumes. Courtesy of JMA (Volcanic activity of Suwanosejima June 2019).

Geologic Background. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.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).


Great Sitkin (United States) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Great Sitkin

United States

52.076°N, 176.13°W; summit elev. 1740 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small steam explosions in early June 2019

The Great Sitkin volcano is located about 40 km NE of Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands and has had a few short-lived eruptions over the past 100 years. Prior to the latest activity in early June 2019 described below, small phreatic explosions occurred in June and August 2018 (BGVN 43:09). An eruption in 1974 produced a lava dome in the center of the crater. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is the primary source of information for this September 2018-June 2019 reporting period.

Low-level unrest occurred from September 2018 through February 2019 with slightly elevated seismic activity (figure 6). Small explosions were seismically detected by AVO on 30 October, 5 and 16 November, and 11 December 2018, but they were not seen in regional infrasound data and satellite data did not show an ash cloud.

On 1, 7, and 9 June 2019, AVO reported small steam explosions as well as slightly elevated seismic activity. Steam plumes and surficial evidence of an explosion were not observed during these events. On 18 June 2019 weakly elevated surface temperatures were recorded, field crews working on Adak observed some steam emissions, and a gas flight was conducted. Elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide detected above the lava dome were likely associated with the steam explosions earlier in the month (figures 7 and 8). From 23 June through the end of the month seismicity began to decline back to background levels.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A steam plume was seen at the summit of Great Sitkin on 7 December 2018. Photo by Andy Lewis and Bob Boyd; courtesy of AVO/USGS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Some degassing was observed on the southern flank of the Great Sitkin during an overflight on 18 June 2019. Photo by Laura Clor; image courtesy of AVO/USGS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. View of Great Sitkin with white plumes rising from the summit on 20 June 2019. Photo by Laura Clor, courtesy of AVO/USGS.

Geologic Background. The Great Sitkin volcano forms much of the northern side of Great Sitkin Island. A younger parasitic volcano capped by a small, 0.8 x 1.2 km ice-filled summit caldera was constructed within a large late-Pleistocene or early Holocene scarp formed by massive edifice failure that truncated an ancestral volcano and produced a submarine debris avalanche. Deposits from this and an older debris avalanche from a source to the south cover a broad area of the ocean floor north of the volcano. The summit lies along the eastern rim of the younger collapse scarp. Deposits from an earlier caldera-forming eruption of unknown age cover the flanks of the island to a depth up to 6 m. The small younger caldera was partially filled by lava domes emplaced in 1945 and 1974, and five small older flank lava domes, two of which lie on the coastline, were constructed along northwest- and NNW-trending lines. Hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles occur near the head of Big Fox Creek, south of the volcano. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: https://avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://dggs.alaska.gov/).


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/).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 28, Number 03 (March 2003)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Agung (Indonesia)

Hot-spots located outside the summit crater are most likely due to fires

Arjuno-Welirang (Indonesia)

Thermal alerts indicate possible activity during August-October 2002

Dukono (Indonesia)

Infrared satellite data suggest a significant event during August-September 2002

Ibu (Indonesia)

Infrared satellite data indicates activity during May-October 2001

Ijen (Indonesia)

Decreased seismicity; fires detected on satellite imagery

Kanlaon (Philippines)

Steam emission in June 2002; ash emissions in November 2002 and March 2003

Kawi-Butak (Indonesia)

Fires detected on infrared satellite imagery, but no volcanic activity

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Volcanic earthquakes continue; thermal alerts during July-September 2001

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Large explosion on 18 January generates a dark ash column

Lascar (Chile)

Small ash eruptions in October 2002; fumarole investigations

Long Valley (United States)

Summary of 2001-2002 activity; renewed inflation of the resurgent dome

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

White vapor emissions from both craters; low seismicity

Mayon (Philippines)

Small ash puff on 11 October 2002; explosions on 17 March and 5 April 2003

Merapi (Indonesia)

Infrared satellite data show continuous activity through mid-January 2002

Panarea (Italy)

Intense bubbling ends, but degassing continues through March 2003

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Ash eruptions from Tavurvur continue through March

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

Variable seismicity and minor deflation; debris flows in February

Veniaminof (United States)

Seismicity elevated through February, but drops in late March

Witori (Papua New Guinea)

Lava flows from NW-most vent continue through February



Agung (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

8.343°S, 115.508°E; summit elev. 2997 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Hot-spots located outside the summit crater are most likely due to fires

Thermal anomalies were detected by MODIS throughout 2001 and 2002 in zones proximal to the summit of Agung. The first alert occurred on 23 September 2001 when two alert-pixels were detected with a maximum alert ratio of -0.789. Larger anomalies were detected on 12 August 2002 (two alert-pixels with maximum alert ratio of -0.429) and 5 October 2002 (one alert-pixel with alert ratio of -0.536). All the alerts seem to occur outside the summit crater, with the possible exception of 5 October 2002, and are more likely to represent fires than volcanic activity.

No volcanic activity has been reported recently by the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical Agung stratovolcano, Bali's highest and most sacred mountain, towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means "Paramount," rises above the SE caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano, and the northern and southern flanks extend to the coast. The summit area extends 1.5 km E-W, with the high point on the W and a steep-walled 800-m-wide crater on the E. The Pawon cone is located low on the SE flank. Only a few eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded in historical time. The 1963-64 eruption, one of the largest in the 20th century, produced voluminous ashfall along with devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Arjuno-Welirang (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Arjuno-Welirang

Indonesia

7.733°S, 112.575°E; summit elev. 3339 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal alerts indicate possible activity during August-October 2002

Thermal alerts detected by MODIS within the 2001-2002 period occurred only during August-October 2002 (figure 3) in the summit area. The first alert occurred on 13 August 2002 when a single alert-pixel had an alert ratio of -0.542. On 10 October the anomaly consisted of two alert-pixels with a maximum alert ratio of -0.409, and on 21 October the anomaly was characterized by six alert-pixels (clustered SW of the summit) with a maximum alert ratio of -0.571.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. MODIS-detected alerts on Arjuno-Welirang during May-December 2002. Thermal alerts collated by Diego Coppola and David Rothery; data courtesy of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology's MODIS Thermal Alert Team.

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia reported that the volcano was at Status Level I (no activity) in October 2002. No observations were reported, but only distant tectonic earthquakes were detected at the seismograph station.

An explosive eruption took place in the NW part of Gunung Welirang in October 1950, and eruptive activity was reported on the NW flank (Kawah Plupuh) in August 1952. Steam plumes from the summit of Welirang were photographed from space on 13 September 1991 (BGVN 16:08) and in mid-November 1994.

Geologic Background. The twin volcanoes of Arjuno and Welirang anchor the SE and NW ends, respectively, of a 6-km-long line of volcanic cones and craters. The Arjuno-Welirang complex overlies two older volcanoes, Gunung Ringgit to the east and Gunung Linting to the south. The summit areas of both volcanoes are unvegetated. Additional pyroclastic cones are located on the north flank of Gunung Welirang and along an E-W line cutting across the southern side of Gunung Arjuno that extends to the lower SE flank. Fumarolic areas with sulfur deposition occur at several locations on Gunung Welirang.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Dukono (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

1.693°N, 127.894°E; summit elev. 1229 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Infrared satellite data suggest a significant event during August-September 2002

The last reported activity at Dukono consisted of a plume that reached 6 km altitude on 25 September 1995 (BGVN 20:10). Post-May 2000 MODIS data suggested a significant event during 26 August-7 September 2002. During that period, anomalies rose well above alert detection threshold, triggering 10 thermal alerts. All of the alert pixels were located within a 1-km radius.

Geologic Background. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Information Contacts: Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Ibu (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Infrared satellite data indicates activity during May-October 2001

The last reported activity at Ibu included ash emission and mild ash explosions in September 1999. A May 2000 photo showed a lava dome covering the crater floor. MODIS data after May 2000 indicated thermal alerts during 28 May-3 October 2001 (figure 1). The series of alerts was consistent with continued inflation of, or extrusion onto, this dome. Note that the alert was barely above threshold, and it is likely that Ibu was just below detection threshold through 2002. A discussion of the MODIS technique was included in BGVN 28:01.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. MODIS thermal alerts on Ibu during 2001. Thermal alerts collated by Diego Coppola and David Rothery; data courtesy of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology's MODIS Thermal Alert Team.

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: Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Ijen (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Ijen

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Decreased seismicity; fires detected on satellite imagery

During 9 December 2002-26 January 2003, the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) reported that seismicity at Ijen was dominated by shallow volcanic and tectonic earthquakes (table 6). The number of weekly volcanic earthquakes decreased significantly in December compared to July-November 2002 (BGVN 27:08 and 27:11). One deep volcanic earthquake was registered during 13-19 January. Continuous tremor occurred throughout the report period. The Alert Level remained at 2.

Table 6. Seismicity at Ijen during 9 December 2002-26 January 2003. Courtesy VSI.

Date Shallow volcanic (B-type) Tectonic Tremor amplitude
09 Dec-15 Dec 2002 -- -- 0.5-12 mm
16 Dec-22 Dec 2002 1 2 0.5-8 mm
23 Dec-29 Dec 2002 3 -- --
30 Dec-05 Jan 2003 13 3 0.5-6 mm
06 Jan-12 Jan 2003 13 3 0.5-6 mm
13 Jan-19 Jan 2003 1 7 0.5-4 mm
20 Jan-26 Jan 2003 9 7 0.5-1 mm

Thermal anomalies were detected by MODIS throughout 2001 and 2002 adjacent to the Ijen (Kendeng) caldera. The center coordinates of the alert-pixels are widely dispersed, so it seems likely that these represent fires. Alerts occurred in August-September 2001, May 2002, and September-October 2002. The biggest anomaly occurred on 19 October 2002 close to Kawah Ijen, the only currently known locus of activity in the complex. This was characterized by four alert-pixels with a maximum alert ratio of +0.568. This is an extremely high ratio and is comparable to that seen elsewhere during lava effusion. However, VSI confirmed that there was no eruption that day, only a bush fire that also damaged seismic sensors.

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

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Kanlaon (Philippines) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanlaon

Philippines

10.412°N, 123.132°E; summit elev. 2435 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Steam emission in June 2002; ash emissions in November 2002 and March 2003

The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported a sudden increase in steaming activity at Canlaon (also spelled Kanlaon) on 28 June 2002. At about 0436, "dirty white steam" was observed rising up to 200 m above the active crater and drifting SW and SSW. However, there was no corresponding significant earthquake activity; the seismic network detected only two high-frequency volcanic earthquakes in the 24-hour window around the event. A small ash puff on 28 November 2002 at 0721 rose ~100 m above the active crater and drifted SW. The event was recorded as a volcanic tremor at the Cabagnaan and Guintubdan seismic stations. Traces of ash deposits were observed at Cabagnaan Station, located SSW of the active crater. Moderate emission of white to dirty white steam was observed immediately after the ash puff. As of 1100 on 28 November, activity had decreased to only minor white steaming from the summit with a few discrete tremors.

A PHIVOLCS report on 17 March indicated that the hazard status of Canlaon had been raised to Alert Level 1 following an ash emission on that day and one the previous week. At about 0530 on 17 March observatory personnel noted the emission of a grayish volcanic plume. The dirty white steam clouds rose 50 m above the active crater and drifted SW and SSW. No corresponding significant earthquake activity accompanied the event; the seismic network detected only two small low-frequency volcanic earthquakes in the preceding 24 hours. PHIVOLCS interpreted the activity as being hydrothermal in nature at shallow levels in the crater, with no indication of active magma intrusion. Details of the ash emission that occurred "last week" were not provided.

Alert Level 1 signifies that there could be possible ash explosions in the coming days or weeks. For this reason, PHIVOLCS reiterated that the public should avoid entering the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone.

Geologic Background. Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon), the most active of the central Philippines, forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. The largest debris avalanche known in the Philippines traveled 33 km SW from Kanlaon. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, elongated northern caldera with a crater lake and a smaller, but higher, historically active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs. dost.gov.ph/).


Kawi-Butak (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Kawi-Butak

Indonesia

7.92°S, 112.45°E; summit elev. 2651 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fires detected on infrared satellite imagery, but no volcanic activity

MODIS thermal alerts at Kawi-Butak during 2001 and 2002 occurred only in August and October 2002 mostly to the SE of the summit. These almost certainly represent fires rather than volcanic events. The biggest detected alert occurred on 12 October and was characterized by seven alert-pixels with maximum alert ratio of -0.298. These alert pixels were in a group including the summit and the N flank, and are the best candidate for an eruption, though it is unlikely that an eruption of the kind required to trigger such an alert (a significant lava dome or flow) would have gone unreported. The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia confirmed that there was no eruption at Kawi-Butak on 12 October 2002 and that the thermal alert was indeed caused by a bush fire.

Geologic Background. The broad Kawi-Butak volcanic massif lies immediately E of Kelut volcano and S of Arjuno-Welirang volcano. Gunung Kawi was constructed to the NW of Gunung Butak. No historical eruptions are known from either volcano, but both are primarily of Holocene age.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Krakatau (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E; summit elev. 813 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcanic earthquakes continue; thermal alerts during July-September 2001

Seismicity at Krakatau was dominated by volcanic and tectonic earthquakes during 30 December 2002-23 March 2003 (table 3). The hazard status remained unchanged at Alert Level 2.

Table 3. Seismicity at Krakatau during 30 December 2002-23 March 2003. Courtesy VSI.

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Tectonic
30 Dec-05 Jan 2003 3 14 1
06 Jan-12 Jan 2003 14 60 3
13 Jan-19 Jan 2003 5 68 2
20 Jan-26 Jan 2003 9 30 3
27 Jan-02 Feb 2003 12 45 7
03 Feb-09 Feb 2003 2 49 2
10 Feb-16 Feb 2003 6 53 1
17 Feb-23 Feb 2003 10 26 2
24 Feb-02 Mar 2003 11 15 1
03 Mar-09 Mar 2003 4 28 2
10 Mar-16 Mar 2003 2 13 2
17 Mar-23 Mar 2003 5 58 3

Throughout 2001 and 2002, MODIS thermal alerts for Krakatau occurred only during July-September 2001. The first alert occurred on 31 July when one alert pixel was detected with an alert ratio of -0.793. The anomalies increased during August and on 9 August the anomaly consisted of two alert-pixels with a maximum alert ratio of -0.306. Other major anomalies occurred on 1 September (four alert-pixels with maximum alert ratio of -0.327) and on 17 September (two alert-pixels with maximum alert ratio of -0.284). These anomalies correspond to an increase of activity at Krakatau characterized by ash and bomb emission during August 2001 and an increase in the number of explosion and volcanic earthquakes during the first half of September 2001, reported by the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (BGVN 26:09 and 27:09). The coordinates of the centers of the alert pixels are tightly grouped around the summit of the main cone. Bearing in mind that each pixel represents radiance from an area of ground more than 1 km across, the alert pixels could represent radiance from the active vent or from hot ejecta close to the vent.

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

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003 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)


Large explosion on 18 January generates a dark ash column

The summit area was obscured by rain and clouds on many days in January and February. During clear days (4-5, 8-16, 18-21, and 25 January; 1-9 and 13-17 February), Crater 2 released weak to moderate emissions of white and white-gray vapor. Occasional ash-laden gray-brown and forceful dark gray emissions were produced on 10 and 14 January, respectively. The forceful emissions on the 14th were accompanied by low roaring noises. On 18 January a large explosion produced a thick dark ash column that penetrated the atmospheric clouds over the summit area. Occasional white-gray and gray-brown ash-laden emissions were observed on 1-6 February. On 3 and 4 February the same vent forcefully ejected dark gray ash clouds. Night glow was observed at Crater 2 on 14 and 15 January; some of the glow on the 15th changed into weak incandescent lava projections. Variable weak to bright red glow was observed at night on 3-6 and 14 February. On 3 February the glow fluctuated. Low rumbling noises were only heard on 6 February. Crater 3 released thin white vapor gently on 9-10, 12-13, and 19 January, and during 3-4, 6-9, 14, and 16 February. No emissions were observed on other clear days. There was no seismic recording.

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: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Lascar (Chile) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Lascar

Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash eruptions in October 2002; fumarole investigations

An international team of scientists conducted an interdisciplinary research project at Lascar from 13 October 2002 to15 January 2003. The group of scientists from Argentina, Chile, Italy, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and the United States, includes volcanologists who have directly observed the volcano from before the 1993 eruption (BGVN 18:04). During the first part of the project the team took the first ever direct measurements of fumarole temperatures and gas compositions within the crater, which are to be compared with measurements acquired through remote sensing techniques. The combination of direct and ground- and satellite-based measurements at very different spatial scales will hopefully corroborate results from the different techniques. A significant change in crater geometry over the last few years was identified through comparison with work carried out by Gardeweg and others (1993) and Matthews and others (1997).

Visual observations. On 26 October 2002 small explosive eruptive events (reaching heights of 300 m above the crater) were observed at 0905, 0910, and 0915 by both the remote-sensing team 7 km SE of the vent and the direct sampling team on the crater rim (figure 25). Winds from the NW rapidly dispersed the ash cloud. On 27 October at 0845, loud noises were heard, and an ash plume was observed by people 7 km NW of the volcano. At 1340 a much more vigorous explosion produced a plume that rose at least 1,500 m above the vent (figure 26), which was observed by the volcanologists from Pozo Tres, 60 km NW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Photograph of an ash eruption at Lascar on 26 October 2002 seen from the crater rim. Courtesy of Franco Tassi.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Photograph of an eruption at Lascar on 27 October 2002 seen from "Pozo Tres." Courtesy of J.G. Viramonte.

On 1 November 2002 the direct-measurement team reached the crater for a second time to collect gas samples. Comparison with previous descriptions (Gardeweg and others, 1993; Matthews and others, 1997) and photographs taken by J.G. Viramonte at the beginning of the 1990's indicated that after the 2000 eruption (BGVN 25:06; http://www.unsa.edu.ar/varias/lascar; http://www. conae.gov.ar) several changes in crater morphology and locations of the high-flux fumaroles occurred. The dome had collapsed by several tens of meters, producing a deep, steep, hole ~200 m in diameter and 200 m deep, with a number of large fumaroles around the internal rim and at the base (figure 27). Observations suggest that Lascar is presently at or near the climax of the "dome subsidence phase," as described by Matthews and others (1997). There was no evidence of new dome emplacement after the July 2000 eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Cross-section sketch of the Lascar crater showing fractures, high-temperature fumaroles, and areas of recent ash and bombs. Courtesy of J.G. Viramonte.

Direct techniques. Team members from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze (Italy), Universidad Nacional de Salta (Argentina), and Universidad Catolica del Norte (Chile) took, for the first time, direct temperature measurements of Lascar's fumaroles and collected gas samples using vacuum bottles filled with a 4N NaOH + 0.15N CdOH solution (Montegrossi and others, 2001). Sampled fumaroles were aligned along the upper collapse ring fault in the NW internal flank of the active crater (figure 28). A maximum temperature of 385°C was measured. Preliminary results indicate a very high concentration of acidic gases, with a paucity of water vapor. A more complete analysis, performed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, will be done in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Univ. Firenze.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Photograph of the NW side of the Lascar crater, modified to show the collapsed rims and fumarole sampling locations in October 2002. Courtesy of Franco Tassi.

Remote-sensing techniques. Team members from Michigan Technological University (MTU), Cambridge, and Universidad Nacional de Salta (UNSa) provided a suite of state-of-the-art ground-based instruments, including a miniature UV spectrometer that utilizes Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS), a MICROTOPS II sun-photometer, and a Kestrel 4000 weather station. The instruments will help provide a more complete understanding of S-bearing species, and their fates in a high, dry atmosphere. The mini UV spectrometer provides an open path line-of-site burden of SO2 through spectral analysis (Galle and others, 2002; Edmonds and others, 2002), which can be used to derive SO2 emission rates (using the plume's speed and width). The sun-photometer will provide information about the plume's liquid- and solid-phase species, specifically sulfate aerosol. The aerosol's spectral signature can be used to derive the particle size distribution from the spectral optical depth (Watson and Oppenheimer, 2000). The weather station, in conjunction with the other instruments, will elucidate the effects of Lascar's high, dry, and extremely transmissive atmosphere upon SO2 conversion rates. The team will also derive SO2 burdens and emission rates using satellite imagery from NASA's ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) sensor.

Lascar provides an opportunity to study the effects of an end-member atmosphere upon volcanic plumes with the aim of better understanding the fates of volcanic species in the high troposphere (and hence the lower stratosphere). The DOAS is an exciting new instrument, first applied to volcanic studies by volcanologists from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Cambridge University (UK), and Chalmer's University of Technology (Sweden) that is now rapidly replacing the older, bulkier, and much more expensive correlation spectrometer (COSPEC). This experiment is a continuation of that work in a new and different environment.

Future work. The Cambridge team planned to begin a new round of remote studies in early 2003, using the DOAS system and sun-photometers, in particular to investigate evolution of the aerosol phase of the plume. The direct gas sampling by the Florence, Salta, and Del Norte team will be repeated, hopefully in 2003. The group, led by the MTU and UNSa contingent, plan to use recently acquired ASTER data to investigate SO2 emission. Hotspot activity will be studied using ASTER, MODIS, and GOES data. A study of the morphological evolution of the crater is planned for the near future, hopefully incorporating previous investigators' work on cyclic activity at Lascar.

References. Déruelle, B., Medina, E.T., Figueroa, O.A., Maragaño, M.C., and Viramonte, J.G., 1995, The recent eruption of Lascar volcano (Atacama-Chile, April 1993): petrological and volcanological relationships: C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 321, série II, p. 377-384.

Déruelle, B., Figueroa, O.A., Medina, E.T., Viramonte, J.G., and Maragaño, M.C., 1996, Petrology of pumices of April 1993 eruption of Lascar (Atacama, Chile): Blackwell Science Ltd, Terra Nova, v. 8, p. 191-199.

Edmonds, M., Herd, R.A., Galle, B., and Oppenheimer, C.M., 2002, Automated, high time resolution measurements of SO2 flux at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat: in review.

Galle, B., Oppenheimer, C., Geyer, A., McGonigle, A., Edmonds, M., and Horrocks, L.A., 2002, A miniaturised ultraviolet spectrometer for remote sensing of SO2 fluxes: a new tool for volcano surveillance: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 119, p. 241-254.

Gardeweg, M.C., Sparks, S., Matthews, S., Fuentealba, C., Murillo, M., and Espinoza, A., 1993, V informe sobre el comportamiento del volcan Lascar (II región): Enero-Marzo 1993: SERNAGEOMIN, Chile, Marzo 1993.

Gardeweg, M.C., and Medina, E., 1994, La erupción subpliniana del 19-20 de Abril del volcan Lascar N de Chile: Congreso Geológico Chileno, Actas I, p. 299-304.

Matthews, S.J., Gardeweg, M.C., and Sparks, R.S.J., 1997, The 1984 to 1996 cyclic activity of Lascar Volcano, northern Chile: cycles of dome growth, dome subsidence, degassing and explosive eruptions: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 59, p. 72-82.

Montegrossi, G., Tassi, F., Vaselli, O., Buccianti, A., and Garofalo, K., 2001, Sulphur species in volcanic gases: Anal. Chem., v. 73, p. 3,709-3,715.

Viramonte, J.G., Seggiaro, R.E., Becchio, R.A., and Petrinovic, I.A., 1994, Erupción del Volcán Lascar, Chile, Andes Centrales, Abril de 1993: 4ta Reunión Internacional del Volcán de Colima, Colima, México, Actas I, p. 149-151.

Watson, I.M., and Oppenheimer, C., 2000, Particle size distributions of Mt. Etna's aerosol plume constrained by sunphotometry: Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, v. 105, no. D8, p. 9,823-9,829.

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

Information Contacts: José G. Viramonte and Mariano Poodts, Instituto GEONORTE, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Buenos Aires 177, Salta 4400, Argentina (URL: http://www.unsa.edu.ar/); Matt Watson and Lizzette Rodríguez, Department of Geology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA (URL: http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/); Franco Tassi, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli studi di Firenze, Via La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy (URL: https://www.dst.unifi.it/); Eduardo Medina, Claudio Martinez, and Felipe Aguilera, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile (URL: http://www.ucn.cl/en/carrera/geology/).


Long Valley (United States) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Long Valley

United States

37.7°N, 118.87°W; summit elev. 3390 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Summary of 2001-2002 activity; renewed inflation of the resurgent dome

The following are summaries from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of activity at Long Valley during 2001 (Hill, 2001) and 2002 (Hill, 2002). Summaries of activity during 1996, 1997, and 1998 are found in BGVN 22:11-22:12 and 24:06; activities during 1999 through 2000 are found in BGVN 26:07. Figure 25 shows some of the locations mentioned in this report.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Map of the Long Valley caldera area. Courtesy of USGS.

Summary of activity during 2001. Activity levels in Long Valley caldera and vicinity were incrementally lower in 2001 than in 2000, thus continuing the trend of extended quiescence that began toward the end of 1999. Low-level seismic activity within the caldera typically included five or fewer earthquakes per day large enough to be located by the online computer system. Most were smaller than M 2.0, and none were as large as M 3.0; the largest was a M 2.8 earthquake beneath the southern margin of the caldera 800 m N of Convict Lake on 21 May. Seismic activity in the Sierra Nevada S of the caldera continued to be concentrated within the aftershock zone of the 1998-99 sequence of three M 5 earthquakes. The 2001 activity (figure 26) included eight earthquakes of M 3.0 or larger. The largest was the M 3.4 earthquake of 2 December located near the epicenter of the M 5.6 earthquake of 15 May 1999.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Earthquake epicenters in the Long Valley region for the year 2001. Courtesy of USGS.

Mid-crustal long-period (LP) volcanic earthquakes continued to occur at depths of 10-25 km beneath the W flank of Mammoth Mountain (figure 27), although at a much reduced rate compared with the peak in activity in 1997-98. Some 60 LP earthquakes were detected during 2001, with over 15 of these occurring in a cluster on 10 February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Time history of deep (depth 10-25 km) LP earthquakes in the Long Valley caldera beneath Mammoth Mountain from 1989 through 2002. Vertical bars indicate number of LP earthquakes per week (left axis) and the continuous curve shows the cumulative number of events (right axis). Courtesy of USGS.

Deformation within the caldera was limited to continuing slow subsidence of the resurgent dome at a rate of roughly 1 cm/year. All together, the center of the resurgent dome has lost some 2 cm in elevation since inflation stopped in late 1998, leaving the center of the resurgent dome roughly 75 cm or so higher at the end of 2001 than in the late 1970's. The continuous strain and deformation monitoring networks detected no short-term deformation transients during the year. The same is true for the magnetometer networks.

The diffuse carbon dioxide (CO2) degassing at the Horseshoe Lake tree-kill area (BGVN 22:11) and other sites around the flanks of Mammoth Mountain has shown no significant change over the past several years. The total CO2 flux continued to fluctuate ~200 tons per day, with the Horseshoe Lake area contributing roughly 90 tons per day.

The lull in caldera unrest over the past couple of years has provided the Long Valley Observatory (LVO) an opportunity to look back over the wealth of data collected during the previous two decades of activity and to investigate the nature and significance of the processes driving the unrest, toward the goal of assessing future unrest episodes and their significance in terms of potential volcanic hazards. Data from the intense unrest during the 1997-98 episode in the S moat, for example, indicate that fluids (magmatic brine or perhaps magma) played a central role in this activity. This underscores the value of a closely integrating the seismic, deformation, and hydrologic monitoring efforts.

Summary of activity during 2002. Activity in 2002 was dominated by the onset of renewed inflation of the resurgent dome following nearly three years of gradual subsidence. Earthquake activity within the caldera, which remained low through the first half of the year, showed a slight increase through the second half. Of particular note was the response of the caldera to the shear and surface waves generated by the M 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake of 3 November 2002 in the form of a burst of some 60 small earthquakes beneath the S flank of Mammoth Mountain, a coincident strain transient consistent with aseismic slip on a normal fault beneath the E flank of the mountain, and an earthquake swarm the following day in the S moat that included the first M 3.0 earthquake since 1999. This is the third time Long Valley has shown a well-documented response to large, distant earthquakes, the first two being with the M 7.4 Landers earthquake of 28 June 1992 and the M 7.2 Hector Mine earthquake of 16 October 1999. No other significant changes occurred within the caldera during the year. Both the carbon dioxide flux from the flanks of Mammoth Mountain and the rate of deep long-period (LP) volcanic earthquakes beneath Mammoth Mountain showed little change from previous years. The LVO detected no very-long-period (VLP) earthquakes during 2002.

Beginning around the first of the year, both the 2-color EDM and continuous GPS data for the baselines radiating from the CASA monument turned from gradual contraction to renewed extension that persisted through the year at rate of 2.5-3.0 cm/year. This rate is comparable to extension rates that prevailed through the mid-1990's. Cumulative uplift of the center of the resurgent dome associated with this extension has returned to its 1999 value of roughly 80 cm with respect to the late 1970's.

Earthquake activity within the caldera remained low through the first half of the year averaging fewer than five earthquakes per day, most with M 2.0 (figures 27 and 28). The largest event within the caldera during this period was a M 2.8 earthquake on 15 March located in the W lobe of the S moat seismic zone, 1.6 km S of the 203-395 Highway junction. Activity increased slightly in mid-June beginning with a cluster of small earthquakes beneath the W flank of Mammoth Mountain on 26 June that included four events of about M 2. A number of small (M 2) events with the appearance of LP earthquakes occurred at shallow depths (less than 2 km) beneath the southern section of the resurgent dome during the last half of August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Earthquake epicenters in the Long Valley caldera region for 2002. Courtesy of USGS.

The most notable activity began with a burst of over 60 small earthquakes of M 1 beneath the S flank of Mammoth Mountain as the surface waves generated by the M 7.9 Denali Fault, Alaska, earthquake of 3 November 2002 passed through just 17 minutes after the mainshock rupture. At the same time, the borehole dilatometers detected a 0.1-microstrain strain transient that is consistent with slow (aseismic) slip on a normal fault at a depth of about 7 km beneath the W flank of Mammoth Mountain. As with the caldera activity remotely triggered by the M 7.4 Landers earthquake of 28 June 1992 and the M 7.2 Hector Mine earthquake of 16 October 1999, this strain transient is much larger than can be explained by cumulative slip for the 60 or so earthquakes of M 1 triggered by the Denali Fault earthquake. The following day, 4 November, the largest earthquake swarm in the S moat of the caldera since 1998 developed as a sequence that included six earthquakes of M 2 and one of M 3.0. This S-moat swarm was unusual in that it occurred in a relatively aseismic section of the S moat, focal depths of the swarm earthquakes were unusually shallow (4 km), and the NNW lineations of the swarm epicenters cuts across the prevailing WNW-trend of the usual S-moat swarm activity. The latter was also true for the swarm activity triggered by the M 7.4 Landers earthquake of 1992. This S-moat earthquake swarm was not accompanied by detectable strain changes. Mid-crustal long-period (LP) earthquakes have continued at depths of 10-25 km beneath Mammoth Mountain at a fairly steady rate over the past three years. Occasional bursts of activity included 12-15 events per week.

Diffuse emission of carbon dioxide from the flanks of Mammoth Mountain showed little change from previous years. Emission rates estimated for the Horseshoe Lake tree-kill area continued to fluctuate between 50 and 150 tons of CO2 per day, with an average flux of 100 tons per day since 1995. The Horseshoe Lake area produced roughly one-third of the total CO2 flux from the flanks of Mammoth Mountain.

Values for the helium isotope ratio 3He/ 4He from samples taken in early and mid-2002 from the Mammoth Mountain Fumarole (MMF), located at 3,000 m elevation some 300 m E of the Chair 3 ski lift, averaged 5.5, or essentially the same as the 2001 values. These values are significantly higher than the 1999 value of 3.0. The increase with respect to 1999 is consistent with an increase in the magmatic component in the gas emissions from the fumarole. Whether the elevated values for 2001-2002 are related to the very-long-period (VLP) volcanic earthquakes that occurred at a depth of 3 km beneath the summit of Mammoth Mountain in July and August of 2000 remains to be seen.

Seismic activity in the region surrounding Long Valley caldera continued to be dominated by earthquakes in the SSW-trending aftershock zone of the June and July 1998 and the May 1999 earthquakes in the Sierra Nevada S of the caldera. Activity within this aftershock zone included a cluster of earthquakes near the southern end of the zone centered just E of Grinnell Lake that began on 6 June and persisted through the end of the month. Elsewhere, a M 3.7 earthquake on 15 July just 3.2 km NNW of Bishop produced felt shaking throughout the Bishop area. Earthquakes of M 2.9 and 3.5 on 12 December were located beneath the Volcanic Tableland 19 km NNW of Bishop.

An updated revision of the USGS Response Plan for Volcanic Unrest in the Long Valley Caldera - Mono Craters Region, California was released in March 2002 as USGS Bulletin 2185. This bulletin is available in print and in electronic form at ttp://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/bulletin/b2185/.

References. Hill, D.P., 2001, Long Valley Observatory quarterly report October-December 2001 and annual summary for 2001: Long Valley Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (URL: http://lvo.wr.usgs.gov/Annual/lvc_01.html).

Hill, D.P., 2002, Long Valley Observatory quarterly report July-September and October-December 2002 and annual summary for 2002: Long Valley Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (URL: http://lvo.wr.usgs.gov/Quarterly/qrt_rpt3-4-02.html).

Geologic Background. The large 17 x 32 km Long Valley caldera east of the central Sierra Nevada Range formed as a result of the voluminous Bishop Tuff eruption about 760,000 years ago. Resurgent doming in the central part of the caldera occurred shortly afterwards, followed by rhyolitic eruptions from the caldera moat and the eruption of rhyodacite from outer ring fracture vents, ending about 50,000 years ago. During early resurgent doming the caldera was filled with a large lake that left strandlines on the caldera walls and the resurgent dome island; the lake eventually drained through the Owens River Gorge. The caldera remains thermally active, with many hot springs and fumaroles, and has had significant deformation, seismicity, and other unrest in recent years. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene Inyo Craters cut the NW topographic rim of the caldera, and along with Mammoth Mountain on the SW topographic rim, are west of the structural caldera and are chemically and tectonically distinct from the Long Valley magmatic system.

Information Contacts: David Hill, Long Valley Observatory, Volcano Hazards Program, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd., MS 977, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/calvo/).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003 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)


White vapor emissions from both craters; low seismicity

The summit area of Manam was obscured by rain and atmospheric clouds on most days during January-March 2003, making it difficult to observe emissions from the two summit craters. When clear, the Main Crater released small-to-moderate volumes of thin white vapor. Southern Crater generally released small-volume white emissions. Seismicity was low. Small low-frequency earthquakes were recorded on most days. Slightly greater numbers of earthquakes occurred on 16, 17, 23, 25, and 27 January. Some volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded on 11 (1), 12 (1), and 16 January (3); the events on the 16th were larger than the others. No volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded in February, and there was no seismic recording during March.

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: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Mayon (Philippines) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Mayon

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash puff on 11 October 2002; explosions on 17 March and 5 April 2003

Until 11 October 2002, no significant volcanic activity had been reported since eruptions in June and July 2001 (BGVN 26:08). Subsequent deflation, combined with declining seismicity and sulfur dioxide flux, resulted in the Alert Level being lowered to 0 (no eruption is forecast in the foreseeable future, but entry in the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is not advised because phreatic explosions and ash puffs may occur without precursors) in February 2002 (BGVN 27:04).

Mayon remains intermittently active, with tremor episodes, a small ash puff in October 2002, steam emission in January 2003, and an explosion and ash plume in March 2003. Small ash explosions on 5 May and 6 April will be described in the next Bulletin.

Activity during October 2002. At 0635 on 11 October 2002 the volcano produced a small ash puff that reached 500 m above the summit crater. The small ash cloud from this minor explosion quickly diffused and drifted E without noticeable deposits on the slopes. The ash puff followed a series of imperceptible volcanic tremors that began in the early hours of 22 September and occurred sporadically until the last tremor was recorded on 9 October. The 11 October report from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) also noted that slight swelling of the volcano's edifice was detected by an electronic tiltmeter on the S flank. However, the Alert Level remained at 0.

A 30 October notice from PHIVOLCS indicated that the number of volcanic earthquakes, although imperceptible, remained significantly above background levels since the ash emission of 11 October. Another notable observation was the occurrence of small volcanic tremors and consistent inflation detected by electronic tiltmeters, which suggested that magma was intruding into the volcano. Gas output from the summit had increased from recent emission rates of ~950 metric tons per day (t/d) to ~2,200 t/d on 29 October. Because of these consistent increases in monitored parameters, PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 1. Although a major explosive eruption was still considered unlikely at this stage, the persistent unrest over the previous weeks clearly indicates a shift from its former period of repose. Alert Level 1 is meant to call attention to increased volcanic activity specifically an increased likelihood for steam-driven or ash explosions to occur with little or no warning. During the last week of October PHIVOLCS augmented its monitoring network around Mayon with additional personnel and equipment.

Activity during January 2003. A brief period of vigorous steam emission occurred at 1753 on 31 January after an episode of volcanic tremor the previous day. The steam ejection lasted for about a minute and produced a dirty white steam cloud that rose ~500 m above the summit crater. A low-frequency, short duration, harmonic tremor coincided with the steam venting. The sulfur dioxide emission rate increased slightly to 764 t/d on 31 January from the previous reading of 441 t/d taken on 21 January, which followed several episodes of low-frequency volcanic tremor during the previous weeks.

Activity during March 2003. An explosion from the crater at 1819 on 17 March sent ash and steam ~1 km above the summit before it was blown WNW by winds. The explosion was recorded as a high-frequency seismic signal, indicating a sudden release of pressure. No significant seismicity was apparent prior to the event. Measurements of SO2 flux within the emission plume between 0900 and 1100 earlier that morning averaged ~890 t/d, which is more than the usual 500 t/d typical during periods of repose. Electronic tiltmeters on the N and S flanks indicated slight inflation of the edifice beginning on 13 March. Due to the increased possibility of additional ash ejections, the hazard status was raised to Alert Level 1.

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

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs. dost.gov.ph/).


Merapi (Indonesia) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Infrared satellite data show continuous activity through mid-January 2002

During late July-1 September 2002, the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) reported frequent lava avalanches and plumes up to 550 m above the summit of Merapi (BGVN 27:09). No further reports were issued by VSI through at least March 2003.

MODIS thermal alerts during 2001 and 2002 indicated continuous activity through mid-January 2002 (figures 24 and 25). This period was characterized by dome collapse and hot avalanches (BGVN 26:01, 26:07, 26:10, and 27:02). Pyroclastic flows occurred too frequently to correlate them with the MODIS alerts, for which data are collected only about once per day (weather permitting). There were no alerts detected during the rest of 2002 except for late March-late May, which corresponded to a temporary renewal of pyroclastic flows before a quieter second half of the year (BGVN 27:06 and 27:09).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. MODIS-detected alerts on Merapi during 2001-2002. Thermal alerts collated by Diego Coppola and David Rothery; data courtesy of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology's MODIS Thermal Alert Team.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Center coordinates of alert-pixels on Merapi, relative to the published summit location. Grid squares are 1 km. Thermal alerts collated by Diego Coppola and David Rothery; data courtesy of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology's MODIS Thermal Alert Team.

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

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Diego Coppola and David A. Rothery, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Thermal alerts courtesy of the HIGP MODIS Thermal Alerts Team (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Panarea (Italy) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Panarea

Italy

38.638°N, 15.064°E; summit elev. 399 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intense bubbling ends, but degassing continues through March 2003

On 3 November 2002, intense degassing caused bubbling activity near the small islet of Lisca Bianca, very close to the island of Panarea (BGVN 27:10). On 13-14 November 2002, observers Orlando Vaselli (University of Florence), Bruno Capaccioni (University of Urbino), and Piermaria Luigi Rossi (University of Bologna) noted 10 points of boiling water when they visited the area to sample gas emissions.

Geochemical monitoring and research is being regularly performed by the Fluid Geochemistry group from the Osservatorio Vesuviano (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia), led by Giovanni Chiodini. Submarine gas emissions were sampled during 29-30 November and 10-17 December 2002, as well as 23-24 January and 9-11 February 2003. Samples obtained during March, April, and May have not yet been analyzed. Chiodini noted that although the intensity of emissions decreased after 5 November 2002 (BGVN 27:10), the gas flux remained much higher than before the November event. That observation, along with chemical variations in gas samples, indicate that the process is ongoing. Research results posted on the Osservatorio Vesuviano website provide additional details, analytical findings, and hypotheses about these phenomena.

Geologic Background. The mostly submerged Panarea volcanic complex lies about midway between Stromboli and Lipari in the eastern part of the Aeolian Islands. Panarea, the smallest island in the Aeolian Archipelago, lies on the western side of a shallow platform whose shelf margin is at about 130 m depth. A series of small islands breach the surface to form the Central Reefs, the rim of a crater 2 km E of Panarea, whose shallow submerged floor contains Roman ruins. The submerged Secca dei Pesci lava dome lies at the SE end of the platform, and the rhyolitic Basiluzzo lava dome rises 165 m above the surface at the NE end, along a ridge trending towards Stromboli volcano. The complex was constructed in two main stages: an initial effusive activity phase that produced lava domes, and an explosive stage. The youngest subaerial airfall-tephra deposits are dated to about 20,000 years ago; a date of less then 10,000 BP on a lava flow is uncertain. Vigorous hydrothermal activity has continued at fumarolic fields at several locations on the submerged platform; submarine hydrothermal explosions have occurred in historical time.

Information Contacts: Giovanni Chiodini, Unità Funzionale di Geochimica dei Fluidi, Osservatorio Vesuviano, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via Diocleziano, 328-80124 Napoli, Italy (URL: http://www.ov.ingv.it/); Orlando Vaselli, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Via La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy; Stromboli Online (URL: http://www.stromboli.net/).


Rabaul (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003 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)


Ash eruptions from Tavurvur continue through March

Eruptions at Tavurvur continued to occur throughout January-March 2003. The eruptions were characterized by forceful and convoluted, sub-continuous, light to pale gray ash cloud emissions at irregular intervals. The following was provided by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory.

Activity during January 2003. During the first several days of January (except the 4th), activity was similar to late December 2002. The eruptions consisted of sub-continuous ash emissions occurring at intervals ranging from a few minutes to ~10 minutes. Many of the ash emissions were sustained for 1-2 minutes. On the 4th, activity was at a low point, shown by the fewest ash emissions of the month. Between 8 and 17 January, the pattern of eruption changed slightly to a mixture of events. The sub-continuous ash emissions persisted, but forceful emissions began as well, although not in significant numbers. A complete change in the pattern of eruptive activity began on the 18th. The sub-continuous ash emissions reduced significantly and the sharp forceful emissions became more prominent. They occurred at very short intervals of 2-4 minutes. This pattern of activity was maintained until the 26th. A lot of the forceful emissions between 20 and 26 January were accompanied by low roaring noises. Noises were also heard on the 7th. After 26 January, the magnitude of the forceful emissions eroded and activity changed back to sub-continuous ash emissions at slightly longer intervals. This trend of summit activity continued until the end of the month.

Ash plumes from the eruptive activity rose variably in height. Those from the forceful emissions rose to a maximum of about 1,500 m, while ash plumes from the sub-continuous emissions rose to several hundred meters above the summit. Variable winds blew the ash plumes to the E and SE (1-14 and 22-31 January), and N and NW (15-21 January). Rabaul Town and villages that are located N and NW from Tavurvur had fine ashfall between 15 and 21 January. The S and SE drifting ash fell mainly in the sea; however, very fine specks of it fell on Cape Gazelle including the nearby Tokua Airport, ~20 km from Tavurvur.

Seismic activity reflected the summit activity. Both the sharp forceful and the sub-continuous ash emissions generated seismic waves characteristic of their nature. Seismic waves associated with the forceful emissions had greater amplitudes reflecting greater energy. Average duration of this type of event was about 40-50 seconds. On the other hand, events associated with the sub-continuous ash emissions had lower amplitudes, and their duration ranged between one and several minutes. Only one volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded.

During the month ground-deformation measurements showed deflation. Real-time GPS measurements showed 5-8 mm of deflation. The electronic tiltmeter showed a few microradians of down-tilt towards the perceived uplift center SE of Matupit Island and SW of Tavurvur.

Activity during February 2003. Forceful ash emissions were observed in February, but not as abundantly as in January. In February, ash emissions were slightly more frequent during the first few and last few days of the month. The emissions occurred at intervals of 4 and 10 minutes. The longest duration for an ash emission during these periods was about 4-6 minutes. Between 5 and 24 February activity fluctuated, and ash emissions occurred at intervals of several minutes. The longest duration for an ash emission during this period was about 15 minutes. This does not necessarily imply that the amount or volume of ash contained in the emissions was consistent throughout the entire duration of emission. Rather, there was higher ash content in the initial stages of the emissions, which faded thereafter to white to pale gray emissions with very little ash content.

Plume heights were similar to those in January. During the month ash plumes were blown mainly to the E and SE, and occasionally to the SW. On 3 and 4 February, some ash plumes drifted N and NW, resulting in fine ashfall in Rabaul Town and nearby villages farther downwind.

Seismic activity was dominated by the long-duration, low-amplitude, tremor-type events, associated with the convoluted, sub-continuous ash emissions. The duration of these events ranged between 2 and 19 minutes. Only one high-frequency, volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded.

Real-time GPS measurements fluctuated in February. During the first half of the month, measurements showed an inflationary trend. This is a rebound from the month-long deflationary trend observed in January. During the second half of February, movements changed to show deflation. The electronic tiltmeter fluctuated showing no obvious trends.

Activity during March 2003. The general level of eruptive activity in March had minor fluctuations but did not deviate much from previous months. Activity during the first two weeks was a continuation of the last few days of February. Thereafter, activity waned slightly, with ash emissions occurring at slightly longer intervals, with the exception of a couple of half-days on 15 and 16 March, when ash emissions were a bit more frequent. At the same time forceful-type emissions began until about the 23rd, when rates of sub-continuous ash emissions picked up again slightly, surpassing the activity for the first two weeks of the month. The slightly increased level continued until the end of the month. A handful of forceful emissions also occurred.

Ash plumes from the March activity rose 500-1,500 m above the summit before they were blown mainly to the SE. Most ash fell immediately downwind near Tavurvur and the deserted Talvat village. Lighter ash particles drifted farther downwind and fell in the sea.

Seismicity reflected the summit activity. It consisted mainly of low-amplitude tremor-type events with durations ranging from a couple of minutes to about eight minutes. These events were associated with sub-continuous convoluted ash emissions. Short duration, higher amplitude events associated with forceful ash emissions were also recorded but were outnumbered by the former event type. Four volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded during the month on the 2nd (2) and 3rd (2).

Ground-deformation measurements in March showed a more distinct and consistent sense of surface movement. Both the realtime GPS and electronic tilt measurements showed inflation. The long-term trend between January and March, as per realtime GPS measurements, was characterized by diurnal-type fluctuations of peaks and troughs, the range being about 20 mm between the highest peak and lowest trough. The cumulative movement for the three-month period was deflation of ~8 mm.

A ML 6.8 tectonic earthquake occurred on 11 March. The quake, located about 120 km SE from Rabaul in offshore southern New Island, and was felt strongly at Rabaul with MM VI. It caused minor landslides in parts of the Gazelle Peninsula.

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, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003 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)


Variable seismicity and minor deflation; debris flows in February

The main summit crater continued to release variable amounts of thin-to-thick white vapor during January-March 2003, and no activity was observed from the N valley vent that formed in May 2001. Heavy rains during February and especially on the 19th, 21st, 22nd, and 24th, caused debris flows on the NW side of Ulawun. The debris channeled into Namo creek and later swept down to the coast. Along its course it overflowed into Ubili village. Muddy water flowed into six houses built on concrete floors and left a thin sheet of dried mud a few centimeters thick.

The long-term deformation trend based on measurements from an electronic tiltmeter is slow deflation of the summit area. No significant changes were noted in January. In February there was 2 µrad of deflation, and measurements showed a very small amount (~2-3 µrad) of deflation between the beginning of March through the 25th. After that the trend became steady.

Seismic activity had been low through January-February, but an increase was evident starting on 2 March. This was shown by an increase in RSAM values on the same day. The increased activity remained at low to moderate levels between 2 and 12 March. After that, it declined gradually, reaching low levels on the 20th. Due to technical problems with the only seismograph to monitor Ulawun, no analogue waveforms were recorded, making it difficult to ascertain the type of seismicity associated with the increased RSAM values. However, it is assumed that another of the sporadic volcanic tremor episodes recorded since the September 2000 and April 2001 eruptions was the cause.

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

Information Contacts: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Veniaminof (United States) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Veniaminof

United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismicity elevated through February, but drops in late March

An increase in seismicity since mid-December was a constant trend through February 2003 (BGVN 28:01). During the week of 7 March, discrete seismic events occurred at a rate of about 1-2 events per minute. On 11 March, a 4-hour period of continuous seismic tremor was followed by 17 hours of discrete seismic events and 3-4-minute-long tremor bursts. This culminated with another 4-hour period of continuous tremor on 12 March. Seismic activity later that week was characterized by discrete small-amplitude events occurring every 1-2 minutes. Satellite images collected during clear periods on 4, 6, 7, and 12 March did not reveal any elevated surface temperatures, ash emissions, or ash deposits. Observers in Perryville, 35 km S of Veniaminof, reported no significant plume or other signs of volcanic activity on 12 March. Consistent elevated seismicity, with small-amplitude discrete events every 1-2 minutes continued during the week of 21 March.

Seismicity declined during the last week of March, characterized by very low-amplitude tremors. Satellite images collected during numerous clear periods that week did not reveal any elevated surface temperatures, ash emissions, or ash deposits. There was a dramatic decrease in volcanic activity during the week of 4 April. However, short periods of volcanic tremor and low frequency events were still recorded. This continued into the week of 11 April, prompting the lowering of the level of concern. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) announced a code color of green, under which the volcano is classified as dormant with normal seismicity and fumarolic activity occurring.

Geologic Background. Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.


Witori (Papua New Guinea) — March 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Witori

Papua New Guinea

5.576°S, 150.516°E; summit elev. 724 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows from NW-most vent continue through February

The eruption that began in August 2002 continued during early 2003 with lava effusion through at least 28 February and vapor emissions. The following is from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory.

Activity during January 2003. No field or aerial observations of the caldera or lava flow were made in January. However, blue vapor was observed throughout January from the NW-most lava-producing vent and other vents along the NW-SE-trending fissure system, suggesting that hot lava was near the surface and presumably still flowing. Besides the blue vapor emissions, variable amounts of white vapor were released. Evidence of dead and dried vegetation downwind of the fissure system indicated that hazardous gases, such as sulfur dioxide, were present in the vapor emissions. The dead vegetation is restricted to an area extending 1-2 km to the S (downwind). This is unlike similar vegetation effects during the SE-wind season, which extended as far as 10 km to the NW from the source of the vapor emissions. Occasional low roaring noises were heard on 9, 21, 22, 25, and 26 January.

Seismic activity was relatively steady with no significant deviation from the background levels determined since the permanent seismic network was established in early October 2002. Earthquakes consisted mainly of volcano-tectonic (VT) events averaging 45 per day, with a low of 18 (recorded on the 20th) and a high of 71 (on the 4th). The events occurred randomly over each day. Low-frequency earthquakes were recorded on some days; a maximum of six events was recorded on the 18th.

Airlink began to use Hoskins airport in the latter half of January after winds began to blow away from the airport. Furthermore, the absence of ash emissions since August and early September 2002 made conditions favorable. The decision to re-use the airport followed information provided by RVO to the Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Authority and aviation industry.

Activity during February 2003. An aerial inspection on 28 February showed that lava effusion continued from the NW-most vent of the fissure system (figure 19). The lava flow had two lobes. The main lobe was directed initially to the N but later curved to a northeasterly direction, dictated by topographic features of the Witori caldera floor. On 28 February it appeared that horizontal lateral flow of this lobe had stopped after it reached a topographic barrier. As a result, the lava flow began to gain height along its entire northern portion. The height of the flow was estimated to be ~25-33% of the height of the ~240-m-high Witori Caldera wall. The second lobe of the lava flow, which flowed to the S, showed slow progress. Between October 2002 and February 2003 it advanced only a few hundred meters. The thickness of this flow was ~30-40 m. As of 28 February the total volume of erupted lava from this single vent was estimated to be ~0.09-0.12 km3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Lava flow lobes from the NW-most vent of the fissure system on 28 February 2003. The view is to the N. The white cloud at the top right of the photo is caused by vapor emissions from the line of vents on the fissure system. Photo by Ima Itikarai, RVO.

Emissions of minor to moderate volumes of white vapor continued from all vents along the fissure system. The lower vents to the NW released more vapor than the upper ones to the SE. Small amounts of blue vapor were released from the lava-producing vent. Because the vapor emissions were blown S and SE, vegetation within 2 km downwind turned brown. No ash emissions were produced during the month. Low jet-roaring noises were heard on 4, 9-11, 13, and 21 February. Hoskins airport continued to be used by Airlink in February.

Seismic activity was low during the month. Earthquakes were mainly volcano-tectonic. The daily count was ~30 compared to 45 in January. Most of the earthquakes were very small ones, but moderate-sized events were recorded on 1 (2 events), 10 (2), 12 (1), and 18 February (6). The six earthquakes on the 18th were recorded within a time span of 1.5 hours. A handful of low-frequency earthquakes were also recorded on the 6th (2), 10th (1) and 11th (1).

Activity during March 2003. No field or aerial observations of the lava flow were made in March, so it is uncertain whether lava effusion from the NW-most vent continued. The upper vents continued to release weak emissions of thin white vapor. The lower vents released weak to moderate emissions of white vapor and bluish vapor emissions on 13, 18, 23, and 28-30 March, indicative of hot material. Low roaring noises heard on 13, 16, 18, 23, and 29 March did not accompany explosive activity. No seismic recordings were made in March.

Geologic Background. The 5.5 x 7.5 km Witori caldera on the northern coast of central New Britain contains the young historically active cone of Pago. The Buru caldera cuts the SW flank of Witori volcano. The gently sloping outer flanks of Witori volcano consist primarily of dacitic pyroclastic-flow and airfall deposits produced during a series of five major explosive eruptions from about 5600 to 1200 years ago, many of which may have been associated with caldera formation. The post-caldera Pago cone may have formed less than 350 years ago. Pago has grown to a height above that of the Witori caldera rim, and a series of ten dacitic lava flows from it covers much of the caldera floor. The youngest of these was erupted during 2002-2003 from vents extending from the summit nearly to the NW caldera wall.

Information Contacts: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

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/).