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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Aira (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Mike Day, Minnesota, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/MikeDaySMM, photo at https://twitter.com/MikeDaySMM/status/1083489400451989505/photo/1); Kratü, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/TalesOfKratue, photo at https://twitter.com/TalesOfKratue/status/1101469595414589441/photo/1); Tim Board, Japan, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/Hawkworld_, photo at https://twitter.com/Hawkworld_/status/1107789108754038789); Aone Wakatsuke, Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/AoneWakatsuki, photo at https://twitter.com/AoneWakatsuki/status/1138420031258210305/photo/3).


Agung (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); The Jakarta Post, Mount Agung eruption disrupts Australian flights, (URL: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/05/25/mount-agung-eruption-disrupts-australian-flights.html); PunapiBali (URL: http://punapibali.com/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/punapibali, image at https://twitter.com/punapibali/status/1098869352588288000/photo/1); Jamie S. Sincioco, Phillipines (URL: Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco. Image at https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco/status/1113765842557104130/photo/1); Pantau.com (URL: https://www.pantau.com/berita/erupsi-gunung-agung-sebagian-wilayah-bali-terpapar-hujan-abu?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter); Volcanoverse (URL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi3T_esus8Sr9I-3W5teVQQ); Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB (Twitter: @Sutopo_PN, URL: https://twitter.com/Sutopo_PN ).


Kerinci (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent explosions with ash plumes, February-May 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Nuansa Jambi, Informasi Utama Jambi: (URL: https://nuansajambi.com/2019/03/20/gunung-kerinci-semburkan-asap-tebal/); Kerinci Time (URL: https://kerincitime.co.id/gunung-kerinci-semburkan-abu-vulkanik.html); Uzone.id (URL: https://news.uzone.id/gunung-kerinci-erupsi-5-desa-tertutup-abu-tebal).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash plumes continued during January through June 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


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

Great Sitkin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small steam explosions in early June 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ibu (Indonesia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/).


Ebeko (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).


Yasur (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); The Captain Cook Society (URL: https://www.captaincooksociety.com/home/detail/225-years-ago-july-september-1774); Royal Museums Greenwich (URL: https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/13383.html); Wikimedia Commons, (URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Landing_at_Tana_one_of_the_New_Hebrides,_by_William_Hodges.jpg); Nick Page, Australia,Flickr: (URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/152585166@N08/).


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

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Emily Stanford (Twitter: https://twitter.com/NerdyBatLady, image posted at https://twitter.com/NerdyBatLady/status/1098052063009792001/photo/1).


Ambae (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Declining thermal activity and no explosions during February-May 2019

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 37, Number 04 (April 2012)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Galeras (Colombia)

Frequent seismic swarms, elevated SO2; ash explosions begin in May 2012

Galunggung (Indonesia)

One possible 2008 ash plume, crater lake anomalies in 2011-2012

Gamkonora (Indonesia)

Instability followed by confusing news claims of minor June 2012 eruption

Iliamna (United States)

Rockfalls and fumarolic activity continue with spike in early 2012

Masaya (Nicaragua)

Continuous monitoring of emissions and new investigations from collaborators

Semeru (Indonesia)

Increased seismicity with lava flows and pyroclastic flows during February-April 2012

Soputan (Indonesia)

Alert level raised in May 2012 based on increased seismic activity



Galeras (Colombia) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent seismic swarms, elevated SO2; ash explosions begin in May 2012

Our last report focused on the VEI 2 eruption of August 2010 as well as results from regular monitoring through May 2011 by the Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS) based in Pasto, the provincial capital located ~10 km E of Galeras. Here we discuss the continuing efforts to monitor Galeras from June 2011 through April 2012. We highlight regular measurements from telemetered tiltmeter data, SO2 flux values, and earthquake cataloging and analysis. Additional monitoring activities, including radon gas assessments and thermal measurements, were conducted by INGEOMINAS and reported in weekly and monthly reports online. We briefly mention ash explosions that began on 13 May 2012.

April 2011-April 2012 Seismicity. During this reporting period, INGEOMINAS characterized five types of earthquake events: volcano-tectonic (VT), long-period (LP), tremor (TRE), hybrid (HYB), and tornillo (TOR). This data is available in online reports on the INGEOMINAS website for various years.

Earthquakes during this time were rarely deeper than 20 km and clustered ~2 km below the summit, and at times, ranging 5-8 km (table 13). Seismicity was dominated by hybrid events, signals characterizing fracturing and fluid movement. Tremor frequently occurred from May-July 2011 and December 2011-January 2012. From January-March 2012, the duration of tremor was longer than 800 minutes/month (table 13). LP events occurred most frequently in April 2011 and February 2012; VT events primarily appeared in March and April 2012. Tornillo events had been rare in 2011 but were the cause for alarm in November 2011 when INGEOMINAS detected 18 events. The seismic pattern of "tornillo-type" earthquakes has been associated with pre-eruptive conditions - in particular, explosive activity in 1992 and 2010 was preceded by episodes of tornillos (BGVN 34:12). The Alert Level was raised in November (to Orange, on a four-color scale) but lowered again in December (to Yellow) when these signals disappeared from the records; only two events were recorded in December 2011, then again in February 2012.

Figure (see Caption) Table 13. Seismicity at Galeras from April 2011 through April 2012. Earthquake counts for five types of events: volcano-tectonic (VT), long-period (LP), tremor (TRE), hybrid (HYB), and tornillos (TOR). The Alert Level was raised to Orange in November (highlighted in red). Tornillos occurred rarely during this reporting period; "-" indicates events were not reported. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

June 2011. INGEOMINAS reported that seismic energy was relatively low this month compared to May 2011. Inflation and deformation events were recorded by two tilt stations (Cráter and Calabazo); other stations, however, were stable (see figure 116 for monitoring station locations). The most proximal tilt station, Cráter, recorded the largest changes in deformation, and especially the radial component (often an order of magnitude larger than the tangential component). During this reporting period, INGEOMINAS frequently included data from the two component tiltmeters and calculated the vectors for Cráter (see INGEOMINAS online reports).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 116. Map of station locations for the INGEOMINAS Pasto monitoring network (from the April 2012 online monthly report). Instrumentation includes: seismometers (SP = short period, BB = broadband), tiltmeters, acoustic flow, ScanDOAS, electromagnetic potential, and Global Positioning System (GPS) stations, as indicated in the legend. This map does not include all monitoring sites, for example fixed stations for Radon and EDM are also part of the network with results posted online. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Large amounts of steam and gas rose from Galeras' crater in June; a plume was frequently observed with a height up to 400 m above the crater. The plume was primarily water vapor, and measurements of SO2 flux showed high variability. INGEOMINAS reported values from ScanDOAS and MobileDOAS ranging from 41-1,455 tons/day; a total of 22 measurements with wind direction and velocity were taken between 1-30 June. The maximum measurement of SO2 flux was made by ScanDOAS from the Santa Bárbara station located 7.0 km NNW from the summit. The minimum value was measured along a traverse with MobileDOAS between the towns La Buitrera and Sandoná (see figure 116 for locations, La Buitera is beyond the map).

July 2011. Seismic energy was 75% higher in July compared with calculations in June. A low-energy seismic swarm of LP events was recorded during 18-19 July. Seismic swarms have occurred periodically at Galeras, the last episode was recorded in early April 2011; this was also the last time tornillo earthquakes were detected (table 13). Deformation continued with fluctuations, however, fieldwork was necessary to reinstall the Cráter tiltmeter (located 0.8 km E of the main crater and at 4,060 m above sea level) when it was disrupted by electric storms on 11 July 2011; the tiltmeter was back online on 20 July.

During clear conditions, a steam plume was visible from Galeras which reached a maximum of 1.5 km above the crater. The maximum SO2 flux for July was 1,080 tons/day which was obtained on 11 July at the Santa Bárbara station with ScanDOAS. A total of 15 measurements with wind direction and velocity were taken between 6 and 23 July. The minimum measurement of SO2 flux was made on 19 July by ScanDOAS, also from the Santa Bárbara station (stations Alto Jiménez and Alto Tinajillas were also recording values).

August 2011. An hour-long seismic swarm was recorded starting at 1800 on 24 August. INGEOMINAS classified these earthquakes as primarily long-period, suggesting that hydrothermal processes were active beneath Galeras. Three of the tiltmeters (Cráter, Huairatola, and Calabozo) indicated deformation and two stations (Peladitos and Cobanegra) showed no change.

Emissions continued to be visible from the crater; a white plume was frequently observed that rose 800 m above the crater rim. SO2 levels were significantly low in August; INGEOMINAS calculated the maximum SO2 flux as 185 tons/day from the Santa Bárbara station on 3 August. A total of 26 measurements were recorded from 1 to 31 August. The lowest value, 25 tons/day, was recorded during a traverse along the northeastern route (between the towns of Genoy and Nariño) on 9 August with MobileDOAS.

September 2011. Seismicity continued at low levels and few earthquakes were large enough to locate (table 13). On 6 September a swarm of hybrid earthquakes was recorded; this was a small episode that occurred between 0600 and 0800. Tilt stations Cráter and Huairatola recorded fluctuations while Calabozo, Peladitos, and Cobanegra showed no significant changes.

The summit was visible for much of September; the plume rose typically less than 500 m above the crater. According to INGEOMINAS, SO2 levels were low in September. A total of 16 measurements were recorded by ScanDOAS from one fixed station (Santa Bárbara station), flux ranged from 51-225 tons/day.

October 2011. INGEOMINAS reported that an earthquake swarm occurred during 25-30 October. Events were characterized as hybrids, suggesting fluid movement and hydrothermal processes; hypocenters were very shallow, less than 2 km beneath the crater. Tilt stations Cráter, Huairatola, and Calabozo recorded fluctuations while Peladitos and Urcunina showed no significant changes.

In October, conditions were favorable for observing the summit area of Galeras. A column of white vapor was visible during most of the month; the plume rose to a height of 800 m above the rim. SO2 flux was relatively low; 19 values were recorded between 1-31 October. The maximum value was 340 tons/day as recorded on 1 October by the Alto Jiménez station (located 10.8 km NW of the summit). The lowest value, 32 tons/day, was recorded at the Santa Bárbara station on 10 October.

November 2011.INGEOMINAS continued registering swarms of shallow VT earthquakes. These events were primarily located at depths less than 1 km from the crater with magnitudes

Figure (see Caption) Figure 117. Seismogram, energy peaks, and spectrogram of the frequency of a tornillo event recorded on 14 November 2011 at 2328 from Galeras. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Several overflights of the crater were conducted in November by INGEOMINAS along with the Colombian Air Force (figure 118). During these flights, staff observed conditions within the crater and noted a strong sulfur odor. Thermal anomalies were detected with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera; on 2 and 26 November, investigators recorded maximum temperatures around 200°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 118. An aerial view of Galeras looking S toward a police station and towers on the crater rim. Photo taken during reconnaissance by INGEOMINAS on 2 November 2011.

INGEOMINAS reported significant changes in tilt from the Cráter station (figure 119). Between 7 September and 30 November, there were variations between 3,720 and 920 µrad with increasing and decreasing trends for tangential and radial components, respectively. Trends were also recorded from stations: Peladitos, Huairatola, and Cobanegra. Stations Calabozo and Urcunina showed small fluctuations and were considered stable.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 119. Galeras tiltmeter data (Radial and Tangential components are 'C.Rad' and 'C.Tang', respectively) from stations Cráter, Peladitos, Huairatola, and Cobanegra from April through November 2011. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

INGEOMINAS reported that SO2 flux in November ranged from 5 to 178 tons/day. The highest values were recorded by stations implementing ScanDOAS; the Alto Jiménez station recorded the maximum on 5 November. The lowest value was from a MobileDOAS traverse along the Sandoná route on 30 November.

December 2011. The Alert Level was lowered from Orange to Yellow on 6 December due to reduced seismicity; tornillo events were no longer recorded. The tilt station Cráter continued to register changes. INGEOMINAS determined that the NE sector of the volcano exhibited deflation from 7 September to 24 November (figure 119) and beginning on 24 November a change occurred and inflation began. The records suggested that the Huairatola station was detecting deflation of the NE sector from 6 August to 31 December. Data from Cobanegra, from 28 February to 31 December, was also consistent with showing changes in the NE. The Peladitos, Urcunina, and Cóndor stations showed small variations and were considered stable.

In collaboration with the Colombian Air Force, INGEOMINAS conducted an overflight of the crater on 6 December. Several thermal images were taken with a FLIR camera (figure 120). The highest temperature recorded was 200°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 120. On 6 December 2012 INGEOMINAS retrieved thermal images of Galeras. In the FLIR image on the right, three maximum temperatures were captured: 116.8°C, 98.7°C, and 74.4°C. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Increased degassing was noted from two sites on the N edge of the crater, Paisita and Chavas (for a crater location map, see figure 87 in BGVN 23:01). SO2 flux was measured by three fixed ScanDOAS stations; a total of 12 measurements were recorded during 1-22 December. Emissions were low and ranging from 21 to 310 tons/day. INGEOMINAS recorded the maximum value from Alto Tinajillas (located 13.3 km W of the crater, figure 116) on 14 December; the minimum was from Santa Bárbara on 9 December.

January 2012. On 31 January, INGEOMINAS reported that a seismic swarm dominated by short-period VT events was recorded. Deformation detected by the Cráter station suggested three unique episodes where radial tilt was increasing, stabilized, and decreased. The tangential component exhibited an inversion of this trend: decreasing, stabilization, and increasing. INGEOMINAS calculated 657 µrad of inflation within the central crater, followed by stabilization and later, deflation measured as 264 µrad.

Steam continued to rise from Paisita and Chavas craters. A white plume was typically visible low over the crater however, on 5, 11, and 21 January, the plume height varied between 500 and 800 m. INGEOMINAS reported that SO2 flux continued at low levels, ranging from 32-259 tons/day. A total of 12 values were obtained from fixed ScanDOAS stations. The maximum value was recorded at the Santa Bárbara station on 27 January.

February 2012. Seismic swarms occurred in February consisting primarily of small, shallow events. At 2148 on 27 February the short-period seismic station Anganoy (located 0.8 km E of the crater, figure 116) recorded an event INGEOMINAS characterized as a 'pseudo-Tornillo'; this event had a dominant frequency of 4.1 Hz and a duration of 36 seconds.

Pseudo-tornillos appeared to be rare events and had occurred previously in November 2011. These have much shorter codas (tails) compared to those of the tornillo signals. The latter last up to several minutes, have small amplitudes compared to duration, and generally decay progressively so their seismic traces appear screw-like in appearance (tornillos is Spanish for screw). These features and various other subtypes and their diagnostic signal characteristics and names are discussed in Narváez and others (1997).

Deformation measured by the Cráter station recorded 774 µrad of deflation in the central crater. The Cobanegra station registered decreasing trends; the stations Peladitos, Urcunina, and Cóndor were considered stable.

A white plume from the crater was visible by webcameras and reached heights less than 800 m above the rim. SO2 flux in February remained low and ranged from 8 to 498 tons/day. A total of 27 values were recorded from fixed ScanDOAS and MobileDOAS measurements. The maximum flux was recorded on 22 February at the Alto Jiménez station.

March 2012. In March, seismic energy decreased by 89.1% compared to February, and few earthquakes were located. However, tremor continued (table 13). The Cráter tiltmeter recorded variability in early March, and from 22 to 31 March, 1,440 µrad of inflation was recorded within the central crater. The Cobanegra station recorded decreasing trends with both components while the stations Peladitos, Urcunina, Cóndor, Calabozo, and Arlés were considered stable.

A white plume was visible during most of the month except for four days. Plume height was maintained below 1.9 km. On 2 March, the National Park reported strong sulfur odors and also received alerts from the municipal committee of Sandoná that gas was noticeable.

Based on fixed and mobile detectors, INGEOMINAS reported that SO2 flux increased dramatically in March. A maximum of 3,390 tons/day was recorded by the Alto Jiménez station on 15 March. The lowest value recorded was 305 tons/day during a traverse along the Consaca-Sandoná route on 30 March. A total of 33 measurements were collected from 1 to 31 March.

April 2012. INGEOMINAS reported that seismic swarms occurred during 5-8 and 11-16 April consisting primarily of small, shallow VT events. The Cráter and Huairatola tilt stations registered variability suggesting inflation in the W sector of Galeras, an area known for high seismicity. The Cobanegra station recorded decreasing trends from both components between 85 and 430 µrad. The other stations were considered stable.

A white plume was frequently visible above the crater in April. Webcameras and observers recorded a maximum height of 2,000 m. On 16 April, the local committee for the prevention of disasters (CLOPAD) of the provincial capital, Pasto, received reports from inhabitants near the N flank of Galeras; gas emissions were visible and people could hear noises from the crater.

SO2 flux continued at elevated levels in April. INGEOMINAS recorded 33 measurements during April. A maximum of 1,477 tons/day was recorded at the Alto Jiménez station on 2 April. The highest levels of SO2 emissions were recorded within the first week of April, averaging 1,012 tons/day. The lowest value was recorded on 13 April, 10 tons/day, along the La Florida-Sandoná route with MobileDOAS.

Editor's Note: INGEOMINAS and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that ash emissions were detected in early May 2012 (figure 121) and continued into early June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 121. An ash explosion from Galeras was captured by the "Barranco" webcamera on 27 May 2012. This high-resolution camera was located on the NW rim of the crater. Timing of photo sequence: A. 09:37:53; B. 09:39:08; C. 09:40:15; D. 09:41:40. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Reference. Narváez, L.M., Torres, R.A., Gómez, D.M., Cortez, G.P., Cepeda, H.V., and Stix, J., 1997. 'Tornillo'-type seismic signals at Galeras volcano, Colombia, 1992-1993, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 77: 159-171.

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: Instituto Colombiano de Geologia y Mineria (INGEOMINAS), Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto, 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 Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/).


Galunggung (Indonesia) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Galunggung

Indonesia

7.25°S, 108.058°E; summit elev. 2168 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


One possible 2008 ash plume, crater lake anomalies in 2011-2012

This report mentions a possible ash plume from Galunggung volcano in July 2008 and various other anomalies, including discolored crater lake water during parts of 2011 and 2012. Our last report on Galunggung was in 1984 (SEAN 09:02), following a deadly eruption that began in mid-1982 and ended in early 1983.

The following background information on the volcano was provided in 13 February and 28 May 2012 reports from the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM). According to the latest report from CVGHM, the present-day lake in the conical crater of Galunggung volcano has a diameter of 1 km and a typical depth of 11 m. In the middle of the lake sits a small, 30 m high, 250 x 165 m scoria cone which was produced during the final stage of the 1982-83 eruption. Galunggung's hazards include phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions capable of draining the lake and producing mud flows.

As further background, some of the historical eruptions were explosive, centered at the volcano's crater lake. These eruptions occurred four times, in 1822, 1894, 1918, and 1982-1983. The eruption of 1982-1983 occurred over a period of 21 months, from 5 April 1982-8 January 1984 (SEAN 07:04, 07:06, 07:07, 07:08, 07:09, 07:10, 07:11, and 07:12). In late June 1982, a British Airways jumbo jet encountered an ash cloud that stalled all four of its engines and abraded its windshield and wing surfaces. The aircraft lost 7.5 km of altitude before the engines could be restarted, but it landed safely in Jakarta (SEAN 07:06).

Incorrect report of 2002 eruption; questionable one in 2008. Based on erroneous information from a pilot report, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) stated that an eruption occurred at Galunggung at 1748 hr on 23 August 2002. It produced a W-drifting low-level plume. No ash was visible on satellite imagery. Subsequently, Dali Ahmad of CVGHM had advised Dan Shackelford (amateur volcanist, now deceased) that the report of an eruption on 23 August 2002 was incorrect. It turned out that the likely cause of the incident was a bushfire near the volcano that led observers to believe that an eruption was occurring.

Based on a pilot report and inconclusive observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 17 July 2008 a possible ash plume from Galunggung rose to an altitude of 5.5 km and drifted SW. However, CVGHM did not report eruptive activity and advised that the volcanic activity status was "normal" at that time.

2011-2012 observations. CVGHM reported that from September 2011 to 8 February 2012 the crater lake water at Galunggung was discolored. In addition, a sudden increase in water temperature was measured, from 27° C on 5 February to 40° C on 8 February. Based on seismic data and crater lake observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 12 February and recommended that people stay at least 500 m away from the lake shore.

CVGHM reported that after the Alert Level was raised, seismic activity at Galunggung decreased drastically through 27 May 2012. Moreover, on 27 April, plants around the crater area looked green and lush, small fish were swimming in the water, and insects around the crater were active. Based on seismic data, crater lake water temperature and pH data, and visual observations, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level from 2 to 1 on 28 May 2012.

MODVOLC satellite thermal alerts were absent at Galunggung during 2011-2012 (and at least since 2000). CVCHM noted in its 28 May 2012 report that throughout the first half of 2012 Galunggung volcano was often covered in mist.

Geologic Background. The forested slopes Galunggung in western Java are cut by a large horseshoe-shaped caldera breached to the SE that has served to channel the products of recent eruptions in that direction. The "Ten Thousand Hills of Tasikmalaya" dotting the plain below the volcano are debris-avalanche hummocks from the collapse that formed the breached caldera about 4200 years ago. Although historical eruptions, restricted to the central vent near the caldera headwall, have been infrequent, they have caused much devastation. The first historical eruption in 1822 produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that killed over 4000 people. More recently, a strong explosive eruption during 1982-1983 caused severe economic disruption to populated areas near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) (URL: http://www.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AU/messages.html).


Gamkonora (Indonesia) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Gamkonora

Indonesia

1.38°N, 127.53°E; summit elev. 1635 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Instability followed by confusing news claims of minor June 2012 eruption

Previous Bulletin reports on Gamkonora highlighted an eruption in 1981, minor explosions in April 1987 (SEAN 06:07), and a phreatic eruption in early July 2007 (BGVN 32:10). Reports by the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) noted tiny diffuse white plumes in 2009 and again in 2011 when the observatory recorded an average of 2 volcanic earthquakes per day. During mid-2011 through mid-2012, in addition to intervals with several shallow volcanic earthquakes per day, instruments also recorded increasing tremor and hundreds of signals of inferred emissions described as hot-air blasts. The hazard status rose accordingly and remained elevated as this report goes to press on 29 June 2012 at Alert Level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

As this report goes to press a potentially inaccurate news report indicated an eruption starting 13 June 2012 (see subsection below). That behavior remained unconfirmed by CVGHM or the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) as discussed further in a subsection below.

Figures 2-4 provide broad regional context on Gamkonora near the northern margin of Indonesia. A previous map (figure 1 in BGVN 32:10) shows Gamkonora and other Holocene volcanoes on a map of Halmahera and adjacent islands.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Indonesian volcanoes with eruptions since 1900 A.D. as compiled from Simkin and Siebert (1994) by Lyn Topinka (USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory). Halmahera island and Gamkonora volcano appear in the upper (N) part of the map (see figures 3 and 4). Courtesy of the USGS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Gamkonora and the situation there associated with unrest in July 2007 (BGVN 32:10). Note the globe showing Indonesia at upper right. On the main map, most of the unshaded and unlabeled islands situated NW of Gamkonora belong to the Philippines. Courtesy of Relief Web.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. A UNOSAT product made 12 July 2007 addressing Gamkonora's crisis around that time. The scale and details highlight the local setting; the box at upper left mentions 2004 population estimates and notes that there were 35,000 residents within 20 km of the volcano. Courtesy of UNOSAT.

CVGHM reports were scarce during 1982-2011. One report noted that seismic activity increased somewhat on 24 March 2008. The increase included an episode of continuous tremor.

On 23 March 2009, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level from 2 to 1 based on visual observations and decreased seismicity since January. Diffuse white plumes rose 50-150 m above the crater. Residents and visitors were reminded not to approach or climb into the crater.

CVGHM reported that during January-April 2011, diffuse white plumes rose 25-100 m above Gamkonora's crater rim. Seismicity increased during 29 April-3 May 2011.

On 1 May, white plumes rose 150 m above the crater rim. The next day, white plumes were observed rising 300 m above the crater rim and observers saw incandescence from the crater. Residents near the volcano's base noted a sulfur smell. On 3 May 2011 the Alert level was raised to 2.

Various types of earthquakes were noted during January to April 2011. They included shallow volcanic earthquakes (2 per day average), deep volcanic earthquakes (once per day average), local tectonic earthquakes (1-7 per day average), and far tectonic earthquakes (4 per day average).

A 13 June 2012 CVGHM report noted that during May and June 2012 the emissions were sparsely to medium white in color and rising 75 to 200 m above the crater rim. Absent were sulfurous smells, open flames, eruptive noises, and other similar anomalous symptoms.

The same CVGHM report noted that seismic signals since 3 May 2010 included emission signals (hot-air blasts, averaging 10-12 daily), harmonic tremor (averaging 10-15 events daily), shallow volcanic earthquakes (averaging 2 daily, but for the one specific case given, during the interval 31 May to 11 June 2012, only 1 occurred), and distant tectonic earthquakes (averaging 4 daily). Table 1 presents a breakdown of the interpreted seismic signals during 1 May to 12 June 2012.

Table 1. Seismic data released on 13 June 2012 for Gamkonora. The entries represent total events during specified intervals during May and early June 2012 ("--" signifies absence of data). Courtesy of CVGHM.

Dates Tremor Events (amplitude range) Emission signals Deep volcanic Distant tectonic Local tectonic
01 May-10 May 2012 125 (2-14 mm) 22 18 49 --
11 May-20 May 2012 186 (1.5-10 mm) 81 4 54 --
21 May-30 May 2012 233 (2-13 mm) 209 2 48 95
31 May-11 Jun 2012 246 (2-7 mm) 183 8 49 --
12 Jun 2012 38 (2-5 mm) 2 -- 1 2

The authors of the 13 June report made no further comment about the air-blast signals that had become common at the volcano (table 1). They did note that since the beginning of May 2012, tremor had increased. They interpreted this and the overall seismicity as due to magma intruding upward and approaching shallow depths within the volcano. The authors noted that intrusions could lead to increased pressure within the volcano, although they viewed this pressure as yet relatively small.

As previously noted, starting on 3 May 2011, the volcano's hazard status rose to Alert Level 2. On 3 May 2012 it rose to Level 3, where it remained at least as late as 29 June 2012. The Level 3 status excluded residents, visitors, and tourists from approaching closer than 3 km from the summit. The report also prompted local governments to coordinate with the volcano's monitoring post, which is located in the village of Gamsungi (or with CVGHM's main office in Bandung).

News claims of eruption on 13 June 2012. The English language version of Antara News released a report (edited by Ella Syafputri) at 1913 on 13 June stating that Gamakonora had erupted that afternoon. The eruption, if it did occur, escaped clear mention in available CVGHM reports. The news report said that the eruption sent a plume of undisclosed type or color 3 km "into the sky" (a term that could imply a plume to 3 km altitude or could mean a plume 3 km over the ~1.6 km summit, in effect to ~4.6 km altitude). The news report said the event had the effect of "forcing hundreds of residents living on the volcano's slope to evacuate to safer areas."

Despite the headline "Mount Gamkonora erupts" and directly under that, the sentence "The volcanic ash spread to as far as Tobelo, the capital of North Halmahera district", the two quotes referred to events at two separate volcanoes. In the 5th paragraph of the article the topic shifted to Dukono, another volcano in the region, which turned out to have been the source of the ash (not Gamkonora).

The news report spawned no fewer than 10-20 English-language reports on as many websites. Some of these derivative reports continued to mistakenly attribute Dukono ashfall to Gamkonora, and in some cases they added further errors.

Reference. Simkin, T. and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: a Regional Directory, Gazetteer, and Chronology of Volcanism During the Last 10,000 Years. (2nd ed.) Geoscience Press, Tucson, 368 pp.

Geologic Background. The shifting of eruption centers on Gamkonora, the highest peak of Halmahera, has produced an elongated series of summit craters along a N-S trending rift. Youthful-looking lava flows originate near the cones of Gunung Alon and Popolojo, south of Gamkonora. Since its first recorded eruption in the 16th century, typical activity has been small-to-moderate explosive eruptions. Its largest historical eruption, in 1673, was accompanied by tsunamis that inundated villages.

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Lyn Topinka, United States Geological Survey, 1300 SE Cardinal Court, Bldg. 10, Suite 100, Vancouver, WA, 98683; UNOSAT (URL: https://unitar.org/unosat/); 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/); Antara News (URL: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/).


Iliamna (United States) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Iliamna

United States

60.032°N, 153.09°W; summit elev. 3053 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Rockfalls and fumarolic activity continue with spike in early 2012

Iliamna was last discussed in September 1997 (BGVN 22:09). This report is largely based on seismic data extracted from Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) yearly reports for 1997 to 2011, with the exception of an increase of seismicity during early 2012 that was reported by various sources. From the start of 2012, both rockfalls and seismicity progressively increased; this prompted AVO to increase the Alert Level to Advisory in March 2012. A map showing the location of Iliamna in relation to nearby volcanoes and communities is depicted in figure 1. Figures 2 and 3 are topographic maps showing Iliamna's known debris avalanches and rockfall deposits.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of Iliamna and nearby volcanoes and communities. Iliamna is in SW Alaska near the mouth of the Cook Inlet, and W of the Kenai Peninsula. Courtesy of AVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Iliamna topographic mapping of known debris-avalanche and rockfall deposits. As indicated in the explanation (bottom), red triangles indicate debris avalanches associated with Iliamna, pale orange triangles indicate debris avalanches associated with Iliamna that have been reworked by glaciers, green triangles indicate debris avalanches not associated with Iliamna, green and red dashed lines indicate the maximum likely extent of debris avalanches with relatively long and short runouts, respectively, potential pathways of debris avalanches are indicated by red arrows, and orange shaded areas indicate the generalized extent of rockfall debris on glacier surfaces. Courtesy of Waythomas (1999).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. View of the SE flank of Iliamna Volcano showing debris-avalanche deposits from 1997 (solid red line), the fumarole zone near the summit (yellow dashed line), and the older avalanche scar at the head of Red Glacier (red dashed line). Photo undated; courtesy of Waythomas (1999).

Most of the upper edifice exposes highly altered, unstable rock and shows scars from mass wasting. The E scar has been the source of frequent non-volcanic gravitational collapses producing mixed avalanches of ice, snow, rock, and mud that typically extend several kilometers downslope. Some are large enough to be visible from the Kenai Peninsula (Neal and others, 1995; McGimsey and Wallace, 1999).

Reports on Iliamna's seismicity since early 1997 are sparse. According to AVO, a pilot reported a fresh deposit of mud and rock on the upper NE flank on 6 July 1999. However, spring and summer avalanches are common on the glacier-dominated summit.

On 25 July 2003, an avalanche of snow, ice, and rock occurred. The event lasted four minutes and was recorded by seismometers located 75 km away on Augustine volcano. The avalanche presumably originated from the same vicinity as in previous years, a steep portion of the SE flank adjacent to an extensive permanent fumarolic zone above a debris-avalanche deposit (figure 3; Neal and others, 1995; McGimsey and Wallace, 1999; McGimsey and others, 2004).

On 15 May 2005, AVO seismologists noted a swarm of unusual seismic activity at Iliamna. The events were emergent and prolonged (the longest lasted 5-8 minutes) and were strongest at seismic station ILS, located on the S flank of South Twin (figure 4). The activity began at about 1250 UTC and tapered off at 1718 UTC. Analysis revealed that the signals most likely were caused by a surficial process, such as a snow avalanche (a common occurrence on Iliamna), but this particular event lacked the usual precursory seismicity preceding other Iliamna snow and ice avalanches ( Caplan-Auerbach and others, 2004; J. Caplan-Auerbach, written commun., 2005; Caplan-Auerbach and Huggel, 2007).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Iliamna volcano topographic map showing the location of the 15 May 2005 rockslide as a thick black line on the S flank of South Twin and the seismic station ILS as a red dot. Lake Clark National Park boundary shown as a thin black line. Base map provided by C. Waythomas, AVO/USGS; courtesy of McGimsey (2008).

During an overflight on 16 May 2005, Lee Fink of Lake Clark National Park observed a large, fresh rock slide (not a snow or ice avalanche) SE of Iliamna that began at ~1,980 m elevation on the SE flank of South Twin, and ran down to ~365 m elevation (figure 5a). Along the lengthy ridge extending S of Iliamna (including both South Twin, North Twin, and a large unnamed massif) are steep, exposed sections of bedrock. The 15 May rockfall occurred below the ridge (figure 5b).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. (a) Rock avalanche on SE flank of S Twin (topographic high at upper center) beginning at ~2 km elevation and running down to ~0.37 km elevation. Photo by Page Spencer, Lake Clark National Park, 16 May 2005. (b) Iliamna from the E captured on 12 July 2006. The arrows mark the location of the 15 May 2005 rock avalanche. Photo by Christinia Neal, AVO/USGS. Courtesy of McGimsey (2008).

During Iliamna's mid-May 2005 rock slide, earthquakes at Augustine volcano, ~100 km SSW of Iliamna in the Cook Inlet, increased from 2 per day in April to 70 per day by the end of the year (McGimsey, 2008). However, no evidence exists that this increase disturbed Iliamna. Other factors such as temperature changes, ice and snow mass (and other conditions) would have contributed to the weakening of the summit material at Iliamna.

According to AVO, earthquake numbers increased significantly between 2008-2009, but returned to near-normal levels in 2010 (table 1).

Table 1. Numbers and types of earthquakes at Iliamna between 2008 and 2010. Key: VT, volcanic tremor; LF, low frequency; Mc, magnitude of completion (lowest magnitude detectable); and '--', not reported. Courtesy of AVO.

Year Total Earthquakes Volcanic Tremor Low-frequency Other Magnitude of completion (lowest magnitude detectable)
2008 102 -- -- -- --
2009 173 159 13 1 0.3
2010 76 61 15 0 0.2

Early 2012 elevated seismicity. AVO reported that during December 2011-February 2012, earthquake activity steadily increased. During the first week of March 2012, numerous earthquakes occurred that varied in number and magnitude. According to a press account (Alaskan Dispatch), on 8 March, a moderate M 4.1 earthquake struck the region. On 9 March, AVO increased the Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. AVO reported that the increased activity was a significant change, but also noted that a similarly energetic episode of seismic unrest from September 1996 to February 1997 did not lead to an eruption.

Between 9 March through at least 3 April 2012, seismicity remained above background levels. Satellite images acquired during 9-16 March showed a plume drifting 56 km downwind that was likely water vapor. An AVO report noted that long-lived fumaroles at the summit of Iliamna frequently produced visible plumes, but the current plume appeared to be more robust than usual. Scientists aboard an overflight on 17 March observed vigorous and plentiful fumaroles at the summit, consistent with elevated gas emissions. Gas measurements indicated that the volcano was emitting elevated levels of SO2 and CO2, consistent with a magmatic source. During the overflight, scientists did not observe obvious signs of recent rockfalls, such as large areas of newly exposed bedrock or unusual disturbance of the glacial ice. Some deformation of the ice at the headwall of the Red Glacier on the E side of the summit was observed, but it is not clear that this was related to the current volcanic unrest; glacier avalanching is common on this very steep area and was last seen in 2008. During 25-27 March, activity declined somewhat to just above background levels. When not obscured by clouds, satellite and web camera views showed nothing unusual.

References. Caplan-Auerbach, J., Prejean, S.G., and Power, J.A., 2004, Seismic recordings of ice and debris avalanches of Iliamna Volcano (Alaska): Acta Vulcanologica, v. 16, n. 1-2, p. 9-20.

Caplan-Auerbach, J., and Huggel, C., 2007, Precursory seismicity associated with frequent, large ice avalanches on Iliamna volcano, Alaska, USA: Journal of Glaciology, v. 53, n. 180, p. 128-140.

Detterman, R.L., and Hartsock, J.K., 1966, Geology of the Iniskin-Tuxedni region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 512, 78 p.

Dixon, J.P., and Stihler, S.D., 2009, Catalog of earthquake hypocenters at Alaskan volcanoes: January 1 through December 31, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 467, 88 p. Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/467/

Dixon, J.P., Stihler, S.D., Power, J.A., and Searcy, C.K., 2010, Catalog of earthquake hypocenters at Alaskan volcanoes: January 1 through December 31, 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 531, 84 p. Available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/531/

McGimsey, R.G., and Wallace, K.L., 1999, 1997 volcanic activity in Alaska and Kamchatka: Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report OF 99-0448, 42 p.

McGimsey, R.G., Neal, C.A., and Girina, O., 2004, 1999 Volcanic activity in Alaska and Kamchatka: Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report OF 2004-1033, 49 p.

McGimsey, R.G., Neal, C.A., Dixon, J.P., and Ushakov, S., 2008, 2005 Volcanic activity in Alaska, Kamchatka, and the Kurile Islands: Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5269, 94 p.

Neal, C.A., Doukas, M.P., and McGimsey, R.G., 1995, 1994 volcanic activity in Alaska-Summary of events and response of Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report OF 95-271, 18 p. [Iliamna, p. 4-5].

Waythomas, C.F. and Miller, T.P., 1999, Preliminary Volcano-Hazard Assessment for Iliamna Volcano, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report OF 99-373.

Geologic Background. Iliamna is a prominentglacier-covered stratovolcano in Lake Clark National Park on the western side of Cook Inlet, about 225 km SW of Anchorage. Its flat-topped summit is flanked on the south, along a 5-km-long ridge, by the prominent North and South Twin Peaks, satellitic lava dome complexes. The Johnson Glacier dome complex lies on the NE flank. Steep headwalls on the S and E flanks expose an inaccessible cross-section of the volcano. Major glaciers radiate from the summit, and valleys below the summit contain debris-avalanche and lahar deposits. Only a few major Holocene explosive eruptions have occurred from the deeply dissected volcano, which lacks a distinct crater. Most of the reports of historical eruptions may represent plumes from vigorous fumaroles E and SE of the summit, which are often mistaken for eruption columns (Miller et al., 1998). Eruptions producing pyroclastic flows have been dated at as recent as about 300 and 140 years ago, and elevated seismicity accompanying dike emplacement beneath the volcano was recorded in 1996.

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


Masaya (Nicaragua) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continuous monitoring of emissions and new investigations from collaborators

In our last report on Masaya volcano, we reviewed field investigations and gas measurements from 2008-2011 including the attempt to launch a small Zeppelin as an experiment to measure gas emissions in March 2011 (BGVN 36:11). Here we present results from monitoring efforts focused on the elevated activity that has continued from Masaya's Santiago crater, one of the nested summit craters in Nindirí cone (figure 30). New gas measurements and field observations have become available from the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) from November 2011 through March 2012. Reports were also available for Masaya's Comalito cinder cone, a site of continuous gas emissions and elevated temperatures. In February 2012, INETER met with collaborators from both Simon Fraser University (Canada) and The Open University (UK). We highlight some of the results from these collaborators including mapping and modeling of Masaya's hydrothermal complex, results from long-term SO2 flux monitoring, and a conceptual model that links magma chamber dynamics with intermittent explosive activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. In this false-color image, Masaya caldera is well-defined. Landsat bands 4,3,2 emphasize vegetation (red) and soil (brown to yellow) and the panchromatic analysis improved the distinction between dark rock (lava) and water (Masaya lake, at the E edge of the caldera) (NASA Landsat Program, 2007). Annotation is based on sketch maps by Mooser and others (1958) and Girard and van Wyk de Vries (2005); image processed by GVP.

The false-color image of Masaya (figure 30) and the surrounding area is a standard composite image (bands 4,3,2) captured by Landsat on 25 March 2001, during Nicaragua's dry season (November through April). Here, vegetation appears in shades of red (darker in areas with denser vegetation), urban areas are cyan blue, and soils vary from dark to light browns. Located just 500 m E of Santiago crater, Masaya crater is distinguished by older deposits, last active around 150 AD, and contains a ring of vegetation (which appears as a pale pink circle). Masaya's recent lava flows have been contained within the larger caldera except for those dating from 1670 when lava ponded along the northern caldera rim and spilled over to cover more than 1 km2 outside the caldera.

In November 2011, INETER recorded little activity from Masaya. No field visits were made and no earthquakes were large enough to locate hypocenters. Seismicity that month was low, at 50 RSAM units.

On 12 December 2011, INETER conducted site visits to Masaya's active crater (Santiago) and Comalito cinder cone. With an infrared thermometer, temperatures were measured from vents within Santiago crater; the highest temperatures measured were 42 and 45°C. The field investigators learned from National Park personnel that, recently during a 2-hour period, booming noises were heard from Santiago crater. INETER suggested that the noise resulted from strong gas release from deep within the crater - no visible material was ejected during the episodes. Areas of gas release could be visually identified within the crater; these were also locations where debris had been shed from the S and SW walls. Rockfalls from these locations were likely affecting gas emissions.

Additional visits to Comalito cone (figure 30), a satellite cone located less than 2 km NE of Santiago crater, allowed in situ measurements of fumarole temperatures. Four sites were measured; the highest temperature was 79°C, the lowest was 75°C (fumaroles 4 and 1 respectively). These temperatures were considered typical compared to others during 2011 (as compiled by INETER; figure 31). The lowest temperatures of the year 2011 were recorded in May and July with some values as low as 60-65°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Temperature measurements made by INETER during 2011 at Masaya's Comalito cone. Four fumaroles were measured consistently throughout the year. Courtesy of INETER.

To quantify SO2 gas emissions, INETER used a mobile Mini DOAS throughout the year transported on two different routes. The road between Ticuantepe and San Juan de la Concepción was the closest route available when the plume trended SW. An additional route, at a greater distance (figure 25 from BGVN 36:11) was available between Las Quatro Esquinas and El Crucero. On 13 December, cloud cover limited the number of successful traverses; however, an average SO2 flux of 648 metric tons per day (t/d) was calculated from three of the six traverses. This was a significant increase compared to values obtained in October 2011 when 13 successful traverses that month yielded an average of 153 t/d. These values (and others in this report) have not been corrected for meteorological conditions and error calculations were not available during this reporting period.

On 23 January 2012 INETER conducted traverses below Masaya's plume with a Mini DOAS. Measurements along both routes, proximal (Ticuantepe and San Juan de la Concepción) and distal (Las Quatro Esquinas and El Crucero) were attempted. From 10 calculations, SO2 flux from the proximal route yielded 801 t/d. From the distal route, the average flux rate was 543 t/d.

INETER conducted fieldwork during 30-31 January 2012, visiting Santiago crater and Comalito cone. Temperatures from fumarole sites on Comalito had maximum temperatures of 70°C (fumarole 4) and 78°C (fumarole 2) on 30 January. The maximum temperature measured from Santiago crater had increased to 95°C.

On 1 February 2012, INETER visited Comalito cone and reported fumarole temperatures. The highest temperature was 97°C (fumarole 1); on 23 February the highest temperature was 86°C (fumarole 2). Fieldwork also included visits to Santiago crater; temperatures within the crater were relatively low, 75 and 70°C (from 1 February and 23 February, respectively). SO2 flux from Mini DOAS from the closest route (Ticuantepe and San Juan de la Concepción) yielded an average of 943 t/d based on 12 traverses, continuing the trend of increased SO2 emissions since December 2011.

In March 2012, National Park personnel reported that acoustic noise from the crater was less frequent compared to the previous month. Also, visible gas emissions appeared concentrated at the SW and innermost portions of Santiago crater. On 12 March 2012, INETER visited Masaya and measured temperatures from Santiago crater. A wide range of values was recorded: 100°C to 43°C. Relatively stable temperatures were measured from Comalito cone: 73°C to 76°C. The highest temperatures were measured at fumaroles 3 and 4.

On 20 March INETER conducted Mini DOAS traverses beneath Masaya's SW-trending gas plume. On the proximal route, 12 traverses were successful and determined an average SO2 flux of 1002 t/d suggesting the increasing trend that began in early December 2011 was continuing. Without error calculations and assessing meteorological conditions, however, this trend could not be directly interpreted.

Geohydrology. Long-term interest in diffuse CO2 gas emissions spurred recent investigations into Masaya's hydrothermal system. Mauri and others (2012) found active hydrothermal anomalies under many of the cinder cones and investigated these conditions with field measurements of soil CO2 concentration, self-potential (SP), soil temperatures, and flow-path modeling (figure 32). Self potential methods make observations "of the static natural voltage existing between sets of points on the ground (Sheriff, 1982)". From Comalito cone, Nindirí cone, and the lower slopes of Masaya, CO2 gas concentrations ranged from 26 to 43 ppm (mean values). During a 5-year investigation, the authors collected SP geophysical data over extensive transects within the caldera. The datasets yielded significant correlations between high CO2 soil concentrations and SP anomalies. Water depths were determined by processing the SP data with mathematical techniques (wavelets from the Poisson kernel family). They concluded that interconnected structures (ring faults, fissures, and dikes) serve as flow paths for gas, fluids, and heat. These structures also have the potential to block groundwater flow, a conclusion suggested by their models of groundwater contributions to Masaya Lake (Laguna de Masaya) (figure 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Groundwater flow model for Masaya volcano taken from Mauri and others (2012). (a) A map indicating key geographic and geologic features including groundwater flow. (b,c) Two vertical profiles with a legend at the bottom. The groundwater was mapped using two geo-electrical prospecting techniques. The self-potential (SP) technique yielded data processed with multi-scale wavelet tomography (MWT). The second technique was the transient electromagnetic method (TEM) (see key and text).

In Figure 32a, we see the spatial localization of uprising fluids associated with hydrothermal activity (green diamonds) and gravitational water flow (blue squares) within Masaya caldera for which depths have been determined. The names of volcanic cones are in blue; crater names and ground structures are in dark red; dark green dashed lines are the fissure vent structures; solid red lines represent the inferred structures (faults, fissures) based on previous work by Crenshaw and others (1982) and Harris (2009). The red dashed lines are the hypothetical structures (faults, fissures) (Crenshaw and others, 1982). The black dashed line is the inferred limit of the caldera.

The three segments traced in Figure 32a correspond to cross-sections along A-D-B (figure 32b) and C-D-B (figure 32c). Cross-section A-D-B represents the water flow direction across the caldera while the cross-section along profile C-D-B represents the water flow direction through the active Santiago crater and across the caldera. The dashed red lines represent underground structures in cases where the dip orientation is unknown and are based on the work of Williams (1983) and Crenshaw and others (1982). Blue lines with a single dot above the center represent water flow having a flow direction different than the cross-section view. Solid arrows represent the flow direction inferred from the self potential/elevation gradient. Elevations of the shallow flow direction (blue and solid green arrows) were estimated from multi-scale wavelet tomography (MWT). MWT is a signal processing method based on waves that allow for location of dipole and monopole sources which correspond to the electrical anomalies generated by water flow through bedrock. The dashed grey line and dashed blue arrows are deep hypothetical flows from the transient electromagnetic method (TEM) results (MacNeil and others, 2007). TEM results were considered in this study because they offered a different level of sensitivity to SP method and, at the time of the study, direct well data was not available to correlate results, making it difficult to determine which model (MWT or TEM) best represented the true water depth.

Long-term SO2 fluxes and windspeed-induced errors. Nadeau and Williams-Jones (2009) consolidated data spanning three decades (figure 33) and assessed current methods for constraining uncertainties in SO2 data collected on traverses with UV correlation spectrometers (COSPEC/DOAS/FLYSPEC). The authors agreed with previous investigators that the following factors contribute to uncertainties: variable local windspeed, emission rate, dry deposition of sulfur from the plume, and conversion of SO2 to sulfate aerosols within the plume. Of these factors, the authors stressed that for low-lying volcanoes such as Masaya, the local wind patterns cause the largest errors. "One must be wary of using one blanket plume speed value for all data collected at different locations, as it can result in misleading variations within the SO2 flux dataset (Nadeau and Williams-Jones, 2009)." At Masaya, this led to as much a 50% apparent decrease in measured SO2 flux between the proximal and distal routes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Mean SO2 fluxes grouped by month from numerous field campaigns at Masaya. Error bars represent 1 standard deviation of 1 month of measurements. Note the break in the x-axis. Data from Nadeau and Williams-Jones (2009), which expanded on previous work by numerous investigators listed in that publication.

Modeling Masaya's magma system. Glyn Williams-Jones from Simon Fraser University visited Masaya with student researchers on 21 February 2012. At the National Park facilities, this group presented recent research and results from the 8-year-long collaborative effort between Simon Fraser University, The Open University, and INETER. Williams-Jones reviewed the primary monitoring techniques applied to Masaya and preliminary results regarding the environmental impact of the persistent degassing. In particular, gravity measurements, GPS, and DOAS/FLYSPEC have been used to characterize activity. SO2 flux and air quality measurements have been part of an additional effort to characterize environmental impacts related to resident's health. The varying trend in the SO2 flux observed since 1976 has been interpreted as being related to varying rates of magma convection in the volcanic plumbing system, as opposed to models invoking intermittent magma supply (Williams-Jones and others, 2003; Stix, 2007).

The model invoking convection within the system links Masaya's periodic explosive activity with intense, long-term degassing (Williams-Jones and others, 2003; Stix, 2007). The accumulation of a gas-rich magma within a shallow reservoir could develop a buoyant, pressurized foam. This setting would be susceptible to disruptions (by convection cells or structural adjustments, for example) and could be destabilized, leading to explosive activity.

References. Crenshaw, W.B., Williams, S.N., and Stoiber, R.E., 1982, Fault location by radon and mercury detection at an active volcano in Nicaragua, Nature, 300: 345?346.

Harris, A.J.L., 2009, The pit-craters and pit-crater-filling lavas of Masaya volcano, Bulletin of Volcanology, 71(5): 541?558.

MacNeil, R.E., Sanford, W.E., Connor, C.B., Sandberg, S.K., and Diez, M., 2007, Investigation of the groundwater system at Masaya Caldera, Nicaragua, using transient electromagnetics and numerical simulation, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 166(3?4): 216?232.

Mauri, G., Williams-Jones, G., Saracco, G., and Zurek, J.M., 2012, A geochemical and geophysical investigation of the hydrothermal complex of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 227?228: 15?31.

Nadeau, P.A. and Williams-Jones, G., 2009, Apparent downwind depletion of volcanic SO2 flux-lessons from Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua, Bulletin of Volcanology, 71: 389?400.

NASA Landsat Program, 2007, Landsat ETM+ scene 7dx20010325, Orthorectified, USGS, Sioux Falls, Mar. 25, 2001.

Sheriff, R.E., 1982, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Exploration Geophysics, Eighth Edition, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, 266 pp.

Stix, J., 2007, Stability and instability of quiescently active volcanoes: the case of Masaya, Nicaragua. Geology, 35(6):535?538.

Williams, S.N., 1983, Geology and eruptive mechanisms of Masaya Caldera complex, Nicaragua [PhD Thesis]: Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, 169 p.

Williams-Jones, G., Rymer, H., and Rothery, D.A., 2003, Gravity changes and passive SO2 degassing at the Masaya caldera complex, Nicaragua, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 123: 137?160.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras pyroclastic shield volcano and is a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The twin volcanoes of Nindirí and Masaya, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic Plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and have confined a lake to the far eastern end of the caldera. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals cause health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); Glyn Williams-Jones, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada (URL: http://www.sfu.ca/earth-sciences.html); Hazel Rymer, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (URL: http://www8.open.ac.uk/science/environment-earth-ecosystems/).


Semeru (Indonesia) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased seismicity with lava flows and pyroclastic flows during February-April 2012

Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes worldwide and is of special concern because the drainage area is heavily populated. The volcano has a steep canyon that extends from the summit to the SE, which has funneled pyroclastic flows and lahars into populated areas. The decades-long seismicity from Semeru has typically included mildly explosive Strombolian style eruptions, earthquakes and tremor, ash plumes, and occasional pyroclastic flows (BGVN 32:03, 34:05, and 35:08). See the location of Semeru with respect to the regional setting in figure 17.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Index map of Semeru (red triangle) with respect to other Holocene regional volcanoes (black triangles). Courtesy of CVGHM and VDAP.

According to reporting by the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) and the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), six large explosions between 1981 and 2002 resulted in many fatalities. They noted that since 1995, pyroclastic flows have been restricted to S drainages such as Kali Kembar; however, a small proportion of recent flows have entered the headwaters of Kali Koboan on the SE, which leads to heavily populated areas, including Sumberrejo and Candipuro (figure 18). This report discusses activity between February 2010 (the end of the previous report) and 2 May 2012.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. 2010 map of Semeru and adjacent area, showing drainage channels from the summit and nearby population centers. Note the location of the 2012 lava flows just S and SE of the volcano. The area around the SE quadrant is heavily populated with a Volcano Population Index (VPI10) of 7,000. In previous eruptions, lahars reached as far as 30 km from the summit. Should similar lahars occur in the future, as many as 150,000 more inhabitants along major drainages could be affected. Based in part on a summary of activity by CVGHM and VDAP. Modified from Siswowidjoyo and others (1997) and Thouret and others (2007); VPI10 was calulated using LandScan 2010.

On 4 November 2010, CVGHM reported that from August to October 2010 seismic activity at Semeru had increased, and "smoke" and occasional gas plumes rose 400-500 m above the crater. During September incandescent avalanches traveled 400 m SE into the Besuk Kembar drainage on three occasions. Incandescence from the crater was observed in October. Incandescent avalanches traveled 600 m into Besuk Kembar on 2 November. Two days later, they reached 4 km into the Besuk Kembar and Besuk Bang (S) drainages (figure 18). CVGHM noted that the lava dome in the Jonggring Saloko crater was growing. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

According to the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), during 18-19 November 2010, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.6 km and drifted 75-110 km N and NW. Sulfur dioxide gas was detected 75 km SW.

According to Volcano Discovery, the group observed 2-3 small-to-medium ash explosions per day during a photo expedition in May 2011, but noted that activity had increased during the past weeks.

In an account posted online by Volcano Discovery on 15 September 2011, the group visited the volcano and noted that an active lava dome was growing inside the crater and that 3-4 eruptions occurred daily. They inferred that the size and frequency of the eruptions had apparently increased in the past days (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Photo of Semeru's crater on 1 September 2011, with a lava dome. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

CVGHM reported that on 29 December 2011, both earthquakes and tremor increased, and dense white-and-gray plumes rose as high as 600 m above the active crater. During January 2012, crater incandescence was observed, and avalanches carried incandescent material 200-400 m away from the crater. According to a 4 January 2012 article in the Jakara Globe, a government official indicated that authorities had closed the trail to the peak of Semeru because of heavy rain and an increased danger of landslides.

On 2 February 2012 a large explosion was reported and incandescent material fell up to 2.5 km from the crater. Tables 20 and 21 indicate the types and numbers of earthquakes and other seismic events reported by CVGHM for February to April 2012. Based on the increased seismic activity and visual observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 2 to 3 on 2 February 2012.

Table 20. Types and numbers of earthquakes and plumes observed at Semeru during February-April 2012. Courtesy of CVGHM.

Month Deep Shallow Long-distance Local Eruptive Explosive Harmonic Tremor Pyroclastic Flow
Feb 2012 4 1 61 -- 80 2336 116 430
Mar 2012 17 5 60 23 -- 1665 610 40
Apr 2012 7 2 44 -- -- 3447 66 4

Table 21. Observed Semeru plumes during February-April 2012. Data from CVGHM. The only other plume noted by the Darwin VAAC between February 2010 and May 2012 was on 18-19 November 2010; this plume was noted in the text. Courtesy of CVGHM.

Month Number of observed plumes Plume height above crater
Feb 2012 22 100-500 m
Mar 2012 9 100-400 m
Apr 2012 155 100-500 m

CVGHM reported that during 1-29 February 2012 multiple pyroclastic flows from Semeru traveled 500 and 2,500 m into the Besuk Kembar and Besuk Kobokan rivers (on the S flank), respectively. Government officials set up an exclusion zone on the SE flank where pyroclastic flows had occurred.

During 1 February-30 April 2012, dense gray-to-white plumes rose 100-500 m above Jongring Seloko crater and drifted W and N. Incandescence was visible up to 50 m above the crater during 1 February-31 March. Seismicity decreased toward the end of April, although the lava dome grew that month.

According to a news account (People's Daily Online) on 1 March 2012, seismic activity had increased from 28 to 38 tremors per day. According to the news account, Dr. Surono, head of CVGHM, stated that the volcano was erupting daily, emitting ash plumes, and tremor occurred every 15-30 minutes. He also noted that the volcanic dome was increasing in size.

According to Volcano Discovery, an expedition leader visiting Semeru observed frequent explosions every few minutes on 27 March 2012, with many powerful enough to eject glowing bombs that produced small glowing avalanches down the S flank.

According to CVGHM and VDAP, a new lava dome started to extrude in late 2011 directly over a dome formed in 2010. The new dome probably will not completely fill the summit crater because it is being drained by two new lava flows, both flowing SE. The longer of the two lava flows extended about 1.9 km from the summit vent. Pyroclastic flows are being generated by collapse of the steep termini of the lava flows, and their deposits extend to 3.2 km from the summit, i.e. 0.7 km from the front shown in figure 18. In addition, the collapsing lava flow fronts are resulting in high levels of avalanche and rockfall activity. According to CVGHM and VDAP, the closest villages in the highest-risk areas on the S and SE flanks are about 10 km from the summit.

On 2 May 2012 CVGHM lowered the Alert Level to 2, but reminded the public not to approach the crater within a 4-km radius.

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

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), US Geological Survey (USGS), 1300 SE Cardinal Court, Bldg. 10, Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98683; 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); Jakarta Globe (URL: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com); People’s Daily Online (URL: english.peopledaily.com; Volcano Discovery (URL: http://mobile.volcanodiscovery.com).


Soputan (Indonesia) — April 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

1.112°N, 124.737°E; summit elev. 1785 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Alert level raised in May 2012 based on increased seismic activity

Our previous report of Soputan volcano chronicled activity during July-September 2011 (BGVN 36:11). Table 9 gives a brief history of activity and highlights activity through early May 2012. The data sources are the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) for satellite monitoring of ash plumes and the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) for seismic monitoring and assignment of alert levels. According to a 28 May 2012 report by CVGHM, Soputan's activities are characterized by the growth of lava domes that have been accreting steadily since 1991. The accretion of these lava domes has been frequently accompanied by ash/cinder eruptions.

Table 9. Summary of volcanic ash observations and other activity at Soputan volcano from late June 2011 through mid-2012. 'VA' refers to volcanic ash. Courtesy of Darwin VAAC and CVGHM.

Date Observations Remarks
21 Jun-02 Jul 2011 Seismic activity increased --
02 Jul 2011 -- Alert Level 2 to 3
03 Jul-04 Jul 2011 Explosive eruption of incandescent material with pyroclastic flow 4 km to W; VA plume to 4.6-14 km extending 407 km W --
04 Jul 2011 High-level eruption has ceased, dissipating --
19 Jul 2011 -- Alert Level 3 to 2
14 Aug 2011 Two eruptions; VA plume to 3.7 km extending 107 km W Alert Level 2 to 3; VA not identifiable on satellite imagery
14 Aug-07 Sep 2011 Seismic Activity significantly decreased after eruption --
08 Sep 2011 Hot air blasts of smoke from the mass of the lava dome Alert Level 3 to 2
28 May 2012 Seismic activity significantly increased Alert Level 2 to 3

On 28 May 2012, CVGHM raised the Alert Level of Soputan from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) following increasing sesimic activity. According to CVGHM, increasing activity had been observed from 21-27 May, when the volcano spewed out white smoke to heights of between 50 to 150 m above the summit. Seismicity increased significantly on 25 May.

CVGHM called on local residents to stay beyond a 6 km radius from the volcano's summit. It also warned residents of the threat of a lahar, urging people living near Ranowangko, Pentu, Lawian and Popang rivers to remain alert and aware.

MODVOLC Thermal Alerts. MODVOLC satellite thermal alerts were measured at Soputan on 2-3 July, 9 July, and 14-15 August 2011, all on the volcano's W flank. These were the first such measurements since the volcano's last eruption, during late October to early November 2008 (BGVN 33:09). Since 8 August 2011 to early March 2012, no alerts have been measured.

Geologic Background. The Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano is located SW of Riendengan-Sempu, which some workers have included with Soputan and Manimporok (3.5 km ESE) as a volcanic complex. It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents. During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro 57 Bandung, Jawa Barat 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac); MODVOLC, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) 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/); Jakarta Post (URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com).

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/).