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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Significant eruption on 28 June produced an ash plume up to 15.2 km and pyroclastic flows

Tangkuban Parahu (Indonesia) Phreatic eruption on 27 July followed by intermittent explosions through to 17 September 2019

Sheveluch (Russia) Frequent ash explosions and lava dome growth continue through October 2019



Sabancaya (Peru) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Karangetang (Indonesia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Ulawun

Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kerinci (Indonesia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bezymianny (Russia) — December 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


Mayon (Philippines) — November 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Mayon

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Merapi (Indonesia) — October 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — October 2019 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)


Significant eruption on 28 June produced an ash plume up to 15.2 km and pyroclastic flows

Manam is a frequently active volcano forming an island approximately 10 km wide, located 13 km north of the main island of Papua New Guinea. At the summit are the Main Crater and South Crater, with four valleys down the NE, SE, SW, and NW flanks (figure 57). Recent activity has occurred at both summit craters and has included gas and ash plumes, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows. Activity in December 2018 prompted the evacuation of nearby villages and the last reported activity for 2018 was ashfall on 8 December. Activity from January through September 2019 summarized below is based on information from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the University of Hawai'i's MODVOLC thermal alert system, Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI and NASA Aqua/AIRS SO2 data, MIROVA thermal data, Sentinel-2 satellite images, and observations by visiting scientists. A significant eruption in June resulted in evacuations, airport closure, and damage to local crops and infrastructure.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. A PlanetScope image of Manam showing the two active craters with a plume emanating from the South Crater and the four valleys at the summit on 29 August 2019. Image copyright 2019 Planet Labs, Inc.

Activity during January-May 2019. Several explosive eruptions occurred during January 2019 according to Darwin VAAC reports, including an ash plume that rose to around 15 km and dispersed to the W on the 7th. RVO reported that an increase in seismic activity triggered the warning system shortly before the eruption commenced (figure 58). Small explosions were observed through to the next day with ongoing activity from the Main Crater and a lava flow in the NE valley observed from around 0400. Intermittent explosions ejected scoria after 0600, depositing ejecta up to 2 cm in diameter in two villages on the SE side of the island. Incandescence at both summit craters and hot deposits at the terminus of the NE valley are visible in Sentinel-2 TIR data acquired on the 10th (figure 59).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Real-Time Seismic-Amplitude Measurement graph representing seismicity at Manam over 7-9 January 2019, showing the increase during the 7-8 January event. Courtesy of RVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Sentinel-2 thermal infrared (TIR) imagery shows incandescence in the two Manam summit craters and at the terminus of the NE valley near the shoreline on 10 January 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel-Hub Playground.

Another explosion generated an ash plume to around 15 km on the 11th that dispersed to the SW. An explosive eruption occurred around 4 pm on the 23rd with the Darwin VAAC reporting an ash plume to around 16.5 km altitude, dispersing to the E. Activity continued into the following day, with satellites detecting SO2 plumes on both 23 and 24 January (figure 60). Activity declined by February with one ash plume reported up to 4.9 km altitude on 15 February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. SO2 plumes originating from Manam detected by NASA Aqua/AIRS (top) on 23 January 2019 and by Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI on 24 January (bottom). Images courtesy of Simon Carn, Michigan Technological University.

Ash plumes rose up to 3 km between 1 and 5 March, and dispersed to the SE, ESE, and E. During 5-6 March the plumes moved E, and the events were accompanied by elevated seismicity and significant thermal anomalies detected in satellite data. During 19-22 March explosions produced ash plumes up to 4.6 km altitude, which dispersed to the E and SE. Simon Carn of the Michigan Technological University noted a plume in Aqua/AIRS data at around 15 km altitude at 0400 UTC on 23 January with approximately 13 kt measured, similar to other recent eruptions. Additional ash plumes were detected on 29 March, reaching 2.4-3 km and drifting to the E, NE, and N. Multiple SO2 plumes were detected throughout April (figure 61).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. Examples of elevated SO2 (sulfur dioxide) emissions from Manam during April 2019, on 9 April (top left), 21 April (top right), 22 April (bottom left), 28 April (bottom right). Courtesy of the NASA Space Goddard Flight Center.

During 19-28 May the Deep Carbon Observatory ABOVE (Aerial-based Observations of Volcanic Emissions) scientific team observed activity at Manam and collected gas data using drone technology. They recorded degassing from the South Crater and Main Crater (figure 63 and 64), which was also detected in Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI data (figure 65). Later in the day the plumes rose vertically up to 3-4 km above sea level and appeared stronger due to condensation. Incandescence was observed each night at the South Crater (figure 66). The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume on 10 May, reaching 5.5 km altitude and drifting to the NE. Smaller plumes up to 2.4 km were noted on the 11th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Degassing plumes from the South Crater of Manam, seen from Baliau village on the northern coast on 24 May 2019. Courtesy of Emma Liu, University College London.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. A strong gas-and-steam plume from Manam was observed moving tens of kilometers downwind on 19 May 2019, viewed here form the SSW at dusk. Photo courtesy of Julian Rüdiger, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI SO2 data acquired on 22 May 2019 during the field observations of the Deep Carbon Observatory ABOVE team. Image courtesy of Simon Carn, Michigan Technological University.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. Incandescence at the South Crater of Manam was visible during 19-21 May 2019 from the Baliau village on the northern coast of the island. Photos courtesy of Tobias Fischer, University of New Mexico (top) and Matthew Wordell (bottom).

Activity during June 2019. Ash plumes rose to 4.3 km and drifted SW on 7-8 June, and up to 3-3.7 km and towards the E and NE on 18 June. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite data show hot material around the Main Crater on 24 June (figure 66). On 27 June RVO reported that RSAM (Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement, a measure of seismic activity through time) increased from 540 to over 1,400 in 30 minutes. "Thundering noise" was noted by locals at around 0100 on the 28th. An ash plume drifting SW was visible in satellite images acquired after 0620, coinciding with reported sightings by nearby residents (figure 67). The Darwin VAAC noted that by 0910 the ash plume had reached 15.2 km altitude and was drifting SW. When seen in satellite imagery at 1700 that day the large ash plume had detached and remained visible extending SW. There were 267 lightning strokes detected within 75 km during the event (figure 68) and pyroclastic flows were generated down the NE and W flanks. At 0745 on 29 June an ash plume reached up to 4.8 km.

Villages including Dugulava, Yassa, Budua, Madauri, Waia, Dangale, and Bokure were impacted by ashfall and approximately 3,775 people had evacuated to care centers. Homes and crops were reportedly damaged due to falling ash and scoria. Flights through Madang airport were also disrupted due to the ash until they resumed on the 30th. The Office of the Resident Coordinator in Papua New Guinea reported that as many as 455 homes and gardens were destroyed. Humanitarian resources were strained due to another significant eruption at nearby Ulawun that began on 26 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite data show hot material around the Main Crater and a plume dispersing SE through light cloud cover on 24 June 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Himawari-8 satellite image showing the ash plume rising above Manam and drifting SW at 0840 on 28 June. Satellite image courtesy of NCIT ScienceCloud.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. There were 267 lightning strokes detected within 75 km of Manam between 0729 on 27 June and 0100 on 29 June 2019. Sixty of these occurred within the final two hours of this observation period, reflecting increased activity. Red dots are cloud to ground lightning strokes and black dots are in-cloud strokes. Courtesy of Chris Vagasky, Vaisala Inc.

Activity during July-September 2019. Activity was reduced through July and September. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume to approximately 6 km altitude on 6 July that drifted W and NW, another plume that day to 3.7 km that drifted N, and a plume on the 21st that rose to 4.3 km and drifted SW and W. Diffuse plumes rose to 2.4-2.7 km and drifted towards the W on 29 September. Thermal anomalies in the South Crater persisted through September.

Fresh deposits from recent events are visible in satellite deposits, notably in the NE after the January activity (figure 69). Satellite TIR data reflected elevated activity with increased energy detected in March and June-July in MODVOLC and MIROVA data (figure 70).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Sentinel-2 thermal infrared images acquired on 12 October 2018, 20 May 2019, and 12 September 2019 show the eruption deposits that accumulated during this time. A thermal anomaly is visible in the South Crater in the May and September images. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. MIROVA log radiative power plot of MODIS thermal infrared at Manam during February through September 2019. Increases in activity were detected in March and June-July. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://SO2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/); Office of the Resident Coordinator, United Nations, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea (URL: https://papuanewguinea.un.org/en/about/about-the-resident-coordinator-office, https://reliefweb.int/report/papua-new-guinea/papua-new-guinea-volcanic-activity-office-resident-coordinator-flash-2); Himawari-8 Real-time Web, developed by the NICT Science Cloud project in NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology), Japan, in collaboration with JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) and CEReS (Center of Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University) (URL: https://himawari8.nict.go.jp/); Simon Carn, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA (URL: http://www.volcarno.com/, Twitter: @simoncarn); Chris Vagasky, Vaisala Inc., Louisville, Colorado, USA (URL: https://www.vaisala.com/en?type=1, Twitter: @COweatherman, URL: https://twitter.com/COweatherman); Emma Liu, University College London Earth Sciences, London WC1E 6BS (URL: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/earth-sciences/people/academic/dr-emma-liu); Matthew Wordell, Boise, ID, USA (URL: https://www.matthhew.com/biocontact); Julian Rüdiger, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Saarstr. 21, 55122 Mainz, Germany (URL: https://www.uni-mainz.de/).


Tangkuban Parahu (Indonesia) — October 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Tangkuban Parahu

Indonesia

6.77°S, 107.6°E; summit elev. 2084 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic eruption on 27 July followed by intermittent explosions through to 17 September 2019

Tangkuban is located in the West Bandung and Subang Regencies in the West Java Province and has two main summit craters, Ratu and Upas (figure 3). Recent activity has largely consisted of phreatic explosions and gas-and-steam plumes at the Ratu crater. Prior to July 2019, the most recent activity occurred in 2012-2013, ending with a phreatic eruption on 5 October 2013 (BGVN 40:04). Background activity includes geothermal activity in the Ratu crater consisting of gas and steam emission (figure 4). This area is a tourist destination with infrastructure, and often people, overlooking the active crater. This report summarizes activity during 2014 through September 2019 and is based on official agency reports. Monitoring is the responsibility of Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Map of Tangkuban Parahu showing the Sunda Caldera rim and the Ratu, Upas, and Domas craters. Basemap is the August 2019 mosaic, copyright 2019 Planet Labs, Inc.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Background activity at the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu is shown in these images from 1 May 2012. The top image is an overview of the crater and the bottom four images show typical geothermal activity. Copyrighted photos by Øystein Lund Andersen, used with permission.

The first reported activity in 2014 consisted of gas-and-steam plumes during October-December, prompting PVMBG to increase the alert level from I to II on 31 December 2014. These white plumes reached a maximum of 50 m above the Ratu crater (figure 5) and were accompanied by elevated seismicity and deformation. This prompted the implementation of an exclusion zone with a radius of 1.5 km around the crater. The activity decreased and the alert level was lowered back to I on 8 January 2015. There was no further reported activity from January 2015 through mid-2019.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Changes at the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu during 25 December 2014 to 8 January 2015. Rain water accumulated in the crater in December and intermittent gas-and-steam plumes were observed. Courtesy of PVMBG (8 January 2015 report).

From 27 June 2019 an increase in activity was recorded in seismicity, deformation, gas chemistry, and visual observations. By 24 July the responsible government agencies had communicated that the volcano could erupt at any time. At 1548 on 26 July a phreatic (steam-driven) explosion ejected an ash plume that reached 200 m; a steam-rich plume rose to 600 m above the Ratu crater (figures 6, and 7). People were on the crater rim at the time and videos show a white plume rising from the crater followed by rapid jets of ash and sediment erupting through the first plume. Deposition of eruption material was 5-7 cm thick and concentrated within a 500 m radius from the point between the Rata and Upas craters, and wider deposition occurred within 2 km of the crater (figures 8 and 9). According to seismic data, the eruption lasted around 5 minutes and 30 seconds (figure 10). Videos show several pulses of ash that fell back into the crater, followed by an ash plume moving laterally towards the viewers.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. These screenshots are from a video taken from the Ratu crater rim at Tangkuban Parahu on 26 July 2019. Initially there is a white gas-and-steam plume rising from the crater, then a high-velocity black jet of ash and sediment rises through the plume. This video was widely shared across multiple social media platforms, but the original source could not be identified.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. The ash plume at Tangkuban Parahu on 26 July 2019. Courtesy of BNPB.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Volcanic ash and lapilli was deposited around the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu during a phreatic eruption on 26 July 2019. Note that the deposits have slumped down the window and are thicker than the actual ashfall. Courtesy of BNPB.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Ash was deposited on buildings that line the Ratu crater at Tangkuban Parahu during a phreatic eruption on 26 July 2019. Photo courtesy of Novrian Arbi/via Reuters.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. A seismogram showing the onset of the 26 July 2019 eruption of Tangkuban Parahu and the elevated seismicity following the event. Courtesy of PVMBG via Øystein Lund Andersen.

On 27 July, the day after the eruption, Øystein Lund Andersen observed the volcano using a drone camera, operated from outside the restricted zone. Over a period of two hours the crater produced a small steam plume; ashfall and small blocks from the initial eruption are visible in and around the crater (figure 11). The ashfall is also visible in satellite imagery, which shows that deposition was restricted to the immediate vicinity to the SW of the crater (figure 12).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Photos of the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu on 27 July 2019, the day after a phreatic eruption. A small steam plume continued through the day. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. PlanetScope satellite images showing the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu before (17 July 2019) and after (28 July 2019) the explosion that took place on 26 July 2019. Natural color PlanetScope Imagery, copyright 2019 Planet Labs, Inc.

Another eruption occurred at 2046 on 1 August 2019 and lasted around 11 minutes, producing a plume up to 180 m above the vent. Additional explosions occurred at 0043 on 2 August, lasting around 3 minutes according to seismic data, but were not observed. Explosions continued to be recorded at 0145, 0357, and 0406 at the time of the PVMBG report when the last explosion was ongoing, and a photo shows an explosion at 0608 (figure 13). The explosions produced plumes that reached between 20 and 200 m above the vent. Due to elevated activity the Alert Level was increased to II on 2 August. Ash emission continued through the 4th. During 5-11 August events ejecting ash continued to produce plumes up to 80 m, and gas-and-steam plumes up to 200 m above the vent. Ashfall was localized around Ratu crater. The following week, 12-18 August, activity continued with ash and gas-and-steam plumes reaching 100-200 m above the vent. During 19-25 August, similar activity sent ash to 50-180 m, and gas-and-steam plumes to 200 m. A larger phreatic explosion occurred at 0930 on 31 August with an ash plume reaching 300 m, and a gas-and-steam plume reaching 600 m above the vent, depositing ash and sediment around the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. A small ash plume below a white gas-and-steam plume erupting from the Ratu crater of Tangkuban Parahu on 2 August 2019 at 0608. Courtesy of PVBMG (2 August 2019 report).

In early September activity consisted of gas-and-steam plumes up to 100-180 m above the vent with some ash plumes observed (figure 14). Two larger explosions occurred at 1657 and 1709 on 7 September with ash reaching 180 m, and gas-and-steam up to 200 m above the vent. Ash and sediment deposited around the crater. Due to strong winds to the SSW, the smell of sulfur was reported around Cimahi City in West Bandung, although there was no detected increase in sulfur emissions. A phreatic explosion on 17 September produced an ash plume to 40 m and a steam plume to 200 m above the crater. Weak gas-and-steam emissions reaching 200 m above the vent continued through to the end of September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. A phreatic explosion at Tangkuban Parahu in the Ratu crater at 0724 on 4 September 2019, lasting nearly one minute. The darker ash plume reached around 100 m above the vent. Courtesy of PVGHM (4 September 2019 report).

Geologic Background. Gunung Tangkuban Parahu is a broad shield-like stratovolcano overlooking Indonesia's former capital city of Bandung. The volcano was constructed within the 6 x 8 km Pleistocene Sunda caldera, which formed about 190,000 years ago. The volcano's low profile is the subject of legends referring to the mountain of the "upturned boat." The Sunda caldera rim forms a prominent ridge on the western side; elsewhere the rim is largely buried by deposits of the current volcano. The dominantly small phreatic eruptions recorded since the 19th century have originated from several nested craters within an elliptical 1 x 1.5 km summit depression.

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/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: https://www.oysteinlundandersen.com/tangkuban-prahu/tangkuban-prahu-volcano-west-java-one-day-after-the-26th-july-phreatic-eruption/); Reuters (URL: https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/editors-choice-pictures-idUSRTX71F3E).


Sheveluch (Russia) — November 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash explosions and lava dome growth continue through October 2019

After a lull in activity at Sheveluch, levels intensified again in mid-December 2018 and remained high through April 2019, with lava dome growth, strong explosions that produced ash plumes, incandescent lava flows, hot avalanches, numerous thermal anomalies, and strong fumarolic activity (BGVN 44:05). This report summarizes activity between May and October 2019. The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT).

According to KVERT, explosive activity continued to generate ash plumes during May-October 2019 (table 13). Strong fumarolic activity, incandescence and growth of the lava dome, and hot avalanches accompanied this process. There were also reports of plumes caused by re-suspended ash rather than new explosions. Plumes frequently extended a few hundred kilometers downwind, with the longest ones remaining visible in imagery as much as 1,000-1,400 km away. One of the larger explosions, on 1 October (figure 52), also generated a pyroclastic flow. Some of the stronger explosions sent the plume to an altitude of 10-11 km, or more than 7 km above the summit. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) throughout the reporting period, except for several hours on 6 October when it was raised to Red (the highest level).

Table 13. Explosions and ash plumes at Sheveluch during May-October 2019. Dates and times are UTC, not local. Data courtesy of KVERT.

Dates Plume altitude (km) Drift Distance and Direction Remarks
30 Apr-02 May 2019 -- 200 km SE Resuspended ash.
03-10 May 2019 -- 50 km SE, SW Gas-and-steam plumes containing some ash.
13 May 2019 -- 16 km SE Resuspended ash.
11-12 Jun 2019 -- 60 km WNW Explosions and hot avalanches seen in video and satellite images.
24, 27 Jun 2019 4.5 E, W Ash plumes.
05 Aug 2019 2.5 40 km NW Diffuse ash plume.
25 Aug 2019 4.5-5 500 km NW Ash plumes.
29 Aug 2019 10 Various; 550 km N Explosions at 1510 produced ash plumes.
30 Aug 2019 7-7.5 50 km SSE Explosions at 1957 produced ash plumes.
03 Sep 2019 5.5 SE --
02-03, 05 Sep 2019 10 660 km SE Ash plumes seen in satellite images.
05 Sep 2019 -- -- Resuspended ash.
11-12 Sep 2019 -- 250 km ESE Resuspended ash plumes. Satellite and webcam data recorded ash emissions and a gas-and-steam plume with some ash drifting 50 km ESE on 12 Sep.
12-15, 17, 19 Sep 2019 -- 200 km SW, SE, NE Ash plumes.
20-21, 23, 26 Sep 2019 7 580 km ESE Explosions produced ash plumes.
29 Sep, 01-02 Oct 2019 9 1,400 km SE, E Explosions produced ash plumes. Notable pyroclastic flow traveled SE on 1 Oct.
04 Oct 2019 -- 170 km E Resuspended ash.
06 Oct 2019 10 430 km NE; 1,080 km ENE Ash plumes. Aviation Color Code raised to Red for several hours.
08 Oct 2019 -- 170 km E Resuspended ash.
06, 09 Oct 2019 6.5-11 1,100 km E --
11-13, 15 Oct 2019 6.5-7 620 km E, SE Explosions produced ash plumes.
16-17 Oct 2019 -- 125 km E Resuspended ash.
19-20 Oct 2019 -- 110 km SE Resuspended ash.
21 Oct 2019 10-11 1,300 km SE Explosions produced ash plumes.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. An explosion of Sheveluch on 1 October 2019. A pyroclastic flow was also reported by KVERT this day. Courtesy of Yu. Demyanchuk, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

Numerous thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were observed every month. Consistent with this, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system recorded thermal anomalies almost daily. According to KVERT, a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during the entire reporting period, although cloudy weather sometimes obscured observations.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); 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/).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 30, Number 09 (September 2005)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Barren Island (India)

Lava emissions through September-August; high fire fountains; lava enters sea

Cleveland (United States)

Minor eruptions during June-October 2005 after 4 years of quiet

Dabbahu (Ethiopia)

First historical eruption on 26 September; ash emission and a pumice dome

Erta Ale (Ethiopia)

Agitated lava lake during time of September 2005 earthquake swarm ~ 100 km S

Galeras (Colombia)

Hazard graphics; vigorous 2004 eruptions generally quieting thus far in 2005

Montagu Island (United Kingdom)

September 2005 satellite image and infrared data portray ongoing eruption

Negra, Sierra (Ecuador)

Caldera erupts starting 22 October 2005 at fissure on caldera's inner N wall

Santa Ana (El Salvador)

Sudden eruption on 1 October 2005; thousands evacuated

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

Thick plumes and earthquakes during late August to mid-September 2005

Witori (Papua New Guinea)

Steaming, and few earthquakes, during field observations in September 2005



Barren Island (India) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Barren Island

India

12.278°N, 93.858°E; summit elev. 354 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava emissions through September-August; high fire fountains; lava enters sea

The latest eruption of Barren Island began about 28 May 2005 (BGVN 30:05 and 30:07). The following additional information regarding this eruption was provided by Dhanapati Haldar (Presidency College). A photograph (figure 11) taken on 21 July by the Indian Coast Guard indicated that the lava pouring from the main crater had cascaded down to arrive at two points on the W shore. The seawater boiled profusely.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Photo taken on 21 July 2005 showing the Barren Island eruption continuing unabated. Lava cascaded down and into the sea along the island's W shore. It entered the sea at two points following the pre-existing lava routes of the 1991 and 1994-95 eruptions. Courtesy of the Indian Coast Guard.

On 28 August, a senior geologist with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), A. Kar, made observations from a ship (figure 12). Kar noted that Strombolian eruptive activity had increased, and was both explosive and effusive in nature. The main crater and a newly created vent on the N flank were active. Streams of hot lava flowed down the slope of the cinder cone at the main crater. This cinder cone was built during the eruption in 1787-1832 and modified during subsequent eruptive pulses in 1991, in 1994-95, and (the current episode) in 2005. Kar's observations on 28 August 2005 noted that the descending lava flows traveled to the W shore, entering the sea near the lone preexisting landing site and ~ 250 m S of it. The latter was where the lava stream had met the sea during the 1994-95 eruption. Gas columns rose to more than 2 km, and fire fountains attained a height of around 300 m.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Photo taken 26 August 2005 showing Barren Island in Strombolian eruption. The main crater was active, and both explosive and effusive activity had shifted N. Hot lava (seen as incandescent strips) was flowing down the slope of the cinder cone. As before, lava entered the sea at two points on the W shore. Courtesy of A. Kar.

Kar visited the island again on 2 September and noted that eruptive activity was continuing unabated. As before, a thick gas plume hovered over the N part of the island, and hot lava still flowed down into the sea. The lava coming in contact with sea water was immediately broken into fine particles that were forcefully thrown into the air to a height of nearly 100 m. Accompanying steam rose to a height of about 300-400 m before being drawn away by the prevailing wind. The eruption column's top formed a spectacular mushroom of gas and smoke, blowing to the N. Subsequent reports received from the Indian Coast Guard indicated that the eruption was continuous until at least 25 September.

All the active vents so far observed during 2005 eruption, including the S footwall vent, lie in a zone trending almost N-S. This zone conforms with a pre-existing surficial fracture. This alignment of the active vents had been noted during the 1991 and 1994-95 eruptions, and, as previously mentioned, the lava streams of the current eruption retraced the 1991 and 1994-95 lava routes.

According to Haldar, recent lava samples show large (to 5 mm) megacrysts and phenocrysts of plagioclase (An 93-57), olivine (Fo 85-70), and diopside (Mg 47-44, Fe 16-10). The samples also included a groundmass of glass charged with microlites of plagioclase (An 50-45), augite, olivine, titanomagnetite, and rare orthopyroxene. The 2005 lavas contain relatively few olivine megacrysts, but are rich in plagioclase megacrysts, similar to the 1994-95 lavas.

The bulk chemical composition of the lava falls within the basalt field (table 2), which was comparable with the compositions of the 1994-95 lava. In comparison, the 2005 lava is slightly richer in both MgO and Na2O and slightly lower in SiO2.

Table 2. Analysis of one lava sample (number B1/05) erupted in June 2005 from Barren Island volcano. EMPA stands for electron microprobe analysis. Courtesy of Dhanapati Haldar.

Analyzed Oxide Bulk composition (%) Groundmass glass composition (EMPA) (%)
SiO2 49.80 58.31
TiO2 0.82 0.69
Al2O3 21.04 19.38
Fe2O3 (total) 8.45 --
FeO (total) -- 6.16
MnO 0.14 0.02
MgO 4.23 1.30
CaO 10.91 7.13
Na2O 3.47 5.26
K2O 0.39 0.71
P2O5 0.10 0.18

As this issue went to press Haldar noted that Barren Island continued to vigorously spew lava, gas, and ash at least as late as 10 November 2005. The eruption was unabated since the last week of May 2005.

Geologic Background. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). It is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. Historical eruptions have changed the morphology of the pyroclastic cone in the center of the caldera, and lava flows that fill much of the caldera floor have reached the sea along the western coast.

Information Contacts: Dhanapati Haldar, Presidency College, Kolkata, 4/3K/2 Ho-Chi-Min Sarani, Shakuntala Park, Biren Roy Road (West), Kolkata-700 061, India; Geological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru road, Kolkata 700 016, India (URL: https://www.gsi.gov.in/); Indian Coast Guard, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110 001, India (URL: http://indiancoastguard.nic.in/indiancoastguard/).


Cleveland (United States) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Cleveland

United States

52.825°N, 169.944°W; summit elev. 1730 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor eruptions during June-October 2005 after 4 years of quiet

Mount Cleveland produced significant ash plumes during March 2001 (BGVN 26:04). Volcanic unrest continued through 4 May 2001, and signals consistent with volcanic seismicity were detected by an Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) seismic network 230 km E. By the end of May, neither eruptive activity nor thermal anomalies were observed. Until July 2005, no alert level was assigned, and AVO monitoring produced no reports on Cleveland.

Cleveland lacks a real-time seismic network. Accordingly, even during times of perceived quiet there is an absence of definitive information that activity level is at background. AVO's policy for volcanoes without seismic networks is to not get assigned a color code of Green.

Satellite imagery of Cleveland taken during 24 June to 1 July 2005 showed increased heat flow from the volcano and a possible debris flow. AVO stated that although observations were inhibited by cloudy weather, they indicated the possibility of increased volcanic activity. AVO did not assign a Concern Color Code to Cleveland due to the lack of seismic monitoring and limited satellite observations.

Satellite images during 1-8 July showed increased heat flow, thin ash deposits, and possible debris flows extending ~ 1 km down the flanks from the summit crater. AVO assigned a Concern Color Code of Yellow on 7 July. On 18 July satellite imagery showed steam emanating from Cleveland's summit and evidence of minor ash emissions. Meteorological clouds obscured Cleveland during the third week of July. During 22-29 July satellite images showed minor steaming from the summit, possible fresh localized ash deposits, and a weak thermal anomaly.

On 4 August satellite images showed a thermal anomaly. On 27 August AVO reduced the Concern Color Code at Cleveland from Yellow to "Not Assigned" because there had been no evidence of activity since a thermal feature was observed on satellite imagery from 11 August. A thermal feature was detected on several satellite images obtained on 31 August, and one on 19 September, but there was no evidence of eruptive activity.

On 7 October, AVO raised the Concern Color Code to Orange after detecting a small drifting volcanic ash cloud. The cloud was seen in satellite data at a spot ~ 150 km ESE of Dutch Harbor at 1700 UTC. Based on data from a regional seismometer at Nikolski, AVO concluded that the ash came from a small Cleveland eruption at approximately 0145. AVO, in consultation with the National Weather Service, estimated the top of the ash cloud to be no more than 4,600 m altitude. The ash cloud dissipated and was not detected via satellite after 1800 UTC. Three days passed during which there were no new observations of eruptive activity at Cleveland from satellite data, pilots, or ground-based observers. Accordingly, on 10 October the Concern Color Code was reduced to Yellow.

Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus, Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 Cleveland produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA; Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Washington, DC, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/).


Dabbahu (Ethiopia) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Dabbahu

Ethiopia

12.595°N, 40.48°E; summit elev. 1401 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


First historical eruption on 26 September; ash emission and a pumice dome

An eruption began on 26 September 2005 in the Afar triangle region of NW Ethiopia, near the Afar's W topographic margin, a spot ~ 330 km E of Lake Tan'a (the source of the Blue Nile river) and ~ 320 km NNW of the city of Djibouti. The venting took place on the flanks of Dabbahu (Boina), a volcano without previous historical eruptions. What follows is a brief synopsis of seismicity available from the USGS and some field observations from Gezahegn Yirgu, Dereje Ayalew, Asfawossen Asrat, and Atalay Ayele of Addis Ababa University (AAU). Shortly after the Bulletin editors received the AAU report, normal lines of communication were temporarily halted due to civil unrest. Consequently, this report was reviewed and augmented by Anthony Philpotts of the University of Connecticut, who had flown to Erta Ale and Dabbahu with them and other scientists on 16 October 2005.

Dabbahu, a stratovolcano, also goes by several other names, including Mount Dabbahu, Boina, Moina, and Boyna. The eruption occurred at least 5 km NE of Dabbahu's summit area, at a flat spot referred to by the names Da'Ure and Teru Boyna. The profusion of names and spellings for this region of Africa partly stems from widely dissimilar alphabets; the one used in the region has over 100 letters, complicating conversion into languages having only 26.

The Dabbahu eruption has been confusing. Initial news reports shed little light on the eruption's source, size, or impact. Several news reports stated that nearby earthquakes had caused an eruption at Erta Ale, which is 113 km N of Dabbahu, but that was not the critical eruption in this region during late September. (Seismicity, however, did appear associated with an elevated level of unrest at Erta Ale in October-see report in this issue.) The confusion propagated into the Smithsonian-USGS Weekly Report of 5-11 October 2005, which incorrectly attributed some details of the Dabbahu eruption to Erta Ale. A correction was issued and the report was withdrawn. Official sources and news reports also seem to have initially overstated the impact (e.g., statements like 50,000 nomads evacuated, almost 500 goats killed, etc.).

In a later, more measured report, The Ethiopian Herald posted a 6 October article on the web that noted the following.

"... the [Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission] has sent relief aid, household utensils and a tanker truck to areas affected by the natural disaster. A regional committee set up in charge of studying the magnitude of the disaster has already sent its report to the commission. According to the report, 1,215 quintals [121,500 kg] of food aid has been dispatched to 6,384 citizens displaced from Boya and Debawo ... and resettled in Debabo locality, 20 km from Teru. Some 18,234 various household utensils, 1,280 blankets as well as 119 roles of plastic sheets were being transported to the area."

According to faculty at Addis Ababa University, prior to the eruption and in addition to the earthquake swarm there was also volcanic tremor, as well as faulting, fracturing, and possible local landslides.

Earthquake swarm. During September-4 October 2005, an earthquake swarm consisting of 131 events occurred at and immediately surrounding Dabbahu (figure 1 and table 1). The swarm was sudden and comparatively intense, with magnitudes ranging from body-wave magnitude (mb) 3.9 to 5.2. Instruments registered earthquakes of both the highest number and magnitude during 24-26 September, just prior to the 26 September eruption. Seismicity in the area declined sharply on 27 September and stopped on 4 October. According to another data set, earthquakes occurred in the region during the 5 years prior to this swarm at an average rate of ~ 12 per year.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. A map showing Dabbahu volcano in the Afar triangle, along with epicenters from the earthquake swarm of 14 September to 4 October 2005 The solid triangles indicate Holocene volcanoes, although the one for Dabbahu is swamped by the pattern of epicenters. The Alayta shield volcano (labeled "A") sits 32.7 km NNE of Dabbahu's summit and erupted several times in the early 1900's. Epicenters were compiled from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center website.

Table 1. Daily number and maximum magnitude of earthquakes located in the Dabbahu region during 14 September-4 October 2005 (up to 42 per day, with a total of 131 earthquakes). Mw stands for moment magnitude; mb stands for body-wave magnitude. Data courtesy of National Earthquake Information Center, USGS.

Date Events Maximum Magnitude
14 Sep 2005 1 4.6 mb
20 Sep 2005 2 5.5 Mw
21 Sep 2005 16 4.9 mb
22 Sep 2005 12 4.9 mb
23 Sep 2005 9 4.8 mb
24 Sep 2005 29 5.6 Mw
25 Sep 2005 42 5.2 mb
26 Sep 2005 9 5.2 mb
27 Sep 2005 1 4.5 mb
28 Sep 2005 5 5.1 mb
29 Sep 2005 2 4.8 mb
01 Oct 2005 1 4.5 mb
02 Oct 2005 1 5.0 mb
04 Oct 2005 1 4.5 mb

First-hand observations. Gezahegn Yirgu of AAU submitted a preliminary description of the eruption. He reported that people in the area noted that on 26 September at about 1300 a very strong earthquake occurred. That was followed by a dark column of "smoke" that rose high into the atmosphere and spread out to form an umbrella-shaped cloud. Emissions darkened the area for 3 days and 3 nights. On their first visit, provoked by the abnormal seismicity, his team departed the site just two hours before the 26 September eruption. He went back to Dabbahu for several more visits, some of which included geologists from overseas.

The visitors found that a minor explosive eruption had taken place from a fissure-vent system, producing a light-colored ash layer that extended over 500 m from the vent (figure 2). The eruption threw out pre-existing near-surface pyroclastic deposits (sediments) and felsic lavas, and redeposited them near the vent (figure 3). Some of the rocks that were thrown 20 m from the vent measured 2-3 m across. Fine white ash fell in the surrounding region as far as Teru village, 40 km SW of the eruption site.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. An aerial view of the fissure vent at Da'Ure (Dabbahu) taken around 4-5 October 2005, showing the post-eruptive scene captured by a camera that was aimed down and toward the NW. The fissure vent, which extends ~500 m and trends nearly N-S, cuts across the photo diagonally (for sense of scale, see people in figure 4). The deepest part, ~100 m below the surface, lies along the vent's base at its widest point. It exposes dark material at the bottom (see figure 3). N of that wide segment lies a cauliflower-shaped pumice dome, a feature ~30 m in diameter. What appears as a short, narrow segment of the fissure vent continuing in the distance behind (to the N of) the dome is actually longer and more prominent than it appears, owing to foreshortening due to camera angle, surface topography, and perspective to the more distant location. This northernmost segment of the vent is roughly one-third as long as the segment in front of the dome. Photo taken by Asfawossen Asrat.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. An aerial view of the fissure vent at Da'Ure (Dabbahu) taken around 4-5 October 2005, showing the post-eruptive scene captured by a camera aimed down and approximately NE. This image presents enlarged views of both the pumice dome and the fissure vent's lower portions. (For sense of scale, see figure 4). Photo taken by Asfawossen Asrat.

Roughly two-thirds of the way from the S end of the fissure vent, a 30-m-diameter pumice dome formed. From within the fractures in this dome, the team heard a sound from below resembling the sound of a helicopter engine or a boiling liquid.

The bulk of Yirgu's report on the second visit to the eruption site, on 4-5 October, follows.

"A team of three geologists and one geophysicist (Gezahegn Yirgu, Dereje Ayalew, Asfawossen Asrat, and Atalay Ayele) revisited the Da'Ure locality (at approximately 120° 43' 37" N, 40° 32' 55" E) immediately adjacent to the NE flank of the Quaternary Boina felsic complex. This locality is the southwestern extension of the area we visited a week earlier and where we observed a number of newly opened parallel fissures and a major reactivated normal fault.

"We first investigated the area where a volcanic eruption had been reported. Here we observed the presence of a wide and elongate fissure more than 500 m long and about 60 m deep [(figures 2-4)]. The elongate fissure attains a maximum width of about 100 m where a semi-circular pit has formed and from where the explosive eruption appears to have taken place. This elongate vent is oriented almost N-S [trending N10W] and has broken through felsic pyroclastic deposits and lavas. Two smaller pits were also observed farther N along the fissure [situated] to the N of the major pit. A very fine and light grey ash has been deposited on both sides of the elongate fissure with the ash cover extending more than 500 m away from the vent. Beneath the ash deposit lies a sequence of loose layers consisting of mixed volcanic ash and ejecta from pre-existing fissure wall rocks. These layers have a total thickness of about 20 m near the large pit."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. A view taken from Da'Ure's (Dabbahu's) new pumice dome looking S down the fissure vent on 16 October 2005, with people for scale. Part of the outer flank of Dabbahu is visible on the right side of the photo; Dabbahu's central area lies farther to the right off the margin of the photo. Courtesy of Anthony Philpotts.

At the pumice dome Yirgu noted "... intense degassing is occurring with the production of SO2 as evidenced by its smell as far as 500 m away. Degassing is also visible along the length of the vent as well as through nearby fissures. The local people have reported that on 26 September 2005 at about 1300 local time a very strong earthquake shook the area. This was followed by a dark column of 'smoke' that rose high into the atmosphere and spread out to form a cloud, which darkened the area for three days and three nights. Our field observations were consistent with . . . [a minor ejection] of volcanic ash from a small vent or vents along the opened fissure."

"In the same locality, we also studied the newly formed second-order fractures and fissures, most of which were located on the eastern side of the main eruptive fissure/vent. Here, the [roughly N- to S-trending] fractures and fissures were all parallel to each other .... They were better developed on unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits and sediments; they affected an area nearly 700 m away from the main eruptive vent/fissure; spacing is commonly between 10 and 20 m; some extend discontinuously along strike for over 500 m, as observed from the helicopter; open fissures in the pyroclastic deposits measure up to 20 cm wide with common elliptical pits or collapse structures between fissures up to 4 m wide and up to 4 m deep.

"We have also observed a major reactivation on a N- to S-trending normal fault located some 500 m to the E of the elongate eruptive vent/opening. This fault breaks through felsic lavas and unwelded pyroclastic deposits and has a reactivated displacement (down thrown to the W) reaching half a meter in places. This reactivated fault extends . . . discontinuously for at least three kilometers as observed from the helicopter. Degassing is occurring along some parts of this fault."

Yirgu also said that, according to the AAU Geophysical Observatory, seismicity continued in early October in the area affected by the eruption, faulting, and fissuring.

Other data from a 16 October visit. Anthony Philpotts accompanied a team who, along with AAU colleagues, were helicoptered to the eruption site, which had completely ceased by this time. At the eruption site and on the helicopter trip to and from it, he saw no dead nor injured livestock. The team also visited a refugee camp for displaced nomads.

In discussions with AAU colleagues who saw the fissure vent during multiple visits, and in comparing photographs, it appeared that material exposed at depth in the wall of the vent changed to a lighter color. Presumably, these color changes were linked to water, initially present but that had evaporated in the intense heat of the Afar day. Philpotts suggested that if the vent did provide a window into the water table, groundwater may have added to the explosive activity.

Philpotts said that when they arrived, on 16 October, the pumice dome (shown in close-up in figure 5) still yielded temperatures of 400°C in cracks. The pumice dome lacked any deposits on top of its upper surfaces, and thus clearly represented the last volcanic feature to form. Some post-eruptive faulting was noticed with offsets on the order of 10 m.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Curving fractures in the top of the new Da'Ure (Dabbahu) pumice dome; view looking N. Two people are visible in the photo, one immediately behind the large central fracture. It was from these fractures the boiling noise had been heard the previous week. No sound was heard during the visit on 16 October. Courtesy of Anthony Philpotts.

Philpotts made several thin sections of pumice dome samples, and found it to be almost totally aphyric. It contains a very few rounded (resorbed) sanidine phenocrysts (figure 6) and needle-shaped microlites with high refractive index (pyroxene?). He noted that "The microlites undoubtedly formed during emplacement of the dome, but the resorption of the sanidine phenocrysts must have occurred at depth prior to eruption and probably indicates heating of the source magma chamber with an influx of hotter (basaltic?) magma."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A rounded, twinned phenocryst of sanidine feldspar in pumice from the Da'Ure (Dabbahu) dome in the center of the vent. Dark circles are air bubbles trapped during preparation of the thin section. The photo was taken with partly crossed polarizing filters; the width of the entire field is 1.62 mm. Courtesy of Anthony Philpotts.

Geologic Background. Dabbahu (also known as Boina, Boyna, or Moina) is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene volcanic massif forming an axial range of the Afar depression SSW of the Alayta massif. Late-stage pantelleritic obsidian flows, lava domes, and pumice cones form the summit and upper flanks. The volcano rises above the Teru Plain and was built over a volumetrically dominant base of basaltic-to-trachyandesitic lava flows of a shield volcano. Late-stage basaltic fissure eruptions also occurred at the NW base of the volcano. Abundant fumaroles are located along the crest of the volcano and extend NE towards Alayta. The first historical eruption took place from a fissure vent on the NE flank in September 2005, producing ashfall deposits and a small pumice dome. More than 6000 people were evacuated from neighboring villages.

Information Contacts: Gezahegn Yirgu, Dereje Ayalew, Asfawossen Asrat, and Atalay Ayele, Department of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University, PO Box: 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Anthony Philpotts, University of Connecticut, U-45, Beach Hall, Storres, CT 06269, USA; National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), US Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Team Office, Colorado School of Mines, 1711 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80401, USA (URL: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/); The Ethiopian Herald, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Agitated lava lake during time of September 2005 earthquake swarm ~ 100 km S

In conjunction with their investigation of eruptive activity related to a swarm of earthquakes at Dabbahu/Boina, a team of geologists from Addis Ababa University (AAU) also undertook field observations at Erta Ale, with the aid of a military helicopter (see map in this issue of BGVN, the report on Dabbahu/Boina). What follows is their report combined with other information they gathered.

Between 21 and 24 September 2005, the local people saw, from a distance, red and glowing light shooting and rising into the air above Erta Ale. This was an indication that a Strombolian eruption probably occurred, emitting a significant volume of fresh magma within and possibly out of the pit.

The AAU team surveyed Erta Ale's craters at about 0930 on 26 September from the helicopter, as landing was not possible. Within the small southern pit crater of the main crater, they observed a new cone-shaped construct and the presence of an actively convecting lava lake in the center of the new cone. The lava lake occupied the entire lower/inner pit with hot red lava visibly overturning at the edges of the pit. Molten lava was breaking through the lake's solidified black crust. In the northern pit crater, there was a conspicuous solidified lava bulge with dark emissions along the crater walls. No incandescent lava was visible in this pit.

In addition to their direct observations, the AAU team studied videos taken by Walta Information Center of the southern pit on November 2004 and 26 September 2005. The comparison revealed significant changes, particularly in the morphology and activity of the southern pit crater. In the later videos the main crater/pit had widened significantly, with portions of the earlier crater walls having collapsed into the lava lake. There was a new cone-shaped construct within the crater in place of the previous platform that existed between the rim of the outer crater/pit and the lower pit. The new cone was estimated to be some 20 to 30 m from the top of the crater rim. The new cone apparently contained layers of basaltic scoria covered by fresh lava flows. The combined thickness of tephra and lava was estimated to be 20 to 30 m. The lava lake occupied the entire width of the inner crater/pit and was then bounded by steep sides. The lake's surface stood 20 to 30 m below the cone's top.

Anthony Philpotts accompanied Gezahegn Yirgu and colleagues from Addis Ababa University faculty on a helicopter visit to Erta Ale on 15 October. They found the lava lake incredibly active, much more so than when filmed by earlier visitors in March 2005.

A brief review of satellite thermal anomaly data from MODIS/MODVOLC revealed an absence of thermal activity between 12 October 2004 and 31 March 2005, with a renewal beginning on 31 March 2005, increasing substantially in mid-2005 and continuing vigorously through at least 2 November 2005.

Geologic Background. Erta Ale is an isolated basaltic shield that is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. The broad, 50-km-wide edifice rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. Erta Ale is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater housing steep-sided pit craters. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.

Information Contacts: Gezahegn Yirgu, Department of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box: 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Walta Information Centre, Woreda Kirkos, Kebele 05, House No. 095, PO Box 12918, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (URL: http://www.waltainfo.com/); Anthony Philpotts, University of Connecticut, U-45, Beach Hall, Storrs, CT 06269, USA; MODIS/MODVOLC Thermal Alerts Team, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), University of Hawaii, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Galeras (Colombia) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Hazard graphics; vigorous 2004 eruptions generally quieting thus far in 2005

In a meeting abstract Gomez and others (2004) wrote, "Following 11 years of relatively low activity, Galeras . . . produced a sequence of ash eruptions in July and August 2004. . .. Initial evidence of the activity transition appeared in the gas measurements [of] early June, followed by a strong increase in the shallow seismic activity below the active cone on 27 June. As in many cases at other volcanoes, the most clear evidence for the transition came in the form of seismic swarms and tremor. The current activity has culminated in two brief episodes of ash emission, on 16 July and 21 July, followed by two longer episodes, [during] 27 July-8 August and 11-19 August. This last episode began with a large explosion and released more ash than any individual episode from 1989 to 1993. Sudden deformation, as well as changes in the electric and magnetic [EM] fields at the crater EM station, and [in] gas parameters such as CO2 concentration and fumarole temperature accompanied the [16 and 21 July] ash emissions. Unfortunately, the EM and gas instruments were lost to ashfall shortly afterward."

The same abstract also noted that "Starting in March 1996, a multiparameter real-time monitoring system was installed at Galeras, as a part of a cooperative program between INGEOMINAS [Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería] (Colombia) and the BGR [Bundesanstalt f?r Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe] (Germany). Broadband seismometers were installed first, with electromagnetic (EM) sensors, sensors for the chemistry and physics of the fumarole gases, and a weather station following later. The data from these instruments augment the short-period seismic network and tiltmeters of Observatorio Vulcanológico de Pasto (OVP). Additional spot measurements [relied upon] visual inspection from the ground or helicopter, a thermal camera[,] and regular geological forays onto Galeras' slopes."

Our previous report covered events through late July 2004 (BGVN 29:07); this report discusses events through mid-October 2005. Besides the eruptions of July through August 2004, another month with vigorous activity was November 2004. A sudden explosion on 21 November drove a plume to 9-10 km altitude. The latter portion of this report interval (June to mid-October 2005) typically involved ongoing though diminished intensity of volcanism and seismicity.

In response to the crisis, authorities produced engaging graphics, reminiscent of landscape paintings, but also containing risk assessments (figures 108 and 109), in the originals as color-coded lines. These graphics accompanied explanatory text. The authorities also produced a colorful poster. In addition, articles on Galeras hazards appeared in local papers, many along with clear graphics. The distance from the summit to central Pasto is only ~ 9 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 108. A hazards map prepared for Galeras. The key (upper left) shows symbols for risk zones (high, medium, and low). The settlement Genoy is also spelled Jenoy. This map is slightly modified from one by Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto, INGEOMINAS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 109. A sample of Galeras hazards graphics available during the 2004-2005 crisis. Galeras and surroundings appear in a series of perspectives that also illustrate likely paths of destructive processes. The artwork emphasizes important geography, labels many settlements, and portrays familiar buildings and skylines. Hazard zones are shown by symbols (see key at the bottom). Views are as follows: A: NW-looking view (S-SE flanks, "Pasto"), B: NE-looking view (SW flanks, "Consaca-Yacuanquer"), C: SE-looking view, (NW flanks, "La Florida-Sandona"), and D: SW-looking view, (NE flanks, "Genoy-Nariño"). Copyrighted images courtesy of Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto, INGEOMINAS.

July-December 2004. INGEOMINAS noted that the July 2004 emissions came from El Pinta crater and from Deformes fumarolic field. Field observations on 19 July disclosed ash freshly vented from El Pinta crater, forming a deposit that ranged in thickness from 3 mm at the base of the cone to ~ 20 cm near the point of emission.

During the latter half of July 2004 INGEOMINAS noted that emissions rose ~ 600 m above the volcano's summit. Ash was not then visible on satellite imagery. On 21 July 2004 a seismic signal corresponded with a visible plume rising ~ 500 m above the volcano and seen from Pasto. According to a news report, a wide area around the volcano had been declared off limits to visitors. Several higher plumes followed.

According to the Washington VAAC, several ash plumes emitted were visible on satellite imagery during 7-10 August 2004. The highest rising plume reached ~ 6 km altitude.

INGEOMINAS reported that on 11 August at 2349 an eruption sent an ash-and-gas cloud to an unknown height and generated visible incandescence. According to the Washington VAAC, satellite imagery showed an ash plume that rose to ~ 10.7 km altitude. This plume spread in all directions, but mainly to the NE, E, and SW. Later, a thin plume reached a height of ~ 7.3 km altitude and drifted SW into northern Ecuador. A distinctly separate plume also occurred, drifting NW at an altitude of ~ 6.1 km.

Figure 110 shows a graphical depiction of the two plumes issued by the Washington VAAC, which incorporated GOES-12 satellite imagery as part of an advisory sent out at 0807 on 12 August 2004. The observations were from about an hour earlier. This following message was in the 'remarks' part of the advisory."Ash heading [NE] earlier in the night can no longer be seen in satellite imagery. A faint plume of ash is heading SW into northern Ecuador but is slowly becoming diffused in satellite imagery. The ash heading SW is estimated to FL240 [~ 7.3 km altitude]. An ash plume moving NW from the summit is estimated to FL200 [~ 6.1 km altitude]. We will continue to closely monitor and advise earlier than normal if needed."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 110. The Galeras ash plumes were distributed in a Volcanic Ash Advisory (VAA) issued at 1307 UTC on 12 August 2004. When this image was taken at 1215 UTC, the two visible plumes had separated widely; one lingering slightly N of the volcano, the other, larger, reached a higher altitude and drifted over Ecuador. Plume top altitude estimates were 'flight level' (FL) 200 and 240, equivalent to 20,000 and 24,000 feet, ~ 6.1 and ~ 7.3 km altitude. Information sources listed included the GUAYAQUIL Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) and the GOES-12 satellite. (This VAA was issued under the header FVXX20 KNES 121307). Courtesy of the Washington VAAC; analysis by Jamie Kibler.

The next advisory noted that ash had ceased to be visible in the imagery after 0715 (1215 UTC) on 12 August 2004 (in other words, after the image associated with the graphic in figure 110).

Fine ash from the 11 August eruption was deposited in villages near the volcano, including La Florida (~ 10 km NW of the volcano), Nariño, Sandoná, and Consacá, and farther afield in Ancuya, Linares, and Sotomayor (~ 40 km NW of the volcano). News articles reported that during these episodes ~ 230 families were evacuated, mainly from the volcano's N flank. The village of La Florida on the volcano's NW flank was most strongly impacted by the eruption. Ash contaminated potable water in some villages, impacted farm animal's health, and left hundreds of dead fish floating in rivers. On 16 August, ash emissions continued, depositing ash in several villages.

INGEOMINAS reported that gas-and-ash emissions continued at Galeras as of 18 August. Ash fell in villages near the volcano, including La Florida, Sandoná, El Ingenio (within 15 km of the volcano), and farther afield in Samaniego and Sotomayor (between 20 and 40 km from the volcano). During 19 August to 1 September, there was a decrease in the level of seismicity and the number of ash emissions. But, gas-and-steam emissions continued.

During September 2004, tremor associated with ash-and-gas emissions was recorded at Galeras. On the 23rd, ash deposits were seen on the upper N flank. By the 27th, the amount of tremor had decreased significantly, a change that coincided with a decrease in ash emissions. During most of October 2004, emissions of gas and fine ash continued at Galeras. Plumes rose to a maximum height of ~ 1.5 km above the volcano. Instruments recorded small-amplitude tremor associated with gas-and-ash emissions.

INGEOMINAS reported that at 1544 on 21 November 2004 Galeras erupted explosively. A resulting shock wave was felt as far away as Cimarrones (18 km N of the volcano), Chachagui (17 km N of the volcano), and Laguna de La Cocha (20 km SW of the volcano). Effects of the shock wave varied from a loud roar, to the vibration of large windows, to the vibrating sensation of an earthquake. Hot ballistic blocks fell nearly 3 km from the volcano on its eastern flank, producing short-lived forest fires. The eruption produced an ash-and-gas column that rose to an estimated 9-10 km altitude and drifted to the S and W. The Washington VAAC reported that satellite imagery of 21 November at 1815 (i.e., 22 November at 0015 UTC) revealed two separate plumes, a situation somewhat analogous to 11-12 August (figure 110). One set of plumes from the 21 November eruption were estimated to reach 9 km altitude, and they blew to the W. Other plumes interpreted as low-level ash were estimated to be near 4-5 km altitude; these remained in the vicinity of the volcano and showed little motion.

January-September 2005. During January 2005, low-level relatively shallow seismicity continued, and a small amount of deformation towards the W portion of the volcanic cone occurred. On 30 January an emission of gas and ash rose ~ 800 m above the volcano. During the first week of February 2005, small gas-and-ash emissions continued. Ash was deposited in the sectors of Consacá (~ 15 km W of the volcano) and La Florida, and in the city of Pasto (~ 10 km E). Low-level seismicity and a small amount of deformation were recorded.

According to a news article, on 24 May 2005 the Colombian government ordered the evacuation of ~ 9,000 people living near Galeras due to an increase in volcanic activity. INGEOMINAS reported that during 16-23 May, small shallow earthquakes occurred beneath the volcano. Earthquakes believed associated with fracturing within the volcano increased during the night of 21 May to the morning of 22 May. Deformation continued to be recorded at the volcano's summit. There were no ash emissions. Galeras remained at alert level II ('probable eruption in terms of days or weeks') as it has since 19 April 2005.

During early June 2005, seismicity and deformation decreased in comparison to the previous week. On 6 June the alert level was decreased from II to III ('changes in the behavior of volcanic activity have been noted'). During July and August 2005, seismicity chiefly remained low. One exception, a M 2.5 volcano-tectonic earthquake on 4 July 2005, was felt in sections of some towns near the volcano. Generally, observers also noted small amounts of deformation and low rates of gas discharge, with continued emissions from the main and secondary craters. Thirty volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded at Galeras during 19-21 August 2005. The earthquakes occurred 3-4 km NW of the volcano's active cone, near the towns of Santa Bárbara, Nariño, and La Florida. About five earthquakes felt by nearby populations occurred at depths of 6-8 km, with the largest (M 4.7) occurring at a depth of 6 km on 21 August.

During September 2005, minor seismicity and minor deformation continued. Seismic signals included 365 minor events near the volcano at less than 6 km depth. The larger September record consisted of 179 volcano-tectonic events, 291 long-period events, 258 hybrid events, and 96 tremor episodes. Some of these earthquakes correlated with gas and fine ash discharges. Flyovers at the end of September confirmed that gas emissions were significantly reduced compared to August 2005.

October INGEOMINAS reports noted occasional steam plumes visible from Pasto, often correlated with and presumably related to increases in rainfall and infiltration of water into hot portions of the volcano. A 5 October 2005 overflight revealed a small increase in gas emissions compared to similar flights during September 2005. Seismicity fluctuated and some instrumentally measured deformation continued.

Reference. Gomez, D., Hellweg, M., Buttkus, B., Boker, F., Calvache, M. L., Cortes, Faber, E., Gil Cruz, F., Greinwald, S., Laverde, C , Narváez, L., Ortega, A., Rademacher, H., Sandmann, Seidl, D., Silva, B., and Torres, R., 2004, A Volcano Reawakens: Multiparameter Observations of Activity Transition at Galeras Volcano (Colombia), Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall meeting (session entitled "Sources of Oscillatory Phenomena in Volcanic Systems I; Posters"), December 2004, San Francisco, CA

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

Information Contacts: Diego Gomez Martinez, Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP), INGEOMINAS, Carrera 31, 1807 Parque Infantil, PO Box 1795, Pasto, Colombia (URL: https://www2.sgc.gov.co/volcanes/index.html; Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); El Spectador; El Pais (URL: http://elpais-cali.terra.com.co/paisonline/); Reuters.


Montagu Island (United Kingdom) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Montagu Island

United Kingdom

58.445°S, 26.374°W; summit elev. 1370 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


September 2005 satellite image and infrared data portray ongoing eruption

The first recorded eruption of Mt. Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), which began around 20 October 2001, continued (as reported in BGVN 28:02, 29:01, 29:09, 29:10) until at least the latter part of 2005. Information for the following report was prepared and submitted by Matt Patrick of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) and John Smelie of the British Antarctic Survey, with the assistance of the HIGP Thermal Alerts Team.

This eruption was detected by the MODVOLC automated satellite detection system, which scans for anomalous thermal activity in MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite data over the entire Earth approximately twice per day (Wright and others, 2004). Investigators acquired a recent, 23 Sept 2005, cloud-free ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) image (15-30 m pixel size), which provided valuable information on a new phase of activity. It revealed a larger effusive eruption than previously identified in satellite imagery of Montagu Island (figure 9).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. ASTER image showing Montagu Island's Mount Belinda on 23 September 2005. Courtesy of HIGP Thermal Alerts Team.

Based on frequent MODVOLC alerts (figure 10) and occasional high-resolution satellite data (ASTER, IKONOS, and Quickbird), Mount Belinda has maintained persistent activity since the start of the eruption. Activity has consisted of continuous steaming and low-intensity explosive events at the summit (presumably Strombolian), producing low-level ash plumes and ubiquitous tephra deposits on the island's ice cover, and at least three distinct effusive events. Several satellite images were posted by HIGP on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observer website, 13 October 2004 and 19 October 2005.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. (A) Chronological graph of radiant heat output from Mount Belinda measured from satellite sensors. The date range depicted along the x-axis of this graph is from late 2001 to September 2005. (B) A plot showing the distance of satellite-measured thermal anomaly pixels from the Mount Belinda vent during the period 2001 to September 2005. Courtesy of HIGP Thermal Alerts Team.

Scientists noted an intense shortwave-IR anomaly at the summit of Mt. Belinda in all cloud-free ASTER images acquired throughout the eruption. This suggested the presence of a lava lake in the summit crater (see Patrick and others, 2005, for more detailed information on the eruption).

Far from slowing down, the activity throughout 2005 marked the highest levels yet registered by MODVOLC (figure 10a). For the first time in 2005, radiant heat output exceeded 150 MW (see Wright and Flynn, 2004, and Wright and others, 2005, for calculation details).

By plotting the position of each anomalous MODVOLC pixel relative to the central vent (figure 10b) one can see that most pixels are within 1 km of the vent. This reflects the approximate scale of MODIS pixels and thus the inherent level of location ambiguity (note, however, these results fail to show the 2-km-long lava flow emplaced in mid-2003 — see BGVN 29:01).

For the first time during this eruption, anomalous pixels began appearing more than 2 km away from the central vent on the satellite image for 0100 UTC on 15 September 2005, some up to 3.3 km away (figure 10b). This suggested the presence of a ~ 3 km long lava flow. Corroborating this was the ASTER image from 23 September 2005 (figure 9), which indicated heightened activity and a 3.5-km long lava flow extending from the summit cone of Mt. Belinda into the sea. A steam plume originated in the vicinity of the ocean entry. Note that the steam plume appears to drift W from its origin (where the plume is whitest), while the ash plume from the summit of Mt. Belinda (1,370 m elev.) drifts E, indicating varying wind directions at different elevations.

The lava flow initially traveled NE from the vent, but farther on it ran into a rocky arete, which diverted its path to due N. A 90-m-wide lava channel is visible at a distance of 1 km from the summit. The flow appears to be covered (perhaps entering a tube) within its first kilometer, where no anomalous shortwave IR pixels exist. It is unlikely that the flow is subglacial in this first kilometer, as its path is coincident with emplacement of the previously mentioned lava flow of mid-2003, which was 2 km long and had already melted ice along this route.

At the request of the British Antarctic Survey, the Royal Air Force sent an airplane from the Falkland Islands on 11 October 2005. The plane encountered cloudy conditions but those on board recognized steam rising from the sea. This flight took place prior to study of the 23 September ASTER image and thus it marked the first observation that lava reached the sea.

References. Patrick, M., Smellie, J.L., Harris, A.J.L., Wright, R., Dean, K., Izbekov, P., Garbeil, H., and Pilger, E., 2005, First recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), South Sandwich Islands: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 67, p. 415-422.

Wright, R., and Flynn, L.P., 2004, A space-based estimate of the volcanic heat flux into the atmosphere during 2001 and 2002: Geology, v. 32, p. 189-192.

Wright, R., Flynn, L.P., Garbeil, H., Harris, A.J.L., and Pilger, E., 2004, MODVOLC: near-real-time thermal monitoring of global volcanism: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 135, p. 29-49.

Wright, R., Carn, S., and Flynn, L.P., 2005, A satellite chronology of the May-June 2003 eruption of Anatahan volcano: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 146, p. 102-116.

Geologic Background. The largest of the South Sandwich Islands, Montagu consists of a massive shield volcano cut by a 6-km-wide ice-filled summit caldera. The summit of the 10 x 12 km wide island rises about 3000 m from the sea floor between Bristol and Saunders Islands. Around 90% of the island is ice-covered; glaciers extending to the sea typically form vertical ice cliffs. The name Mount Belinda has been applied both to the high point at the southern end of the summit caldera and to the young central cone. Mount Oceanite, an isolated 900-m-high peak with a 270-m-wide summit crater, lies at the SE tip of the island and was the source of lava flows exposed at Mathias Point and Allen Point. There was no record of Holocene or historical eruptive activity until MODIS satellite data, beginning in late 2001, revealed thermal anomalies consistent with lava lake activity that has been persistent since then. Apparent plumes and single anomalous pixels were observed intermittently on AVHRR images during the period March 1995 to February 1998, possibly indicating earlier unconfirmed and more sporadic volcanic activity.

Information Contacts: Matt Patrick, University of Hawaii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); John Smelie, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/); NASA Earth Observer (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/).


Sierra Negra (Ecuador) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Sierra Negra

Ecuador

0.83°S, 91.17°W; summit elev. 1124 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Caldera erupts starting 22 October 2005 at fissure on caldera's inner N wall

At about 1730 on 22 October 2005 Sierra Negra began erupting. This shield volcano with a large oval-shaped caldera is located at the S end of Isabela Island. Circumferential fractures define the northern edge of the caldera. Volcán Chico, noted for its 1963 and 1979 eruptions, is comprised of a series of scoria cones and other vents aligned along several prominent fractures on the outer slope of the N caldera rim. The present activity is not related to the Volcán Chico fracture system, but is venting from fractures along the N inner caldera wall. The most prominent fracture can be traced westward ~3 km where it lies along the rim. This initial report was provided by a scientific team from the Instituto Geofísico.

The eruption was preceded by a seismic event at 1438 on 22 October, felt in the coastal village of Villamil (20 km SE of the caldera border) and by Park Wardens on Cerro Azul. Others reported single earthquakes on 19 October and two weeks earlier. At 1730 the eruption began with an explosion heard by many people in the Villamil area. Hikers in the area of the subsequent lava emission in the mid-afternoon of both 21 and 22 October witnessed no unusual activity. By 1745 the eruption column had reached an estimated altitude of 5 km, and the setting sun illuminated the light gray eruption column. At 1815 the team observed the column after sunset from Point (Punto) Ayora, Santa Cruz Island (80 km E) and estimated its height at 10 km. The still-rising column was 4-6 km wide, not spreading laterally, and a small lenticular cloud was beginning to form a cap over the column. As night fell, the western sky above the caldera was a burgundy red, suggesting that lava had covered an extensive area of the caldera floor. Satellite imagery of the eruption at 1745 showed an eruption cloud at an estimated altitude of at least 15 km moving SW. A very large hotspot in the multispectral imagery was also observed and continued on 27 October.

Observations at 1945 from the Santa Cruz highlands (75 km away) employing a camcorder with night vision capabilities confirmed extensive lava fountaining estimated to be 200-300 m high along a segment of the caldera rim, as well as the incandescence from a lava flow several kilometers long descending the NW outer flank. Although the complete eruption column was not visible, it may have reached an altitude close to 20 km and had spread out. Tourist boats between Isabela and Fernandina Island reported seeing two lava flows descending the N flank.

During an overflight between 0715 and 0900 on 23 October the team did not witness active lava flows or evidence of lava having entered the sea. A thin khaki-colored ash cloud layer was observed, between about 1,200 and 1,500 m altitude, that had spread out laterally and extended E as far as St. Cruz Island and N to Santiago Island. Later in the day the plume was directed NNW in agreement with satellite information. From the plane the team confirmed that the main eruption was venting from four craters along a 500-m-long fracture at the base of the NNE inner caldera wall. The highest lava fountaining (up to 200 m high) was being generated at the two middle vents, while the end vents were feeding many lava flows S onto the caldera floor. The fracture apparently extended W along the inner wall, but then climbed to the caldera rim where its trace was not obvious. However, small vents with fountaining and incandescent lava were observed on the rim along this general fracture system, implying that the active fracture extended ~ 2 km W of the main vents.

During the mid-day hours of 23 October the team ascended the S flank, followed the E rim of the caldera, and reached a point ~ 800 m from the active vents, from which the following description was made. From the four principal vents the lava flowed S with exceptional force, volume, and speed downslope in three main channels (figures 3 and 4). Based on the apparent speed of the lava, and the more than 10-m height of the waves in the stream of passing lava, the team estimated that the main lava flow was traveling nearly 20 m/second as it left its vent. The W channels, some 30-50 m wide, maintained their red incandescent color and high speeds, albeit less than that near the vent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. View looking W from the NE rim of Sierra Negra's caldera (right) on 23 October 2005. The caldera floor is to the left. The four active vents are superimposed in this photo, aligned along the E-W fracture that lies at the base of the inner caldera wall. Numerous lava flows descended southwards to the left where they joined to form one single flow of a'a lava ~ 1 km wide and 7 km long that had already reached the southern inner wall of the caldera on 23 October. Courtesy of M. Hall.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. A 150-m-high lava fountain rises on 23 October 2005 from one of four active vents that define the active fracture system at the base of the northern inner wall of Sierra Negra's caldera. From these four principal vents lava flows moved southwards at velocities estimated at close to 20 m/second on 23 October. Courtesy of M. Hall.

By 1500 the E channel was slowing and cooling to a gray surface color; this thin solid veneer was subsequently fragmented when the flow went over the edge of the bench and cascaded to the caldera floor. On the caldera floor the incandescent lavas of all three channels disappeared under the black solidified a'a lava that already covered about 12% of the caldera. In the 22 hours since the eruption had begun, the lavas had formed one large flow 1-1.5 km wide that traveled SE along the base of the E interior caldera wall, then W along the S wall reaching a point almost halfway across the caldera. As such it had traveled a total distance of 7 km and had started small brush fires on the floor and interior walls of the caldera. With an estimated thickness of no more than 3 m, the volume of the lava ejected by 1530 on 23 October was calculated at about 25 million cubic meters.

Along the trail leading to the vent area an increasing amount of scoria fragments was observed on the rim's edge. Fragments ~ 1 cm in size were first observed ~ 4 km SE of the active vents, and they increased in size (up to 15 cm) and abundance towards the vents. Very little fine ash was in the air or on the ground along the E caldera rim. The scoria was black, exceedingly vesiculated, with vesicles from millimeter to many centimeters in diameter; it seemed comparable in density to popcorn. No crystals were observed in the glassy scoria material. At their closest approach to the vent, scoria fragments formed a deposit 3-5 cm thick.

An explosion heard at 1900 on 25 October was accompanied by a dark eruptive column and minor ashfall along the E rim of the caldera and probably elsewhere. By early 26 October the Park Wardens were reporting that one of the four principal vents had shut down. Observations made late on 26 October indicated that the a'a flow on the caldera floor had slowed and was still several kilometers from the sulfur mine area. Civil Defense officials also reported that apparently less lava was leaving the vents and that lava extrusion might have shifted to the outer N flank, possibly to the Volcán Chico fracture system.

The only inhabited areas include the small town of Villamil, located 20 km SE of the caldera's border on the S coast, plus several other small populated areas about halfway between the caldera and Villamil. There was no immediate threat to those residents, given the fact that in order to spill out of the caldera and descend the S flanks the entire 100-m depth of the caldera would have to fill with lava. The southern caldera border has not been active in the recent geologic past.

Geologic Background. The broad shield volcano of Sierra Negra at the southern end of Isabela Island contains a shallow 7 x 10.5 km caldera that is the largest in the Galápagos Islands. Flank vents abound, including cinder cones and spatter cones concentrated along an ENE-trending rift system and tuff cones along the coast and forming offshore islands. The 1124-m-high volcano is elongated in a NE direction. Although it is the largest of the five major Isabela volcanoes, it has the flattest slopes, averaging less than 5 degrees and diminishing to 2 degrees near the coast. A sinuous 14-km-long, N-S-trending ridge occupies the west part of the caldera floor, which lies only about 100 m below its rim. Volcán de Azufre, the largest fumarolic area in the Galápagos Islands, lies within a graben between this ridge and the west caldera wall. Lava flows from a major eruption in 1979 extend all the way to the north coast from circumferential fissure vents on the upper northern flank. Sierra Negra, along with Cerro Azul and Volcán Wolf, is one of the most active of Isabela Island volcanoes.

Information Contacts: Minard Hall and Patricio Ramón, Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Washington Tapia and Oscar Caravajal, Parque Nacional Galápagos, Pto. Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador.


Santa Ana (El Salvador) — September 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Santa Ana

El Salvador

13.853°N, 89.63°W; summit elev. 2381 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Sudden eruption on 1 October 2005; thousands evacuated

This report discusses a 1 October 2005 eruption at Santa Ana (also called Ilamatepec) that sent a plume to 14 km altitude and led to initial estimates cited in the press of two deaths (perhaps from landslides), several injuries, and the evacuation of over 2,000 people. Observations of glowing fumaroles and release of magmatic gas during 2000-2001 were previously reported at Santa Ana (BGVN 26:04). Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET) scientists noticed that between the summer of 2000 and April 2001 there was increased venting of a well-developed hydrothermal system through the crater lake, hot springs, and fumaroles, but these changes were not accompanied by detected seismicity, which was then taken to suggest that the increase in hydrothermal activity was not driven by the arrival of new magma beneath the crater. An ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) image from 3 February 2001 shows the volcano's setting well before the eruption (figure 1).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. An ASTER image of Santa Ana from 2001 featured in one of several Earth Observatory reports. N is to the top left of the image and Santa Ana is the large, blunt-topped edifice closest to the left side of the image. In the color version of this image can be seen a tiny blue spot in the center of the inner-most crater?a crater lake (often called the lagoon). Behind Santa Ana is a large (7-km-diameter) lake inside the Coatepeque caldera. In the center is Izalco volcano, with dark-colored historical lava flows. Courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory.

SNET reported that a sudden eruption at Santa Ana took place around 0820 on 1 October 2005. They estimated that it produced an ash-and-gas plume to a height of ~ 10 km above the volcano. According to the Washington VAAC, ash was visible on satellite imagery at an altitude of ~ 14 km. The US Air Force Weather agency provided images of the plume (figure 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Two images of a Santa Ana eruptive plume on 1 October 2005. (top) The plume at 1516 UTC; (bottom) the plume at 1650 UTC. Note that the label 'FL 460,' stands for 'flight level 460,' which is equivalent to an altitude of 46,000 feet or 14 km. Courtesy of the US Air Force Weather Agency.

Ash fell in towns W of the volcano, including in Naranjos, Nahuizalco, Juayúa, Ahuachapán (NW), and La Hachadura (at the border, ~ 40 km W, figure 3). SNET produced a graphic similar to an isopach map that showed near-source thicknesses provisionally to over 10 cm. The 10 cm isopach stretched ~ 5 km W; the 1 mm isopach, ~ 20 km W. The outermost isopach, presumably where measurable ash fell, was not closed; instead it was cut off along the Guatemalan border (~ 40 km to W of Santa Ana) and the caption said that ash would fall into valleys in Guatemala and to the sea. Volcanic blocks up to a meter in diameter fell as far as 2 km S of the volcano's crater. Lahar deposits were seen SE of the volcano. The alert level within a 4-km radius around the volcano's central crater was raised to Red, the highest level.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Graphic from SNET showing ashfall distribution from Santa Ana that appeared in the newspaper, La Prensa Grafica, following the 1 October eruption. N is upwards; Santa Ana lies ~ 40 km E of the Guatemalan border. This clearly transmitted the message that the ashfall was variable and W-directed over parts of El Salvador and neighboring Guatemala. The bottom of the graphic discussed the impact of the ash fall, including damage to specialty coffee farms. Credit: Ricardo Orellana, La Prensa Grafica.

According to news reports, two people were killed by landslides (possibly caused by heavy rain in the area) in the town of Palo Campana, and thousands of residents near the volcano were evacuated. As many as 1,400 hectares of crops were damaged by ash (1 hectare = 10,000 m2). News also mentioned other processes such as a flood of boiling mud and water, and molten rocks, some the size of small automobiles, that will be discussed in later reports. A several-minute-long video from the LPG Television website appears as both a hyperlink and an active file on our website. In addition to numerous interviews with evacuees, it shows a host of features including what appear to be the swaths left by previously inflated mudflows passed down steep-sided valleys.

Prior to the eruption, no significant change in seismicity was observed. On 3 October, after the eruption, seismicity fluctuated and small explosions occasionally occurred. Earthquakes associated with explosions were recorded. In addition, there was a decrease in the amount of SO2 emitted from the volcano.

Strong degassing had been measured at the volcano since June 2004. An ash emission occurred on 16 June 2005, and a slight increase in seismicity and a significant increase in gas emission were measured from 27 July until at least 30 August. SNET also reported a significant increase in seismic activity at Santa Ana on the night of 27 August. A cluster of 17 volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded, with four located S of the volcano. Afterwards, continuous high-frequency tremor was recorded until at least 30 August. Observations made on 29 August revealed incandescent rocks in the fumarole field, effects attributed to hot gases heating the rocks to sufficient temperature to glow. A significant increase in SO2 emission was recorded, and gas-and-steam plumes rose 500-1,000 m above the volcano's crater. As a safety measure, access to the volcano's crater was restricted.

From 27 July until the eruption on 1 October, seismicity and gas emissions were above normal levels, and Santa Ana was at alert level yellow. During the first week of September, tremor continued to be recorded, and on 2 September a cluster of at least eight small earthquakes occurred, which were not felt by local residents. Gas plumes rose to ~ 500 m above the volcano, and the SO2 flux was over 1,000 metric tons per day during the first two weeks of September. Satellite imagery from 5 September showed a thermal anomaly.

Microseismicity increased significantly on 12 September. During a visit to the volcano on 8 September, larger areas of incandescence were visible at a field of fumaroles than during a visit on 29 August. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly at the volcano on several days during the second week of September.

During 15-19 September gas plumes rose to ~ 500 m above the volcano, and the SO2 flux reached a maximum of 3,320 metric tons per day on 16 September. Microseismicity remained at relatively high levels. No significant changes were seen at the volcano's crater when observed on 19 September in comparison to 13 September. Intense degassing continued and the crater lake (lagoon) remained a dark coffee color. Incandescence was visible inside some cracks.

During a visit to the crater on 21 September, observers noted that the lagoon had become greener and small rock landslides occurred in the field of fumaroles. Gas plumes rose to ~ 1 km above the volcano on 26 September.

Following the eruption of 1 October, small explosions, degassing, and low-to-moderate seismicity occurred at Santa Ana during 5-11 October. Inclement weather prohibited ground and satellite observations, and sulfur-dioxide (SO2) measurements during much of the report period. During an aerial inspection of the volcano on 11 October, no changes were observed at the crater. Around 11 October, SO2 measurements were around 600-700 metric tons per day. The alert level within a 5-km radius around the volcano's central crater remained at Red.

Geologic Background. Santa Ana, El Salvador's highest volcano, is a massive, dominantly andesitic-to-trachyandesitic stratovolcano that rises immediately W of Coatepeque caldera. Collapse of Santa Ana (also known as Ilamatepec) during the late Pleistocene produced a voluminous debris avalanche that swept into the Pacific Ocean, forming the Acajutla Peninsula. Reconstruction of the volcano subsequently filled most of the collapse scarp. The broad summit is cut by several crescentic craters, and a series of parasitic vents and cones have formed along a 20-km-long fissure system that extends from near the town of Chalchuapa NNW of the volcano to the San Marcelino and Cerro la Olla cinder cones on the SE flank. Historical activity, largely consisting of small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from both summit and flank vents, has been documented since the 16th century. The San Marcelino cinder cone on the SE flank produced a lava flow in 1722 that traveled 13 km E.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET), Alameda Roosevelt y 55 Avenida Norte, Edificio Torre El Salvador, Quinta Planta, San Salvador, El Salvador (URL: http://www.snet.gob.sv); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA; Charles Holliday and Jenifer E. Piatt, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)/XOGM, Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113, USA; NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/); La Prensa Grafica and La Prensa Grafica Television, Final bulevar Santa Elena, frente a embajada de EUA, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, San Salvador, El Salvador.


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — September 2005 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)


Thick plumes and earthquakes during late August to mid-September 2005

During the week of 22-28 August 2005, Ulawun often remained quiet but also displayed continued restlessness. People from Tauke, on the S side of the volcano reported occasional low roaring, rumbling, and booming noises on 21-22 and 26-28 August. Emissions from the summit crater consisted of moderate volumes of thick grayish vapor released forcefully. Some traces of blue vapor were also visible, but no glow was observed. Seismicity fluctuated between low and moderate, marked by small low-frequency earthquakes and small sporadic volcanic tremors. Only one high-frequency earthquake was recorded. An earthquake was felt on 22 August by people from Tauke. Apparently the earthquake was not reported by the observer at Ulamona, NW of the volcano, suggesting it was local and focused on the S side of the volcano.

Ulawun remained quiet through mid-September 2005, with the summit crater releasing weak to moderate volumes of thick white vapor.

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

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory, Papua New Guinea.


Witori (Papua New Guinea) — September 2005 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)


Steaming, and few earthquakes, during field observations in September 2005

During the observation interval 12-18 September 2005, Pago continued to be quiet. Very small volumes of thin white vapor were released from all vents. No noises were heard and no glow was observed. Seismic activity was low, with some small, high frequency earthquakes being recorded. The highest number of high frequency events on any given day was 3, recorded on 18 September.

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 and Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO 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/).