Logo link to homepage

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).

Search Bulletin Archive by Publication Date

Select a month and year from the drop-downs and click "Show Issue" to have that issue displayed in this tab.

   

The default month and year is the latest issue available.

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 38, Number 05 (May 2013)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Agrigan (United States)

2007 M~3.3 earthquake followed by clouds of equivocal origin

Ambae (Vanuatu)

Minor activity likely continuing into early 2013

Ambrym (Vanuatu)

Roiling lava lake and related observations through mid-2013

Dallol (Ethiopia)

Phreatic eruption in 1st week of January 2011

Fuego (Guatemala)

Continuous activity and a VEI 3 eruption during 13-14 September 2012

Gaua (Vanuatu)

Hazard status raised; emissions continue into 2013; plume observed from above

Kilauea (United States)

Summary of highlights for 2010-2012

Pavlof (United States)

Eruption in May-June 2013 with lava flows and ash emissions to ~8.5 km a.s.l.

Veniaminof (United States)

Ongoing sporadic eruptions as late as 6 October 2013

Yasur (Vanuatu)

Explosive activity continued into at least early 2013



Agrigan (United States) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Agrigan

United States

18.77°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 965 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


2007 M~3.3 earthquake followed by clouds of equivocal origin

Our last report on Agrigan volcano covered a May 1992 field visit (BGVN 17:06) by a six-member team of USGS volcanologists that visited the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) at the request of the CNMI Office of Civil Defense. The team detected thermal activity, but no seismicity, deformation or other signs of an eruption.

The following came from a report by both the USGS and CNMI issued mid-July 2007and labeled Current Update. "An earthquake was reported felt on Agrigan island at 3:49 pm July 16 local time. About 3 seconds of shaking was reported by a local resident. Seismometers on Sarigan and Anatahan recorded the earthquake and allowed estimation the magnitude at approximately 3.3. No sulfur smell or any other signs of volcanic activity were reported on July 16 or in a follow up call on July 17."

Some 2012 and 2013 observations were equivocal. On 29 February 2012, NOAA's Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) inferred ash and gas emissions here for the first time on record, but this was later discounted due to lack of forthcoming evidence. The inferred plume was seen in satellite infrared imagery. It extended 74 km NW from the summit.

A possible volcanic plume from Agrigan was spotted again by the VAAC in a satellite image from 22 January 2013.

In a 25 January 2013 USGS update, it was noted that neither the USGS nor NOAA received confirmation of a volcanic source for the satellite anomalies. The authors of the 2013 update interpreted the cloud as weather-related and not volcanic in origin.

Figure 2 shows a photo of Agrigan taken in June 2013. No hotspots were detected during mid-2012 to mid-2013 by the MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Agrigan as seen on 15 June 2013. Photo credit to Yoshi Tamura; featured here thanks to cooperation of Robert Stern.

Agrigan, the highest-standing stratovolcano and largest (by subaerial volume) in the Northern Mariana Islands, stands 882 m a.s.l (figure 3). The island is ~10 by 6.5 km (N-S by E-W) in size, with a surface area of 52.7 km2. The volcano's subaerial volume is ~15.9 km3. The summit contains a large depression, roughly 1.5 by 1.2 km in diameter, and 380 m deep. A spatter cone and flows from the 1917 eruption cover ~50 percent of the crater floor. This large crater implies a local edifice with shallow magma storage within the volcano. The flanks of the volcano are steep (>30 degrees), with deep furrows extending radially away from the crater. To the north is a large canyon into which a recent, large 'a'&#257 flow advanced to form a delta on the coast. Pyroclastic flow deposits mantle most of the interior of the island. Rocks erupted on the island range from basalt to andesite. The southwest coast has several beaches composed of mineral sands; otherwise, the coast is rocky. (Trusdell, F.A. and others, 2009).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Geologic map of Agrigan with 200 m contour intervals (after Stern, 1978) and location map (after Trusdell and others, 2006).

References. Sako, M. K.; Trusdell, F. A.; Koyanagi, R. Y.; Kojima, George; Moore, R. B., 1995, Volcanic investigations in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, April to May 1994, USGS Open-File Report 94-705.

Stern, R.J., 1978, Agrigan: an introduction to the geology of an active volcano in the Northern Mariana Arc: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 41, p. 43-55.

Trusdell, F.A., Moore, R.B., and Sako, M.K., 2006. Preliminary Geologic Map of Mount Pagan Volcano, Pagan Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, USGS Open-File Report 2006-1386 (URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1386/).

Trusdell, F.A. 2009, Geology of the Mariana Islands, in Gillespie, R.G., and Clague, D.A., eds., Encyclopedia of Islands: Enclyclopedias of the Natural World, 2, University of California Press, Chap. 18. P. 598-603.

Geologic Background. The highest of the Marianas arc volcanoes, Agrigan contains a 500-m-deep, flat-floored caldera. The elliptical island is 8 km long; its summit is the top of a massive 4000-m-high submarine volcano. Deep radial valleys dissect the flanks of the thickly vegetated stratovolcano. The elongated caldera is 1 x 2 km wide and is breached to the NW, from where a prominent lava flow extends to the coast and forms a lava delta. The caldera floor is surfaced by fresh-looking lava flows and also contains two cones that may have formed during the only historical eruption in 1917. This eruption deposited large blocks and 3 m of ash and lapilli on a village on the SE coast, prompting its evacuation.

Information Contacts: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (EMO-CNMI) and USGS Volcano Hazards Program, PO Box 100007, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.cnmihsem.gov.mp/ and http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/nmi/activity/); 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/); 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://httphotspot.higp); Robert J. Stern, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W Campbell Rd Richardson, TX 75080; and Yoshi Tamura, Institute for Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan.


Ambae (Vanuatu) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor activity likely continuing into early 2013

In our May 2011 Bulletin we reported that there was increased degassing at Aoba (also known as Ambae) starting December 2009 through at least April 2010. This report summarizes notices pereiodically posted by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) and covers the time interval from 4 June 2011 through 26 February 2013. The Vanautu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-4.)

Observations on 4 June 2011 revealed that small explosions had been occurring from the crater lake and were accompanied by local ashfall around the crater. Some villagers in the N and W parts of the island had observed the explosions.

Based on analysis of data collected by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD), the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that a small series of explosions from Aoba occurred on 10 July 2011. On July 11, VGO noted that there had been recent increases in activity from Ambae and that local earthquakes were volcanic. Satellite images collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument showed sulfur dioxide emissions. Photos showed that the volcano was quiet on 12 July 2011, although ongoing earthquakes were detected.

According to the VGO, Ambanga villagers reported that minor activity at Aoba began in December 2012. The OMI instrument detected strong gas emissions on 18 and 25 January 2013; the emissions continued at a lower level through 7 February. Field observations by the Geohazards team during 30 January-2 February 2013 confirmed that activity had significantly changed. Data retrieved from a monitoring station also confirmed ongoing activity. Satellite images acquired on 3 and 26 February 2013 detected substantial sulfur dioxide emissions.

No MODVOLC Thermal Alerts were issued in the previous year ending 16 July 2013.

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: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/); and 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/).


Ambrym (Vanuatu) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambrym

Vanuatu

16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Roiling lava lake and related observations through mid-2013

In our previous Ambrym report, we described ongoing plumes, some bearing ash rising to over 6 km altitude through early June 2011 (BGVN 36:05). The volcano has been known to contain two molten, turbulent lava lakes since August 1999, and that continues at least through June 2011, which was the last time lava-lake activity was noted in a report by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO). Our reporting observations drew heavily on government reports of 3 April 2009 and 29 July 2013. The former report also discussed water supply and other issues of public health and safety associated with inhabiting an active volcano. Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific NE of Australia (figures 24 and 25).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. A location map showing Ambrym volcano on Ambrym Island in the South Pacific. Australia is at lower left. On larger map, Ambrym is shown in Vanuatu labeled in red. Map came from Polacci and others (2012).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Map of Ambrym emphasizing risk. Green is low hazard, yellow is medium hazard, and red is high hazard for both areas near the crater and along main stream valleys and their lower, less confined areas at low elevation. Note the two craters, Marum and Benbow, both containing active lava lakes. Courtesy of the Government of Vanuatu (from the 3 April 2009 report by the Vanuatu Natural Disaster Committee).

Reynolds (2010) posted videos of lava lake behavior seen in September 2010. Figure 26 is a screenshot taken from the Reynolds' video of the turbulent lava lake with a climber in the foreground. The high definition videos showed an exceedingly agitated lake surface, everywhere disturbed and molten, without any chilled material in evidence. Violent upwellings of lava occurred continuously. Some fraction of the videos show climbers in the foreground, at one point descending a steep slope or vertical drop by a single rope secured from above (abseiling or rappelling).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. A screen capture from a video of Marum, one of Ambrym's two active lava lakes, taken on unstated day in September 2010. Courtesy of James Reynolds (typhoonfury.com and earthuncut.tv).

On 27 June 2011, the VGO reported that data collected from Ambrym's monitoring network showed significant daily degassing and occasional explosions in the crater. Field observers noted that the level of the lava lakes was high. During June, villages reported minor ashfall and that acid rain affected agriculture in general in some areas W, S, and E. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-4).

During the previous 12 months prior to mid-July 2013, MODVOLC thermal alerts were frequent, on the order of several a week to multiple per day, as would be expected for a volcano with active lava lakes. The alerts referred to the lava lakes in Benbow and Marum craters (figure 25).

On 21 June 2013, VGO reported that satellite images on 2, 4, 11, 14, and 16 June detected gas emissions from Ambrym. Emissions of minor amounts of ash and substantial amounts of gas from the active vents had been detected during the previous week. The report warned that communities on the island, especially those downwind of Ambrym, may experience ashfall and acid rain that could damage the environment and contaminate water. The Alert Level remained at 1. Based on pilot observations and analyses of satellite imagery, the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that on 19 July 2013 an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km a.s.l. and drifted 185 km NW.

VGO reported that activity at Ambrym slightly increased to a minor eruptive phase, and a seismic swarm was detected between 2400 and 0700 on 26 July 2013. The Alert Level remained at 1.

Gas fluxes are generally high for Vanuatu volcanoes and have been the subject of regular reporting online and several recent reports in the literature (for example, Bani and others, 2009; Bani and others, 2012).

References. Bani, P., C. Oppenheimer, V.I. Tsanev, S.A. Carn, S.J. Cronin, R. Crimp, J.A. Calkins, D. Charley, M. Lardy, and T.R. Roberts, 2009, Surge in sulfur and halogen degassing from Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu, Bulletin of Volcanology, 71(10), 1159-1168, doi:10.1007/s00445-009-0293-7.

Bani, P., C. Oppenheimer, P. Allard, H. Shinohara, V. Tsanev, S. Carn, M. Lardy, and E. Garaebeti, 2012, First arc-scale volcanic SO2 budget for the Vanuatu archipelago, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 211-212, 36-46, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2011.10.005.

Polacci, M, Baker, D, La Rue, A., Mancini, L., Allard, P., 2012, Degassing behaviour of vesiculated basaltic magmas: an example from Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu Arc, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 233-234, 1 July 2012, pp. 55-64.

Reynolds, J., 2010, (Video) Abseiling towards a lava lake--extreme video From Marum volcano, Ambrym, Vanuatu (September 2010) YouTube (URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtGT-_7Xoal) [also available at typhoonfury.com and earthuncut.tv].

Geologic Background. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic, then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the caldera floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory, Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://geohazards.gov.vu/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http//hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu/); Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) (URL: http://vaac.metservice.com/); and NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Home Page, Goddard Space Flight Center, Sciences and Exploration Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, Code 614 (URL: http://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/, http://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/pix/daily/0813/vanuatu_0813z.html).


Dallol (Ethiopia) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Dallol

Ethiopia

14.242°N, 40.3°E; summit elev. -48 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic eruption in 1st week of January 2011

The Dallol volcano has not been the subject of any previous Bulletin reports; however, the hydrothermal features include diverse brightly colored hot springs that are both dramatic and intriguing. An explosive event at Dallol was noted by observers in January 2011. This report was given to us by Tadiwos Chernet.

Dallol is located in the Danakil Depression in the northern part of the Afar triangle of Ethiopia. The volcano is on the NNW trending Erta Ale axial, a rift segment that hosts a number of active volcanoes, including Erta Ale, itself the host of a perennial lava lake. The elliptical Dallol (figure 1), which rises gently to 60 m above the salt plain (48 m below sea level), has a summit crater (about 100 m diameter) that experienced a phreatic eruption in 1926.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Dallol with salt pools and deposits in the foreground. Photograher uncertain but this photo was apparently online since 2011. Bulletin editors found it on multiple websites including Vieweird.com.

Nearby residents of Almeda observed unusual dark colored smoke from the Dallol crater in the first week of January 2011. The event, which was not strong enough to be recorded by satellite remote sensing, left dark-gray ash and sulfur deposits at Dallol hot springs, suggesting degassing from depth. This process was not unexpected given that the region contains many craters, and the Dallol crater, formed in 1926, was the result of a phreatic eruption. Previous phreatic eruptions at Dallol and the surrounding salt plain have left behind bubbling acid brine pools best explained by a number of active maar craters. Those craters are obscured by the thick evaporite succession and frequent marine invasions of the salt plain during the Holocene.

Evaporites and Geothermal reservoir. According to Chernet, an adjacent salt-crusted depression that lies 120 m below sea level was linked to the Gulf of Zula on the Red Sea in the Pleistocene by the narrow extensional Alid graben to the N. The Alid graben is floored by fissure basalts and the active Alid and Jallua rhyolitic volcanoes. An evaporite succession in the sedimentary basin is mostly bedded halite, but includes minor inter-beds of clay shale, gypsum, anhydrite, and a thick bed of potash. Citing Barberi et al. (1972), Chernet indicated that the deposits, over 1,000 m thick, have continued for 200,000-25,000 years and attest to a number of marine ingressions into the depression which have left behind a number of brine lakes.

At Dallol, a salt dome rises as a notable topographic and geologic feature (figure 1). On the salt dome, several springs with boiling, supersaturated, and extremely acidic waters are discharging on salt cones.

Citing Varet (2010), Chernet stated that geothermal reservoirs, which reside below the evaporite succession, evidently recharge from precipitation on the NW plateau. This suggests the potential for a renewable geothermal energy supply in the area.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. (a & b) Two, 3-dimensional representations of the Dallol dome and the subsurface spring sources venting at the surface to feed surface evaporites. Courtesy of Research and Development Center, (Ministry of Mines, P.O. Box 486, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). Courtesy of Carniel and others (2010), citing a personal communications from M. Rivas (2006).

The salt cones are tall, brilliantly colored mounds of salt with intervening pools of yellow, orange and blue-green brine. These colors may result from oxidation state of species in solution, such as ferrous chloride to ferric chloride.

Dallol waters are characterized by very high total dissolved solids (up to 525 g/kg). The waters can be grouped into three chemical suites, all of which contain high levels of chloride. Two representative water samples were collected and analyzed. One of the samples was from a hot springs with a 110C temperature that solidified shortly after collection, indicating salt supersaturation. An X-ray diffraction pattern of the solidified product showed the presence of bishofite (MgCl2*6H2O). The other was a brine water of pH 0.2. The chemical composition of the samples was that of concentrated sea water.

According to Chernet, X-ray diffraction of samples from hydrothermal deposits within the crater shows that the major constitutents of most samples are halite, sulfur, calcite,. sodalite, and hematite, with minor levels of silica. Metallic oxides and potassium and/or fluorine impurities have given the sites a brown, yellow, or bluish color.

Chernet noted that frequent earthquakes of magnitude 4.5-5.5 occur in the vicinity of Dallol, as reflected by cracks healed with later salt deposits and a number of phreatic eruptions.

References. Barberi, F., Borsi, S., Ferrara, G., Marinelli, G.; Santacroce, R.; Tazieff, H., Varet, J., 1972, Evolution of the Danakil depression (Afar, Ethiopia) in light of radiometric age determinations, The Journal of Geology, v. 80, iss. 6, p. 720-729.

Carniel, R., Muñoz Jolis, E., Jones, J., 2010, A geophysical multi-parametric analysis of hydrothermal activity at Dallol, Ethiopia, Journal of African Earth Sciences, vol. 58, p. 812-819. (Article cited personal communications from M. Rivas, 2006).

Chernet, T., Dallol Volcano and Danakil Depression: Earth Resources and Geo-hazards, 2012, Magmatic Rifting and Active Volcanism Conference, 11-13 January 2012, (Session 3), Afar Rift Consortium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/afar/new-afar/conference/talks.html).

Darraha, T.H., Tedesco, D., Tassid, F., Vasellid, O., Cuocob, E., Poredaf, RJ, 2013, Gas chemistry of the Dallol region of the Danakil Depression in the Afar region of the northern-most East African Rift, Chemical Geology, vol. 339, p. 16-29.

Nobile, A., C. Pagli, Keir, D., Wright, T. J., Ayele, A., Ruch, J., and Acocella, V., 2012, Dike-fault interaction during the 2004 Dallol intrusion at the northern edge of the Erta Ale Ridge (Afar, Ethiopia), Geophys. Res. Lett., v. 39, L19305.

Varet, J., 2010, Contribution to Favorable Geothermal Site Selection In the Afar Triangle, ARGEO-C3, Third East African Rift Geothermal Conference, Djibouti, 22-25 November 2010, p. 139-154.

Geologic Background. Numerous phreatic explosion craters dot the Salt Plain NNE of the Erta Ale Range in one of the lowest areas of the desolate Danakil depression. These craters mark Earth's lowest known subaerial volcanic vents. The most recent of these craters, Dallol, lies 48 m below sea level and was formed during an eruption in 1926. Colorful hot brine springs are found in the Dallol area. Another phreatic explosion was observed in January 2011.

Information Contacts: Tadiwos Chernet, Research and Development Directorate, Ministry of Mines, P.O.Box 486, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Fuego (Guatemala) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continuous activity and a VEI 3 eruption during 13-14 September 2012

In this report we highlight Fuego's ongoing eruptive activity during January 2011-March 2013. Elevated activity occurred during May-September 2012 and included regular thermal, gas, and ash emissions with occasional lava fountaining and pyroclastic flows. Activity peaked during 13-14 September 2012 with a VEI 3 (Volcanic Explosivity Index; where 3 is considered moderate (Newhall and Self, 1982)) summit eruption and SW-directed pyroclastic flow.

During this reporting period, continuous monitoring efforts by the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH) included seismic monitoring, regular ground-based observations, and field visits. The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) regularly included monitoring data from INSIVUMEH with satellite remote sensing emissions announcements. We also summarize a recent international collaboration between INSIVUMEH and the International Volcano Monitoring Fund (IVM-Fund) during 2010-2013.

Local observers reported ashfall, shockwaves, and lahars. According to INSIVUMEH, during 2011-2013, ashfall and explosive sounds were frequently reported by communities located within the W sector and up to 8 km of Fuego's summit. Lahars occurred on the S-sector flank in the Taniluyá, Ceniza, Santa Teresa, Las Lajas, and Trinidad drainages (figure 16). Those drainages were also hazardous due to channelization of pyroclastic flows, block avalanches, and lava flows (figure 17); significant events occurred in mid-to-late 2012 and February 2013 (described later in this report). On the SE flank, Las Lajas was frequently affected by pyroclastic flows, and the drainages Taniluyá and Ceniza (SW flank) occasionally contained active lava flows and block avalanches.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. This location map includes villages (numbered), observation sites in Panimaché I (FO-1) and Sangre de Cristo (FO-2), and primary drainages located within 15 km of Fuego's summit vent (red star). Elevation contours are shown for 100 m intervals. Pyroclastic flow deposits from 13 September 2012 are shown as dark gray areas within Ceniza, Trinidad, El Jute, and Las Lajas drainages. Courtesy of Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf (Michigan Technological University).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. This annotated photograph is centered on Fuego's SW flank, the location of the Ceniza drainage, which channeled the major pyroclastic flow of 13 September 2012. The yellow dotted line marks the centerline of the pyroclastic flow; the orange lines enclose the region burned and scoured by ash cloud surges. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

Thermal anomaly detection during 2011-2013. Hotspots from the summit region were detected by satellite remote sensing instruments including MODIS (onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites), Landsat 7, and EO-1 Advanced Land Imaging (ALI) throughout this reporting period.

The MODVOLC thermal alert system recorded ~90 significant anomalies between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2012, ~375 between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2013 when explosive activity escalated, and ~255 between 1 January 2013 and 31 March 2013 when lava flows were active near the summit region (figure 18). Thermal anomalies were detected by satellite images at least once per month from January 2011 through March 2013 except for July 2011, suggesting poor weather may have inhibited satellite observations that month (note that heaviest rainfall typically occurs during June-October (The World Bank, 2013)). During July 2011, ground-based observations of nighttime incandescence were noted in INSIVUMEH's Report # 1863; other reports that month highlighted the effects of heavy rain from tropical storms and Hurricane Calvin.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. During 1 January 2011-31 March 2013, the MODVOLC system frequently detected elevated temperatures in the area of Fuego's summit. This series of images includes hotspots detected during three time periods: 2011, 2012, and 1 January-31 March 2013. Courtesy of the Hawai`i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.

MODVOLC continued to detect hotspots during late April 2013 totaling 22 pixels during 21-28 April. Thermal anomalies became rare during May and June 2013; one pixel was detected on three different days.

Regular images captured by ALI and Landsat 7 detected variable incandescence from Fuego's summit during 2011-2013 (figure 19). During 2011, hotspots were mainly located at Fuego's summit; however, during March and December, distinctively elongate, incandescent lava flows extended from the summit to the SW (figure 19A and 19B).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Satellite images from 2011-2013 detected incandescence from Fuego's summit area. (A) This ALI image from 3 February 2011 showed a small region of incandescence isolated at the summit. (B) A Landsat 7 image from 7 November 2011 revealed a ~300 m incandescent flow originating from the summit and extending down the SW flank. (C) This Landsat 7 image from 4 September 2012 (nine days before the VEI 3 eruption began) captures intense incandescence that extends in three directions from the summit; some image distortion is present from cloudcover and artifact stripes (on the left-hand side). Distinctive yellow regions indicate lava reaching at least 500 m SE and SW. (D) This ALI image from 20 March 2013 captures a lava flow extending ~1,500 m SW from the summit crater within the upper region of the Ceniza drainage; some cloudcover blocks the middle region of the lava flow, but the red glow is visible and especially bright at the termination point SW of the clouds. Image processing by Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf (Michigan Technological University); courtesy of NASA/USGS.

Summit incandescence extending SW, SE, and in the immediate summit area was visible during 2012; some of the strongest incandescence extended at least 1 km from the summit to the SW during November-December. Incandescent flows directed SE appeared in April, June, and September. On 4 September 2012, three narrow flows were visible from the summit extending ≥ 500 m from the summit within the S sector; despite significant cloudcover that day and image artifacts, the lava flows were well-defined (figure 19C).

Satellite images from December 2012 through January 2013 included a long lava flow that persisted in the SW drainage (Ceniza), although cloudcover frequently obscured the full view of Fuego's SW quadrant. That incandescent lava flow remained visible in satellite images until late February 2013. Incandescence was isolated at the summit in early March, but on 20 March incandescence re-appeared within the Ceniza drainage and extended ~2,000 m SW of the summit (figure 19D).

Effusive activity during 2011-2013. The style of eruptive activity at Fuego changed near the end of 2010 when lava effusion events started to occur more frequently than explosive eruptions (figure 20). "At a very general level, the more Strombolian eruptions happen typically during lava effusion times and are much smaller than the more Vulcanian eruptions," commented Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf (Michigan Technological University) with respect to Fuego's more than 12 year-long eruption. Continuous unrest (background-level explosions and effusion) was frequently punctuated by short periods of elevated activity during the preceding six years and, during 2012 and 2013, this activity was interrupted by several significant episodes: in 2012, 25-26 May; 10-11 June; 3-4 and 13-14 September; and in 2013, 17-18 February; 3-4 and 19-20 March (figure 19D).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Fuego time series from late 1999 to early 2013 with color codes indicating eruption style (Escobar-Wolf, 2013). Beginning in 1999, the eruption mainly consisted of periods of explosive events (color coded as green) and lava effusion (coded as gray); this constant unrest is considered background activity that has been occasionally interrupted with significant episodes (red lines). This timeline was created and provided by Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf, Michigan Technological University.

The Washington VAAC released an increasing number of notices for the aviation community about volcanic ash throughout 2011- March 2013 (table 8). During 2011, these announcements rarely contained calculated plume altitudes due to poor viewing conditions with satellite remote sensing. Data from INSIVUMEH supplemented these reports with direct observations from Fuego Volcano Observatory, located in Panimaché, 8 km SW of Fuego. On 1 January, 8 January, 23 October, and 24 December 2011, reported plume altitudes were less than 5.2 km a.s.l. and had drift speeds in the range of 2.5-10 m/s, drifting S and SW of Fuego's peak.

Table 8. The Washington VAAC released regular advisories due to emissions from Fuego during 2011-March 2013. Date, time, altitude, drift direction, and reporting sources are included as well as comments that described additional eruption characteristics such as thermal anomalies and weather conditions that may have affected observations. Drift velocities and plume width were also calculated when viewing conditions were optimal. INSIVUMEH was a frequent contributor to these reports; other reporting sources included the satellite GOES-2 (NOAA geostationary weather satellite), MWO (local Meteorological Watch Office), Guatemala City's (MGGT) meteorological reports (METAR), and the global numerical weather prediction models GFS and NAM. Courtesy of Washington VAAC.

Date - Time (UTC) Altitude (km) Drift Direction VAAC Sources Comments
01 Jan 2011 - 1515 5.2 9 km wide line; W 10 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Several small emissions.
08 Jan 2011 - 1015 5.2 18.5 km wide plume; SW 2.6-5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Multiple exhalations since 08/0600 UTC; these explosions have been seen in satellite before dissipating.
13 Feb 2011 - 0504 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported increased activity within the summit area; low height emissions of volcanic ash moving W; hot spot was also detected in short wave infrared imagery.
14 Feb 2011 - 0427 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH continued to report low levels of volcanic ash near the summit.
15 Feb 2011 - 0427 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. Only steam reported.
23 Oct 2011 - 1327 -- -- GOES-13. Information received about a possible volcanic ash eruption.
23 Oct 2011 - 1245 4.3 W 2.6-5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Confidence in height of volcanic ash is medium-high based on movement and density of ash in models and satellite imagery.
22 Nov 2011 - 1530 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. Ash observed at 1530 UTC.
22 Nov 2011 - 1745 -- -- Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH observed thin plume of possible ash moving SW at 5 m/s at 1530 UTC. This weak plume was observed in satellite imagery at 1415 UTC but had dissipated by 1545 UTC.
02 Dec 2011 - 1845 -- -- Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported emission of gases near the summit and light ash that was too small to see in clear satellite imagery. Ash was reported to 305 m above the summit and dispersing SW around 18.5 km.
06 Dec 2011 - 1845 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported volcanic ash cloud to 3 km observed at 1600 UTC. No ash was observed in satellite imagery.
24 Dec 2011 - 1904 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Small narrow plume of unknown content began around 1645 UTC; VAAC received information suggesting a possible ash eruption.
24 Dec 2011 - 1845 4 5.6 km wide line; S 2.5 m/s GOES-13. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Small plume of gases with possible ash extended 9 km; small puff seen in visible imagery started around 1645 UTC and drifted S 2.5 m/s; estimated height 4 km a.s.l. with wind forecast uncertain. Plume was projected to dissipate within 6 hours.
25 Dec 2011 - 0015 -- -- GOES-13. A possible eruption at 1845 UTC; ash not identifiable in satellite imagery; there were no reports of ash.
03 Jan 2012 - 2041 -- -- GOES-13. Possible volcanic ash detected in visible imagery at 2015 UTC moving SE.
03 Jan 2012 - 2045 5 3.7 km wide line; S 2.6 - 5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Small puff seen in visible imagery at 5 km a.s.l. moving SE 3.5 m/s. At 2045 UTC the leading edge was 12 km SE of summit and dispersing. Plume was projected to dissipate within 6 hours.
16 Jan 2012 - 1724 -- -- INSIVUMEH. The VAAC received information suggesting a possible volcanic ash emission.
16 Jan 2012 - 1740 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported ash to 4.3 km; no ash seen in imagery through 1715 UTC with clear skies.
18 Jan 2012 - 1215 6.7 W at 5-7.5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Visible and multi-spectral imagery showed a single puff of gas and ash moving W from the summit; ash was projected to dissipate within a few hours as it continued W. A hotspot was detected.
01 Feb 2012 - 1645 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported ash to ~5 km at 01/1600 UTC; ash not observed in satellite imagery even with sparse clouds.
01 Apr 2012 - 1315 5 9.3 km wide line; SW 2.6-5 m/s  GOES-13. GFS WINDS. NAM WINDS. Plume extended 13 km WSW from the summit; well-defined hotspot seen in imagery; forecast confidence was low based on latest GFS and NAM.
19 May 2012 - 0915 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery due to darkness; hotspot was visible; INSIVUMEH reported volcanic ash up to 5.5 km a.s.l. to 40 km SW of the summit.
19 May 2012 - 1515 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. INSIVUMEH Photos. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery due to cloudcover; a strong hotspot was visible in satellite multispectral imagery; seismicity was high.
19 May 2012 - 2045 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. METAR.
INSIVUMEH.
Volcanic ash was not detected in satellite imagery due to extensive cloud cover; INSIVUMEH indicated pyroclastic flows likely and ashfalls have been observed.
20 May 2012 - 0245 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Ash was not observed in satellite imagery due to cloudcover; hotspot had decreased in intensity and late afternoon bulletin indicated decreased energy.
20 May 2012 - 1415 -- -- GOES-13. NAM WINDS. INSIVUMEH. No ash was observed in imagery although there were thick clouds in the area; INSIVUMEH reported ash emissions up to 3,000 m above the summit moving SW.
20 May 2012 - 1945 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. No ash was seen in imagery due to cloudcover; seismic signal has almost gone to background but with very occasional bursts that may contain volcanic ash.
21 May 2012 - 0045 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. No volcanic ash detected due to cloudcover; INSIVUMEH's evening report only mentioned occasional emission of ash to 4 km a.s.l. or just above the crater drifting SW and dispersed within 9.3 km; seismic activity was back to normal with only occasional small bursts.
25 May 2012 - 1542 -- --; GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. Eruption of lava began around 1300 UTC; some volcanic ash was possible.
25 May 2012 - 1615 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. METAR. Pilot Report. INSIVUMEH. No plume was seen in satellite imagery due to partly cloudy conditions; pilot report of ash to 7 km a.s.l. moving SW; lava flows generated volcanic ash and gas; no explosive eruption seen in the seismic records; ash was forecasted to moving SW; a strong hotspot was visible in satellite imagery.
26 May 2012 - 0415 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Volcanic ash was not detected in satellite imagery due to extensive cloudcover; INSIVUMEH indicated constant pyroclastic flows and reports of ashfall.
26 May 2012 - 1015 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. SEISMIC
DETECTION.
Volcanic ash was not seen due to darkness and weather conditions; strong hot spot was visible in satellite imagery and seismic activity remained elevated.
26 May 2012 - 1615 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Ash was not seen in imagery due to cloud cover; INSIVUMEH indicated that ash and gas emissions continued.
26 May 2012 - 2215 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery due to cloudcover; INSIVUMEH reported decreasing seismicity; a hot spot persisted in multispectral imagery.
27 May 2012 - 0415 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH indicated ongoing lava flows; decreasing seismic activity and no mention of ashfall in the most recent report.
05 Jun 2012 - 1732 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported increasing activity and suggested that an explosive eruption with little or no warning was possible; hot spot was seen in satellite imagery but no volcanic ash due to cloud cover.
06 Jun 2012 - 1729 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported intermittent explosions expelling ash and gas up to ~600 m above the summit; they warned that an explosive eruption with little or no warning was possible.
07 Jun 2012 - 1715 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported activity that was limited to within 11 km of the summit; no ash was visible in satellite imagery due to partly cloudy conditions.
11 Jun 2012 - 0945 -- -- Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. No ash seen in satellite imagery due to nighttime darkness; hotspots see for last few hours. INSIVUMEH reported ash to 5 km.
11 Jun 2012 - 1545 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. No ash was seen in imagery although there was some cloudcover; there was a strong hotspot occasionally seen in shortwave imagery; INSIVUMEH reported continuous ash emissions up to 15 km to the W and WNW of volcano.
21 Jun 2012 - 1552 -- -- Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13.
GEOPHYSICAL INST. EMAILED PHOTOS.
No ash detected due to cloudcover; INSIVUMEH reported ash moving E from rockfalls and aided by heat of lava flows; bit hotspots were visible through clouds.
21 Jun 2012 - 2138 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. No ash detected in visible satellite imagery due to cloudcover; hotspot seen in infrared imagery.
22 Jun 2012 - 0340 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. No ash seen in visible or multispectral satellite imagery due to night time darkness and cloudcover; hotspot observed prior to clouds moving in 22/0015 UTC.
03 Sep 2012 - 1415 4.3/5.2 5.6 km wide line; SW 5-7.5 m/s
7.4 km wide line; W 2.6-5 m/s
GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Ash plume height confidence is medium, the estimation is based on models and history of volcanic activity; a well-defined hotspot was seen overnight.
03 Sept 2012 - 2015 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Due to clouds, no good detection of ash but before the clouds arrived, faint ash was seen W-SW as far as 27.7 km; strong hotspots due to lava flows and rockfalls.
04 Sep 2012 - 0145 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. No ash detected due to clouds and darkness; multiple hotspots were seen due to rockfalls and lava flows; some ashfall was reported SW of the summit up to 13 km.
04 Sep 2012 - 0445 4.5 W 2.6-5 m/s GOES-12. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. A plume was visible in multispectral imagery extending about ~145 km W of the summit.
04 Sep 2012 - 1015 4.5 W 2.6-5 m/s GOES-13. A continuous emission of ash was visible in multispectral imagery extending ~145 km W of volcano; large hotspot was detected by shortwave imagery.
04 Sep 2012 - 1615 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ash was not seen due to weather conditions; strong hotspot remains in thermal imagery and INSIVUMEH reported elevated seismic activity.
04 Sep 2012 - 2145 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. No ash or hotspots detected due to thick clouds; INSIVUMEH reported continued lava flows and rockfalls that generated ash to ~4.5 km a.s.l. moving SW; ashfall was reported up to 15 m SW and W of the summit.
05 Sep 2012 - 1545 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. Ash not seen in the satellite imagery due to partly cloudy skies; a faint hotspot was visible in the morning; INSIVUMEH confirmed that no ash emissions were detected.
13 Sep 2012 - 1115 5 W 7.5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Faint plume was detected with multispectral imagery that extended ~111 km W; INSIVUMEH reported ash up to 1,000 m above the summit and moving W and SW.
13 Sep 2012 - 1602 4.5 /6.7 SW 7.5 m/s / SW 7.5-10 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported new emission to 3,000 m above the summit W and SW of the summit. 13/1602 UTC image showed a dense ash plume spreading W and SW. Imagery through 13/1632 UTC showed dense volcanic ash emissions continuing.
13 Sep 2012 - 2045 7.3 W 10-13 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. METAR.
INSIVUMEH.
Ash plume was 148 km wide and extended 226 km W of summit; ash was reported at MGGT METAR station.
14 Sep 2012 - 0045 7.3 W 10-13 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. METAR.
INSIVUMEH.
Ash plume was 111 km wide and extended 417 W of the summit; ash closest to summit was obscured by cloudcover and was likely rained out; METAR from MGGT continued to report ash.
14 Sep 2012 - 0710 4.3 /7.3 W 5 m/s / W 5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. A bright hotspot persisted with a small plume in multispectral imagery extending 36 km to the W of the summit; latest report indicated current activity was more intermittent and lower in height; larger area to 7.3 km a.s.l. continued to dissipate about 648 km to W of summit moving W.
14 Sep 2012 - 1245 4 /7.3 W 7.5-10 m/s / W 10-13 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. METAR.
INSIVUMEH.
Multispectral imagery showed dissipating ash to 7.3 km a.s.l. between 370 km and 926 km W moving W; in addition, continuous attached plume to 4 km a.s.l. was seen moving SW; local surface observations reported 4 km a.s.l.
14 Sep 2012 - 1845 6 W 10 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. A dissipating area of ash, about ~1,000 km W of the summit, was detected in multispectral imagery; no ash was seen near the summit at 1845 UTC; INSIVUMEH reported ash emissions within 15 km of the summit.
15 Sep 2012 - 0045 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. No ash was detected in satellite imagery; the previous plume located S of Mexico had dispersed around 14/2200 UTC. INSIVUMEH reported weaker seismic activity with rockfalls generating ash plumes to 4 km a.s.l. and 15 km W-SW of the summit; a strong hotspot was visible.
29 Sep 2012 - 1245 -- -- GFS WINDS. GOES-14. INSIVUMEH. In the morning, satellite imagery detected discreet puffs of ash moving W and WSW from the summit; INSIVUMEH reported ash 500 m to 900 m above the summit with fine ashfall.
17 Feb 2013 - 0544 -- -- GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reports incredible outpouring of lava from the crater which is confirmed by brilliant hot spot in satellite imagery; INSIVUMEH reported no ash plume at the moment, but emissions are possible over the next few hours up to 10 km to the S and SW of the summit.
17 Feb 2013 - 1315 5 W 2.6-5 m/s Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. In the morning, visible imagery showed a plume of ash extending 18.5 km to the W of the volcano; INSIVUMEH reported ash to 4.8 km a.s.l.
17 Feb 2013 - 1445 5 W Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Imagery showed ash moving W-SW and S from the volcano; at 17/1445 UTC ash extended 18.5 km SW and 5.6 km S of the volcano.
17 Feb 2013 - 2015 5.2 0-5 m/s Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ongoing emissions of lava with gas and light ash; in imagery the ash is mixed with clouds and, due to light winds spreading N-W-SW from the summit ~13 km; this is mainly a lava event but some light ashfall was being reported in cities on the slopes of the volcano.
18 Feb 2013 - 0815 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ongoing lava emission with gases and light ash; no ash detected due to large thunderstorm that developed SW of summit and regional cloudcover. INSIVUMEH reported in the afternoon that less energetic lava, gas, and ash events were occurring.
03 Mar 2013 - 2345 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Lava emission with occasional light ash due to rockfalls and small venting; hotspot due to lava but no ash was visible in satellite imagery; plume drifted up to 9 km according to INSIVUMEH; wind forecast was light and variable, so the plume was expected to remain close to the summit region.
04 Mar 2013 - 0334 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. An INSIVUMEH special report indicated that a new stage of emissions began and possible ash fall was likely around 18.5 km from the summit. Ash was not seen in multispectral satellite imagery; a very large hotspot was observed with infrared.
04 Mar 2013 - 0845 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Ash was not seen in overnight satellite imagery; very large and bright hotspot was detected with infrared sensors; emissions of gas and ash were likely.
04 Mar 2013 - 1315 4.3 moving NE 5-7.5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ongoing emissions; satellite imagery showed a faint ash plume 13 km wide and extending 42.5 km NE of the summit; a very bright hot spot was detected with infrared sensors.
04 Mar 2013 - 1915 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ongoing emissions; ash was too light to be seen in visible satellite imagery although reports indicate that ash was present; a strong hot spot persisted.
05 Mar 2013 - 0115 -- -- Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. Ongoing activity; Tegucigalpa MWO canceled Sigmet for the event; a well-defined hotspot was visible in multi-spectral imagery; no ash was present in the last visible images of the day.
18 Mar 2013 - 1345 4.3 moving SW 2.6-5 m/s Tegucigalpa MWO. GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Very light volcanic ash emissions; MWO indicated ash moving SW; the ash had a SSW component in satellite imagery and was very light in nature.
18 Mar 2013 - 1945 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Emissions of gas and occasional light ash were near the summit; no ash was detected or reported in cloudy conditions; INSIVUMEH reported near-summit emissions of gas and occasional, very light ash below 4.3 km a.s.l. and within 9 km of the summit.
19 Mar 2013 - 2232 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. INSIVUMEH reported ash to 5 km a.s.l. at 19/2045 UTC moving SE at 5 m/s; ash not visible in imagery; special observatory report indicated elevated activity with the volcano; a persistent hotspot was present since 1915 UTC and had become increasingly bright in the past hour.
20 Mar 2013 - 0415 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. Ash plume was not identifiable in multispectral satellite imagery; a bright hotspot was detected with infrared sensors; occasional bursts of seismic activity were reported; SIGMET reports ash to 5 km a.s.l. moving SE at 5 m/s.
20 Mar 2013 - 1015 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Near summit emissions of gases and occasional light volcanic ash; although brilliant hot spot was readily apparent in satellite imagery, no ash was detected under partly cloudy conditions.
21 Mar 2013 - 1332 5.5 E 7.5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Intermittent emissions; ash emissions and a persistent hotspot were observed in satellite imagery in clear skies; several discreet puffs were noted; ash plume extends ~32 km to the ESE of the volcano.
28 Mar 2013 - 1315 4.6 W 2.6 - 5 m/s GOES-13. INSIVUMEH. ECMWF HIRES WINDS. Continuous emissions; a series of emissions has resulted in an ash plume extending up to 18.5 km to the WSW of the summit.
30 Mar 2013 - 1415 5 S 8 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH SEISMIC DETECTION. INSIVUMEH reported degassing with occasional bursts of ash at 1240 UTC, 1330 UTC, and 1415 UTC; multibursts of gas and ash seen moving to S and SE from the summit extending 55.5 km from the summit and dispersing; light ashfall was reported within 18.5 km of the summit.
30 Mar 2013 - 1945; 5 S 2.6-5 m/s GOES-13. GFS WINDS. Ongoing emissions; satellite imagery showed a 20 km wide plume of light ash extending 13 km S of the summit; ash was expected to disperse within 6 hours.
31 Mar 2013 - 1345 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Ongoing emissions; ash not seen in satellite imagery under clear skies; however, sun may be preventing light ash from being observed; ash had been reported in the village of Panimaché.
31 Mar 2013 - 1945 -- -- GOES-13. GFS WINDS. INSIVUMEH. Continuous gas emissions with occasional short bursts of light ash; INSIVUMEH reported continued gas emissions with short bursts of light ash moving S; ashfall was reported within 9.3 km of the summit; ash not seen in satellite imagery due to cloud cover around the summit.

During 2011, INSIVUMEH reported that Fuego's activity included small-scale explosions and effusive lava flows. Lava flow activity was reported mainly during late March, late April, June, and early July. The longest lava flows traveled SW within the Ceniza and Santa Teresa drainages. Maximum flow lengths were in the range of 100-200 m and were frequently incandescent at night during spalling events.

Escalating summit activity during 2012. In early 2012, three VAAC advisories included plume altitudes as high as 6.7 km a.s.l. and drift directions up to 7.5 m/s S, SW, and W (table 8). INSIVUMEH reported that during the first week of January 2012, the Alert Level was raised to Yellow due to elevated activity; incandescent explosions were observed during 18-19 and 23 January. Lava flows and intermittent incandescent spatter continued from the summit throughout the rest of this reporting period (2011-March 2013).

The Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED) announced Alert Level Orange (third highest on a four-color scale) and evacuations from El Porvenir in Alotenango (9 km ENE) on 19 May due to escalating activity (figure 21). Energetic Strombolian eruptions occurred during 19-20 and 25-27 May. Pyroclastic flows during 25-26 May were directed E and SE (impacting the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages), unlike previous events that concentrated flows within the W sector. Significant populations, resorts, and infrastructure such as the RN-14 road are located along the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. A plot of the daily average RSAM (Real-time Seismic-Amplitude Measurement) from Fuego's seismic station FG3 during January through September 2012. Notable peaks include eruptions during 19-20, 26-27 May and 11 June; the effusive eruption of 1 July; the 3 September eruption, lahars, and lava flows; and the 13 September eruption. During this time period, seismicity was dominated by long-period (LP) earthquakes generated by processes such as explosions, fluid movement, lava flows, and block avalanches. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

During May-June, there were ~20 VAAC advisories that highlighted INSIVUMEH observations and the possibility of ash plumes; satellite observations and calculations of plume altitudes, however, were not available (table 8). INSIVUMEH reported lava flows throughout May-August (extending up to 1.7 km from the summit and as wide as 25 m) and pyroclastic flows occurred during May.

Increased explosivity at Fuego during September 2012. During the first week of September 2012, the Washington VAAC issued advisories describing ash plumes up to 5.2 km a.s.l. (table 8). A large event, on 3 September, generated two ash plumes dispersing SW and W, the former was ~5.5 km wide, and the latter was ~7.5 km wide. Ash plumes and hot spots continued to be visible within satellite images through 4 September (figure 19C) with INSIVUMEH reporting a lack of ash clouds on 5 September, followed by a break in reports until the major eruption on 13 September.

Beginning at 0400 on 13 September, a significant eruption occurred which led to evacuations from local communities within a 10-km radius (figures 22 and 23). At 0715, a vertical plume erupted from the summit. Large pyroclastic flows were generated between 0900 and 1000 local time which became channelized within two drainages. Within the Las Lajas drainage (on the SE flank), flows reached as far as 2 km from the summit; within the Ceniza drainage (SSW flank), they traveled as far as 7.7 km, stopping just 3 km short of Panimaché. On 14 September, the Washington VAAC reported ash plumes up to 7.3 km a.s.l. that drifted W at ~10 m/s (table 8).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. On 13 September 2012, a large plume of ash erupted from Fuego and pyroclastic flows descended the flanks. Between 0900 and 1000 local time, a lateral cloud and a tall plume expanded from the summit. The sharp peak to the right of Fuego is Agua volcano. This photo was taken from a viewpoint near the base of Pacaya volcano, ~30 km S of Guatemala City. Photo courtesy of Kent Caldwell.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Comparison views of Fuego made from the city of Antigua (~18 km from Fuego) looking SW. (Top) This view from the center of Antigua, was taken on 21 March 2008 at 0915 when volcanic unrest was dominated by intermittent, impulsive eruptions which generated short gas-and-ash plumes (see figure 20 for the timeline of explosive vs. effusive activity). Photo courtesy of Kyle Brill (Michigan Technological University). (Bottom) This photo taken at ~0900 on 13 September 2012 captures a view SW of the ongoing explosive eruption that continued through 14 September. Photo courtesy of Luis Echeverria (Xinhua Press/Corbis).

In a special report by INSIVUMEH, the 13-14 September 2013 eruption was described as the largest explosive event within the last 13 years; they assigned the event VEI 3 (Volcanic Explosivity Index) based on the volume of pyroclastic material. This was the first eruption since 1974 that directly impacted the S and SW zones of Fuego, areas within 5-7 km of the summit that contained numerous small villages (figure 24). Approximately 10,600 people were evacuated from Panimaché I, Panimaché II, Sangre de Cristo, Morelia, and El Porvenir (figure 16) to the town of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa (18 km SW). INSIVUMEH estimated that ~5 mm of ashfall accumulated in those regions closest to the channelized pyroclastic flows. Ashfall damaged coffee and other agricultural crops in the region and congested the air, decreasing visibility in many communities within 10 km of the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Two hybrid graphics each merging a regional map and MODIS image centered on Fuego (at the red pushpin icon). (A) Results captured at 1030 local time showing a plume generated by the eruption covered approximately ~900 km2. (B) At 1330 local time, the ash plume covered approximately ~2,500 km2, with less density; 47 municipalities in seven departments were primarily affected. The ash extends off this graphic and later reached Chiapas, Mexico. Image modified from CATHALAC, 2012.

Prior to the eruption, there wsa a notable increase in LP seismicity and high-amplitude tremor that lasted for hours. INSIVUMEH seismic records became saturated between 0947 and 0949, the time period when observers noted ash plumes rising from the summit (figure 7). During the explosive event that began at 0400 on 13 September 2012, a lava flow advanced 300 m down the flank from the S side of the summit crater. At roughly the same time, a vertical plume rose from the crater and drifted SW; strong ENE winds rapidly spread the ash into the coastal Suchitepéquez Department. At 0715 the ash plume had risen up to 2 km above the summit crater; by 1500 that day, a diffuse ash plume was reported over the S region Mexico's Chiapas Province. The ash continued to expand W and NW on 14 September, and was ~100 km wide and more than 415 km W of the summit (table 8 and figure 10); ash persisted in the atmosphere for more than 36 hours.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. A large ash plume drifted W and NW from Fuego on 14 September 2012; observations were made at 0045, 0700; 1300; and 1900 local time and remote sensing measurements determined an altitude of ~7 km a.s.l. These graphics notified the aviation community about airspace containing ash plumes. Note that "VA to FL 240" means "volcanic ash to flight level 24,000 (~7 km)." Courtesy of Washington VAAC.

Seismicity and surface activity returned to low levels after the powerful 13-14 September 2012 eruption. Field studies conducted by INSIVUMEH determined that the Las Lajas, El Jute, Trinidad, and Ceniza drainages received the largest concentration of volcanic material during the eruption, making these regions susceptible to lahars with the onset of the rainy season.

Within the Ceniza drainage, in particular, pyroclastic flows had extended ~8 km (figures 17 and 26) and had deposited tree branches and trunks (many that were charred) within the canyon along with large (1-3 m diameter) blocks and volcanic bombs. Preliminary assessments of the deposits within the Ceniza drainage determined that ~13,000,000 m3 of material had been deposited and was already becoming mobilized.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. During field investigations immediately after the 13 September 2012 eruption, INSIVUMEH surveyed the Ceniza drainage to assess both the damage and potential new hazards from lahars. This area sits in the region of Siquinala and San Andrés Osuna, ~13 km SSW of Fuego's summit. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

Assessments by INSIVUMEH at the end of 2012 determined that two months of heavy rain had cut deep incisions into the new deposits and that loose, fine-grained volcaniclastic material had already migrated down to the road crossing at Siquinala and San Andrés Osuna, ~13 km SSW of the summit. The study also described the increased vulnerability of the road access for Siquinala and the community of La Róchela (figure 16) due to possible stream capture by Ceniza with Platanares. A narrow (~15 m) zone of the Ceniza drainage had been filled with volcaniclastic material, changing the drainage profile in a location ~2 km upstream from an important stream crossing. The Ceniza drainage had been migrating laterally toward the Platanares over time, especially due to erosion following Tropical Storm Agatha in 2010.

Explosive and effusive activity continued during September 2012-March 2013.From late September 2012 through March 2013, INSIVUMEH documented ash plumes (100-1,300 m above the crater), incandescent spatter (50-200 m above the crater), lava flows (mainly flowing 100-900 m down the SW flank), and lahars. In 2012, hot lahars were reported on 1 June, and later on 27 September and 3 October. Lava flows were frequently channelized within the Ceniza, Trinidad, and Taniluya drainages (SW flank). The last significant VAAC report of 2012 highlighted discreet puffs of ash that reached a maximum of 900 m above the crater on 29 September (table 8).

Large pyroclastic flows on 16 and 17 February 2013 traveled 3 km down the Ceniza drainage (table 8). Ash plumes generated on 16 February caused ashfall in communities up to 12 km from the summit, primarily SW. On 17 February there were collapses at lava-flow fronts.

On 4 March 2013 there were large lava flows following incandescent explosions up to 100 m above the crater (table 8).

On 19 March an explosive eruption occurred with effusive lava flows; a ~5 km a.s.l. ash plume was detected by the Washington VAAC (table 8). Lava fountaining reported on 20 March rose 300-400 above the crater; a ~1.5 km long lava flow within the Ceniza drainage was also observed that day (figure 19D). Incandescent explosions were frequently observed through the rest of the month.

International collaboration aids monitoring capabilities in 2013. In 2010, a partnership was established between INSIVUMEH observatories and the International Volcano Monitoring Fund (IVM-Fund), a non-profit organization based in Seattle, WA. After a successful project to improve monitoring efforts at the Santiaguito Volcano Observatory (OVSAN), the IVM-Fund began working with the Fuego Volcano Observatory (OVFGO), located in Panimaché, in 2012. During March 2013, this observatory received significant support from the IVM-Fund and international donors. Jeff Witter, president and CEO of the IVM-Fund, delivered ~$4,500 worth of field equipment to OVFGO to help outfit the observers and contribute to volcano monitoring capacity in Guatemala (figure 27). Additional visits to Guatemala are planned once sufficient funds are raised to continue the IVM-Fund's collaborative work with Guatemalan volcanologists. Volcano monitoring support projects between the IVM-Fund and INSIVUMEH are planned to address additional needs at OVFGO and OVSAN.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. On 21 March 2013, INSIVUMEH technician Amilcar Cardenas (left) and Edgar Barrios (far side of river) measure the width of Taniluya drainage to collect baseline data for monitoring geomorphologic changes in the canyon. This drainage is particularly susceptible to lahars and pyroclastic flows. Courtesy of Jeff Witter (IVM-Fund).

References. CATHALAC, 2012, "Preliminary Analysis of the Eruption of Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala -- 13 September 2012," posted on 27 September 2012, https://servirglobal.net/Global/Articles/tabid/86/Article/1169/preliminary-analysis-of-the-eruption-of-volcan-de-fuego-guatemala-13-september.aspx, accessed on 17 July 2013.

Escobar-Wolf, R., 2013, Volcanic processes and human exposure as elements to build a risk model for Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala [PhD Dissertation]: Houghton, MI, Michigan Technological University.

Newhall, C.G., and Self, S., 1982, The volcanic explosivity index (VEI): An estimate of explosive magnitude for historical volcanism, Journal of Geophysical Research: 87, 1231-1238.

The World Bank, 2013, Country Data: Guatemala Climate Change, http://data.worldbank.org/country/guatemala, accessed on 18 June 2013.

Geologic Background. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at the mostly andesitic Acatenango. Eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

Information Contacts: Gustavo Chigna M., Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Ministero de Communicaciones, Transporto, Obras Públicas y Vivienda, 7a. Av. 14-57, zona 13, Guatemala City 01013, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/inicio.html); Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Av. Hincapié 21-72, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://conred.gob.gt/www); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf, Michigan Technological University, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Science, Houghton, MI, USA (URL: http://www.geo.mtu.edu/); Hawai`i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System (MODVOLC), 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/); Jeff Witter, International Volcano Monitoring Fund (IVMF) (URL: http://www.ivm-fund.org/guatemala-fuego/); NASA/USGS Landsat Program (URL: https://landsat.usgs.gov/); and NASA ALI (URL: http://eo1.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Gaua (Vanuatu) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Gaua

Vanuatu

14.27°S, 167.5°E; summit elev. 797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Hazard status raised; emissions continue into 2013; plume observed from above

In our June 2012 Bulletin report (BGVN 37:06), we noted ongoing eruptions from Gaua during much of 2011.

On 5 December 2011, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) changed the status of Gaua volcano from a dormant to an active volcano. An index map showing Vanautu appears in the Ambrym report in this issue.

The Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that on 29 April 2013 a plume from Gaua was observed from an aircraft. Absent were further comments. Satellite imagery did not indicate ash. Astronauts on the International Space Station saw and photographed Gaua's E-blowing plume on 31 May 2013 (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Steam plume from Gaua volcano as photographed from the International Space Station on 31 May 2013. For scale, the island is 20 km in diameter. Note N arrow at lower right. This is Astronaut photograph ISS036-E-5647, taken on Expedition 36 with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Original caption was by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs/JETS at NASA-JSC.

The Alert Level of Gaua remained at level 1 (out of 4) signifying that changes in Gaua's activity could occur without, or with little, warning. VMGD continued this status through at least mid-August 2013, although they noted as slight increase in tremor since their June report.

This status indicates that ash falls will continue to be expected in areas exposed to trade winds. Strong degassing of the volcano could be accompanied with acid rainfall.

During the year ending in mid-July 2013, there were no MODVOLC thermal alerts.

Geologic Background. The roughly 20-km-diameter Gaua Island, also known as Santa Maria, consists of a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano with an 6 x 9 km wide summit caldera. Small parasitic vents near the caldera rim fed Pleistocene lava flows that reached the coast on several sides of the island; several littoral cones were formed where these lava flows reached the sea. Quiet collapse that formed the roughly 700-m-deep caldera was followed by extensive ash eruptions. Construction of the historically active cone of Mount Garat (Gharat) and other small cinder cones in the SW part of the caldera has left a crescent-shaped caldera lake. The symmetrical, flat-topped Mount Garat cone is topped by three pit craters. The onset of eruptive activity from a vent high on the SE flank in 1962 ended a long period of dormancy.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/); Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (URL: http:// http://www.meteo.gov.vu/); Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) (URL: vaac.metservice.com); and Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, MODVOLC Thermal Alert 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/).


Kilauea (United States) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Summary of highlights for 2010-2012

The following is a concise summary of reports by the U.S. Geological Survey-Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) on Kilauea volcano covering the 3 years 2010-2012. Volcano highlights for 2009 were covered in BGVN 38:02.

Figure 209 shows a map of the lava-flow field on Kilauea's east rift zone as of 26 July 2013. On this map some of the older lava flows are labeled with the years during which they were active. Other maps appearing in earlier Bulletin reports indicated important features such as Napau crater, Pu'u 'O'o. HVO posts both Daily and Weekly updates on Kilauea activity (at links provided in the Information Contacts section below).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 209. Small-scale map showing Kilauea's east rift zone flow field as of 26 July 2013. The Peace Day flow, carried lava from the vent area to the ocean, and the inactive Kahauale'a flow from early 2013, are light reddish orange and labeled "2011-2013.". The active flow called Kahauale'a 2 flow N of Pu'u 'O'o, is shown in shades of red, with bright red showing expanded coverage since June 2011. Older lava flows are labeled with the years in which they were active. Flows during 1983-1986 (episodes 1-48b) are shown in gray; during 1986-1992 (episodes 48c-49) in pale yellow; during 1992-2007 (episode 50-55) in tan; and during 2007-2011 (episodes 58-60) in pale orange. The location of the Peace Day lava tube is shown by the yellow line, but where the tube crosses the coastal plain it has not been mapped. The interval between the contours depicting the topographic high at Pu'u 'O'o is 5 m. Courtesy of USGS/HVO.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) celebrated its centennial in January 2012 and the 30th year of Kilauea's ongoing eruption, now active at its summit and east rift zone, on 3 January 2013.

Orr and others (2012) summarized Kilauea's 30-year-long eruption, furnishing the following excerpt from the 2010-2012 period in that report.

Summary of 2010-2012. Regarding this interval, Orr and others (2012) made the following comments. "In January 2010 . . . the tube system broke down [enabling lava to escape from the tube] and surface flows began moving toward the east, encroaching on the Kalapana area once again. Three more houses were destroyed between July 2010 and March 2011, when the surface flows faltered.

"2011-2013: History Repeats Itself.

"Pu'u 'O'o began to refill slowly during 2010, and by early March 2011, the crater floor was within 65 feet (20 meters) of the crater's east rim. On March 5, 2011, following rapid summit deflation and increased seismicity, the crater floor of Pu'u 'O'o collapsed. Within a few hours, it had dropped 380 feet (115 meters). Shortly thereafter, lava broke to the surface between Pu'u 'O'o and Napau Crater, marking the start of the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, which was active through March 9. Reminiscent of Kilauea's 1997 and 2007 East Rift Zone fissure eruptions, the Kamoamoa eruption cut the lava supply to the active tube, causing activity on the flow field to die.

"After 2 weeks of quiet, lava reappeared in Pu'u 'O'o on March 26, and a perched lava lake developed as the crater refilled. In late June, wholesale uplift of the crater floor raised the entire lava lake until its surface was higher than the eastern and western crater rims. Leaks from the "ring" fault bounding the uplifted area resulted in lava overflowing the crater for the first time since 2004, sending flows down the southwestern flank of Pu'u 'O'o. {Note that this is discussed further below.}

"On August 3, 2011, the crater floor of Pu'u 'O'o collapsed again when lava burst through Pu'u 'O'o's west flank, burying the western base of the cone in a massive flood of lava. The floor of the crater dropped 260 feet (80 meters), accompanied by the collapse of large slabs of rock from the crater walls into the resulting pit. The flow on the west side of Pu'u 'O'o diminished greatly after the first several hours but remained active until August 15.

"As in March, lava returned to Pu'u 'O'o within days of the August outbreak, but this time the crater filled quickly. By September 10, lava had begun to overflow the crater again, with flows spilling toward the northeast and southwest. This activity ended on September 21, when the northeastern flank of the cone fractured and lava began pouring out.

"Confined to a shallow valley between older Pu'u 'O'o flow fields, lava turned again toward the volcano's S coast. In March 2012, lava flows destroyed another house-the 214th since 1983-within the now-abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision {approximate location shown in figure 209}.

"Unlike past years, however, eruptive activity throughout 2012 was relatively weak. Lava flows were almost always active on the coastal flow field but failed to make significant forward progress. Finally, in late November, lava reached the coastline for the first time in nearly 11 months, forming a small and sporadic ocean entry. This marked the end to the longest period without an ocean entry since lava first reached the water in 1986.

"As the eruption enters its 31st year in 2013, it is showing no signs of stopping, despite the recent slow down in activity. What Kilauea Volcano has in store next remains to be seen. Although recent patterns suggest continued activity on the East Rift Zone, this could change abruptly. Even a return to Kilauea's more explosive past is possible (see USGS Fact Sheet 2011-3064, Kilauea-an Explosive Volcano in Hawai'i, available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3064 {Swanson and others, 2011}). What is certain is that Kilauea will remain an active volcano for millennia to come."

More details on 2010-2012 events. HVO reporting disclosed events presented below (tables 6-8), including a brief summary of 2010-2012 events (table 5), a broad overview of the eruption during 2007-2012 (table 6), and several of the notable collapses during 2010-2011 (table 7).

Table 6. Brief summary of events at Kilauea during the period 2010-2012. Courtesy of various USGS/HVO reports (periodic, fact sheets, etc.).

Date(s) Event
04 Jan 2010 Cessation of Waikupanaha ocean entry after 22 months
25 Jan-10 Mar 2010 Persistent flow through Royal Gardens and out onto the coastal plain
Feb or Mar 2010 Small collapse of E wall Pu'u 'O'o crater rim
29 Apr-30 Nov 2010 New ocean entries of lava at Ki, Puhi-o-Kalaikini, and 'Ili'ili
May, Jul, and Aug 2010 Portions of N rim of Pu'u 'O'o fall into crater
May-Jun 2010 Lava erupted on S wall and NE side of Pu'u 'O'o crater
Late July, 27 Nov 2010 2 houses destroyed in Kalapana Gardens subdivision
Sep-Dec 2010 Eruption of vent on W edge of Pu'u 'O'o crater
Nov 2010-Feb 2011 Increase in long-term inflation of Pu'u 'O'o crater
2011 East rift zone eruption episodes 58-61 (see Table 6)
Jan, early Feb 2011 Ocean entries at 2 previous areas, Puhi-o-Kalaikini and Ki
17 Feb 2011 House destroyed in Kalapana Gardens subdivision
05 Mar 2011 Beginning of eruption Episode 59 (see table 6); floor of Pu'u 'Æ crater began collapsing; new fissures opened between Napau Crater and Pu'u 'O'o
26 Mar 2011 Beginning of eruption Episode 60 (see table 6); lava filled collapse crater of Pu'u 'O'o and uplifted lake floor
24 July 2011 Lava flow from ring fracture along SW margins of Pu'u 'O'o crater
03 Aug 2011 Lava lake draining through from lower W flank of Pu'u 'O'o; lake completely drained within several hours, leaving a rubble-filled depression ~80 m below its pre-collapse level
20 Aug 2011 Beginning of eruption Episode 61; Pu'u 'O'o refilled and overflowed
21 Sep 2011 Lava broke through the upper E flank of the Pu'u 'O'o cone; Pu'u 'O'o crater subsided ~20 m; flow (Peace Day flow) resulted in a channelized 'a'a' flow to SW
22 Sep 2011 Channelized 'a'a' flow stalled; fissure and open channel crusted over by mid-Oct 2011
09 Dec 2011 Flow reached ocean entry by evening 9 Dec 2011
2012 Peace Day flow continued to be active
Early 2012 Subsidence in Pu'u 'O'o crater continued; outgassing events on crater floor
02 Mar 2012 House in Royal Gardens subdivision destroyed
End of Aug 2012 Deflation phase led to lowering of lava lake beneath Pu'u 'O'o crater ; lava began erupting and filled in NW pit by Sep 2012.

Table 7. An overview of the Kilauea East Rift Zone (ERZ) eruption during 2007-2012 (eruption episodes 57-61) including (from left) episodes, dates, (approximate in some cases) vent locations, and estimated volume of erupted material. HVO subdivides 30-year-long Pu`u `O`o eruption into episodes. Each new episode denotes vigorous new eruptive activity either from a different vent or commencing after a pause or slowdown. Some episodes are well defined; others more arbitrary. The day and time of various episodes may vary slightly with different instrumentation. The dates in the table signify the duration of the episode or episodes. Courtesy of M. Patrick (USGS) and various USGS/HVO reports.

Dates Episode(s) Vent location Est. volume (km3)
1 Jul 2007-5 Mar 2011 57-58 Crater fill and fissures E of Pu'u 'O'o 0.63
05 Mar-09 Mar 2011 59 Kamoamoa fissures 0.003
26 Mar-15 Aug 2011 60 Pu'u 'O'o overflows and W flank vent 0.04
20 Aug 2011-present 61 Pu'u 'O'o overflows and Peace Day flow 0.15

Table 8. For Kilauea, a list containing several notable collapses and/or explosive events during 2010-2011. Courtesy of various USGS/HVO reports and Matthew Patrick, USGS/HVO.

Date Time (HST) Notes
11 Feb 2010 1551 Collapse in vent; continuous lava lake started
26 Apr 2010 1409 Collapse in vent; lava lake doubled in size
17 Jan 2011 2311 Series of explosions
21 Jan 2011 1430 Explosion
14 Feb 2011 0908 Series of explosions
15 Feb 2011 0305 Series of explosions
20 Feb 2011 0049 Explosion
03 Mar 2011 1236 Series of explosions
21 Dec 2011 1655 Explosion

30-year long eruption summary comments. Table 9 and figure 210 present general information about the total 30-yr eruption period.

Table 9. Selected eruption statistics for the entire 30-year during 1983 to January 2013. Courtesy of Orr and others (2013) and various USGS/HVO reports.

Feature Statistic
Area covered 125.5 km2
New land on coast 2.02 km2
Volume erupted (dense rock equivalent) ~4 km3
Thickness along coast 10 to 35 m
Pre-1983 area covered in 2012 0.4 km2
Net total of land added to the island (Nov 1986–Dec 2012) 2.015 km2
Coastal highway covered by lava 14.3 km
Structures destroyed 214
Pu'u 'O'o maximum height 255 m in 1987; 171 m in 2012
Pu'u 'O'o crater size 300-450 m

Satellite images. To provide a comparison, NASA Earth Observatory prepared both a natural-color satellite image from 6 June 2011 (figure 210a), and a black-and-white aerial photograph from 25 March 1977 (figure 210b). As the authors noted, the images both show the landscape surrounding Napau Crater and Pu'u 'O'o. Lava flows that are more than a century old are covered by a dense forest of ohia lehua and tree ferns forest (green in the 2011 image). Flows from eruptions in 1965, 1968, and 1969 are much lighter than the forest in the 1977 image, but difficult to differentiate from one another. By comparison, the 2011 image shows profound changes in the landscape.

Weathered lava from the initial Napau Crater vent is almost indistinguishable from the older (1968 and 1969) lavas that cover most of the crater floor. In January 1997, a fresh line of fissures opened within Napau Crater, erupting lava during Episode 54 of the Pu'u 'O'o-Kupaianaha eruption. Additional cracks and fissures split the earth between Napau Crater and Pu'u 'O'o in the March 2011 Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption (Episode 59), spreading black lava through the forest. Scorched forest appears reddish-brown along the edges of the lava flows. Since 9 March 2011, lava flows have originated from Pu'u 'O'o(figure 210a, upper right). A lava pond is visible within the crater, and a system of lava tubes carries molten rock underground to the southeast. Brown lavas surrounding the crater flowed directly from the lava pond.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 210. Two images-a natural-color satellite image from June 6, 2011 (A), and a black-and-white aerial photograph from March 25 (B), 1977-show the landscape surrounding Napau Crater and Pu'u 'O'o. Lavas of different ages cover the surface. Lava flows that are more than a century old are covered by a dense forest (green in the 2011 image) of ohia lehua and tree ferns. Flows from eruptions in 1965, 1968, and 1969 are much lighter than the forest in the 1977 image, but difficult to differentiate from one another. The 2011 image shows dramatic changes in the landscape. Weathered lava from the initial Napau Crater vent is almost indistinguishable from the older (1968 and 1969) lavas that cover most of the crater floor. In January 1997, a fresh line of fissures opened within Napau Crater, erupting lava during episode 54 of the Pu'u 'O'o-Kupaianaha eruption. Additional cracks and fissures split the earth between Napau Crater and Pu'u 'O'o in the March 2011 Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption (Episode 59), spreading black lava through the forest. Scorched forest appears reddish-brown along the edges of the lava flows. Since 9 March 2011, lava flows have originated from Pu'u 'O'o (image upper right). A lava pond is visible within the crater, and a system of lava tubes carries molten rock underground to the southeast. Brown lavas surrounding the crater flowed directly from the lava pond. Images taken from Simmon (2012).

References. Orr, T., Heliker, C., and Patrick, M., 2012, The ongoing Pu'u'O'o eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i-30 years of eruptive activity, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3127, 6 p. (URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3127/; accessed 15 August 2013).

Simmon, R., 2012, 30th Anniversary of the Pu'u 'O'o Eruption on Kilauea, NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=80091).

Swanson, D., Fiske, D., Rose, T., Houghton, B, and Mastin, L., 2011, Kilauea-an explosive volcano in Hawai'i, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3064, 4 p (URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3064/; accessed 15 August 2013).

USGS/HVO, 2012, Kilauea's east rift zone (Pu'u 'O'o) eruption 1983 to present, 13 April 2012, 14 p. (URL: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/summary/#Mar2011; accessed 15 August 2013).

USGS/HVO, 2013, Maps, July 26, 2013 - Kilauea, Kilauea's east rift zone flow field, web site (URL: http://www.wr.usgs.gov/maps; accessed 15 August 2013).

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

Information Contacts: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawai'i National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/, Daily updates, https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php, and Weekly updates, https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/volcanowatch/).


Pavlof (United States) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Pavlof

United States

55.417°N, 161.894°W; summit elev. 2493 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption in May-June 2013 with lava flows and ash emissions to ~8.5 km a.s.l.

Pavlof, the most active volcano in the Aleutian arc, erupted on 13 May 2013. Before this, it had most recently erupted on 15 August 2007, following an 11-year period of quiescence. The eruption that began in May 2013 continued through June before slowly subsiding to background levels by 8 August. Pavlof generated several ash plumes during the six-week eruption that disrupted aviation, including an 8-km high plume on 24 June. As in past Pavlof eruptions, the recent eruptions fluctuated in intensity. This report briefly discusses earthquake data during 2007-2011 and, in greater detail, the series of eruptions during May and June 2013.

According to Mangan and others (2009), Pavlof has discharged more than 40 recorded eruptions within the previous 200 years, producing mostly basaltic andesite to andesite products. That work, discussed in a separate subsection near the end of this report, also discusses the adjacent 12x19 km Emmons Lake caldera (a chain of nested calderas) on Pavlof's SW flank (figure 5). The Emmons Lake Volcanic Center (ELCV) is used to collectively describe the entire complex, including the nested caldera, intra-caldera stratovolcanoes, and the adjacent stratovolcanoes (including Pavlof) to the NE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Maps showing both the location of Pavlof on the lower Alaska Peninsula (upper left) and showing more details of the complex, including the elongate Emmons Lake caldera and six stratovolcanoes. The lake occupies but a small volume of the caldera, which is breached to the SE. Taken from Mangan and others (2009).

According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), 48 earthquakes were located beneath Pavlof in 2007, the year of the previous eruption. During the following non-eruptive years, AVO reported 9 earthquakes centered at Pavlof in 2008, 7 earthquakes in 2009, 19 in 2010, and 13 in 2011. As of this writing, AVO has not yet published 2012 earthquake data.

Eruption in May 2013. On 13 May 2013, seismicity increased at 0800 and an intense thermal anomaly was observed at the summit in satellite imagery. Several spikes in seismicity occurred between 0900 and 1000. AVO noted that similar patterns of seismicity and elevated surface temperatures in previous cases had signaled the onset of eruptive activity at Pavlof. The Volcanic Alert Level was increased to Watch (the second highest category of four) and the Aviation Color Code was increased to Orange (the second highest category of four).

On 14 May 2013, pilot reports and satellite images indicated a spatter-fed lava flow that had advanced about 0.5 km down the N flank. The advancing lava had also generated debris-laden deposits, presumably from the interaction of hot lava with snow and ice on the flank. According to AVO, a diffuse ash plume drifted about 160 km NE at an altitude of 4.6 km before dissipating. Minor ashfall was reported the evening of 14 May in a mining camp 80 km NE of the volcano. No other nearby communities reported ashfall. Minor steam-and-ash emissions from the summit were visible from Cold Bay (~58 km SW).

During 14-15 May 2013, elevated seismicity persisted. Steam-and-ash clouds observed with a web camera at Cold Bay (55 km W of the volcano) occasionally rose to an altitude of 6.1 km. Residents in Cold Bay observed incandescence from the summit during the night. On 15 May a pilot reported a dark ash cloud drifting ENE at an altitude of 6.1 km.

On 16 May, AVO observed lava fountaining at the summit and a continuous ash, steam, and gas cloud extending 50-100 km downwind at an altitude of about 6.1 km. Satellite images showed persistent elevated surface temperatures at the summit and on the NW flank, consistent with lava fountaining at the summit and the resulting lava flow.

During 18-19 May 2013, reports noted that a narrow plume of steam, ash, and gas occasionally rising up to an altitude of 6.7 km and drifting SE was visible in satellite and pilot images (figures 6 and 7). Pilots noted that lava fountaining and ash emission continued. Overnight, trace amounts of ash fell on the community of Sand Point (88 km E). During the afternoon on 19 May, pilots reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.7 km. Trace amounts of ash fell in Nelson Lagoon (78 km NNE) during 19-20 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Photograph of Pavlof taken on 18 May 2013 by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The space station was ~770 km away and S-SE of the volcano when the photograph was taken. The volcanic plume extended SE over the North Pacific Ocean. Residing next to Pavlof is the white, seemingly ash free stratovolcano Pavlof Sister. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory with credit for caption and processing to Robert Simmon, (NASA Earth Observatory) and G. M. Gentry (DB Consulting Group at NASA-JSC).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Photo of Pavlof eruption taken by a commercial pilot on 18 May 2013. Plume direction was not identified, but based on the NASA photo taken the same day (figure 6), the plume is drifting SE and the volcano in the foreground is Pavlof Sister (NE of Pavlof). Courtesy of Brandon Wilson (PenAir) and provided by AVO/Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys.

News articles (Associated Press, PRNewswire, Alaska Dispatch) stated that during 19-21 May 2013 two regional airlines canceled flights to several remote communities and delayed or re-routed other flights. On 21 May AVO reported that a low-level plume of steam, gas, and ash occasionally rose to an altitude of 6.1 km and drifted NNE. Trace amounts of ash again fell in Nelson Lagoon.

AVO reported that seismic tremor markedly declined around 1100 on 21 May 2013 and was followed through 23 May by the detection of small discrete events, likely indicative of small explosions, by an infrasonic pressure sensor (Chaparral model 2.5 at site PN7). Although cloud cover prevented satellite observations, elevated surface temperatures at the vent were detected. On 22 May a pilot report and photographs indicated weak steam-and-gas emissions containing little to no ash.

The eruption continued at a lower level during 24-26 May. Neither evidence of elevated surface temperatures nor a plume were observed in partly clear satellite images during 24-25 and 27 May. Clouds obscured views on 26 May. The Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow on 28 May.

According to AVO, Pavlof emitted ash on 4 June at about 1100, as observed in satellite images and by pilots. Satellite images showed an ash cloud drifting SE, and pilots estimated that the cloud was at an altitude of 5.8 km. Weak seismicity that began at 1057 accompanied the emissions, and then continued. AVO increased the Volcanic Alert Level to Watch and increased the Aviation Color Code to Orange.

AVO reported that ash emissions continued during 5-11 June 2013, accompanied by tremor and explosion signals. Overnight during 4-8 June, satellite images detected elevated surface temperatures near the vent consistent with lava effusion and fountaining. Elevated surface temperatures persisted until 14 June. On 5 and 6 June, an ash plume drifted 40-45 km W and SW at altitudes of 4.3-5.5 km based on pilot estimates. During 8-10 June, an ash plume drifted 20-53 km SE. During 12-14 June, ash emissions were intermittent and minor; ash plumes remained below an altitude of 6.1 km and mostly drifted SE.

During 14-15 June 2013, seismicity decreased. Minor emissions probably ceased, but web-camera views were partially obscured by clouds. On 17 June no plumes were visible in satellite images, and web camera views showed mostly cloudy conditions.

During 17-18 June, tremor amplitude increased slightly, and elevated surface temperatures were again detected in satellite images. A small ash plume rose from the crater. The eruption continued during 19-25 June, with tremor and occasional explosions. Cloud cover prevented web camera views. Elevated surface temperatures continued to be detected during 19-20 and 24 June. A small ash plume from the summit vent was also detected in a satellite image on 19 June, and possibly during 20-22 June.

On 24 June, seismicity increased to the strongest level to date during 2013 and included continuous intense tremor and frequent small explosions likely associated with lava fountaining and ash production. Seismicity remained high on 25 June. Satellite images and pilot observations indicated that a plume drifted W at altitudes as high as 8.2-8.5 km. Satellite images also detected a strong thermal anomaly at the summit. Trace amounts of ash fell in King Cove (48 km SW). According to a news report (Reuters), regional air traffic was again cancelled or re-routed.

According to AVO, seismicity declined during 25-26 June and consisted of intermittent bursts of tremor and occasional small explosions. Satellite images showed a plume containing small amounts of ash drifting NW, and strong thermal anomalies at the summit. Pilot reports on 26 June indicated that plumes rose to altitudes between 6.1-7.6 km during the morning and then to heights just above the summit later that day. Seismicity during 26 June-1 July continued at low levels and consisted primarily of intervals of continuous, low-level tremor. Thermal anomalies at the summit detected in satellite images were strong during 26-29 June and weak during 30 June-1 July.

AVO reported that activity further declined during 1-2 July; tremor and explosions were no longer detected in seismic and pressure sensor data. Satellite images did not detect elevated surface temperatures, volcanic gas, or ash emissions, and there were no visual observations from pilots or from webcam images of any eruptive activity since 26 June. Consequently, AVO lowered the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory.

On 8 August, AVO reported that no lava or ash emissions had been observed at Pavlof since 26 June and the volcano had exhibited gradually declining levels of unrest. Seismicity was at background levels. Thus, AVO lowered the Aviation Color Code to Green and the Volcano Alert Level to Normal.

Mangan and others (2009) discussion. Mangan and others (2009) cite Power and others (2004) as stating that background (non-eruptive) seismicity at Pavlof occurs as infrequent long-period earthquakes at focal depths between 20-40 km. Mangan and others contend that while only a few of these events at most occur annually, they are a stable feature attributed to quasi-steady fluxing of basaltic magma and exsolved CO2 in a deep dike and sill complex. According to the article, the seismic network at Pavlof is poorly situated to detect deep seismicity under the Emmons Lake caldera.

Mangan and others state, "All witnessed [Emmons Lake Volcanic Center] ELVC eruptions have occurred outside the caldera [,specifically] at Pavlof, the most active volcano in the entire arc. Pavlof's slopes are extensively mantled with tephra and pyroclastic debris produced during [its] historical strombolian, vulcanian, and lava fountain events (Miller et al., 1998). Limited precursory seismicity herald Pavlof eruptions (McNutt, 1989) and, to the extent studied, negligible precursory ground deformation (Lu et al., 2003; Z. Lu personal communication 2008). Of the 20 eruptions occurring since the installation of Pavlof's seismic network (1973), 13 eruptions have occurred with less than 24 h of warning. Pavlof is essentially an "open vent" volcano with magma rising aseismically through a thermally well-groomed conduit. High-frequency volcano-tectonic earthquakes, characteristic of magma rise through brittle crust, are virtually absent."

Figure 8 presents Mangan and others (2009) conceptualization of the plumbing beneath the ELVC, which includes Pavlof.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Conceptual cross-section through the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center looking at a vertical plane parallel to the volcanic axis. The drawing shows two distinct plumbing systems drawing from a common magmatic source at more than 20 km depth. Courtesy of Mangan and others (2009).

The other volcano of the ELVC considered to have high likelihood of eruption is Mt. Hague (Waythomas and others, 2006). That study also presents a set of hazard maps for the complex.

References. Mangan, M., Miller, T., Waythomas, C., Trusdell, F., Calvert, A., and Layer, P., 2009, Diverse lavas from closely spaced volcanoes drawing from a common parent: Emmons Lake Volcanic Center, Eastern Aleutian Arc, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 287, pp. 363-372.

Waythomas, CF; Miller, TP, and Mangan, MT, 2006, Preliminary Volcano Hazard Assessment for the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center, Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5248 (URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2006/5248/).

Geologic Background. The most active volcano of the Aleutian arc, Pavlof is a 2519-m-high Holocene stratovolcano that was constructed along a line of vents extending NE from the Emmons Lake caldera. Pavlof and its twin volcano to the NE, 2142-m-high Pavlof Sister, form a dramatic pair of symmetrical, glacier-covered stratovolcanoes that tower above Pavlof and Volcano bays. A third cone, Little Pavlof, is a smaller volcano on the SW flank of Pavlof volcano, near the rim of Emmons Lake caldera. Unlike Pavlof Sister, Pavlof has been frequently active in historical time, typically producing Strombolian to Vulcanian explosive eruptions from the summit vents and occasional lava flows. The active vents lie near the summit on the north and east sides. The largest historical eruption took place in 1911, at the end of a 5-year-long eruptive episode, when a fissure opened on the N flank, ejecting large blocks and issuing lava flows.

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/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/); PRNewswire (URL: http://www.prnewswire.com); Alaska Dispatch (URL: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/); and Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com/).


Veniaminof (United States) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Veniaminof

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing sporadic eruptions as late as 6 October 2013

In our last report on Veniaminof (figure 12) (BGVN 33:05), we noted that on 22 February 2008 several minor ash bursts had occurred, a process common in ten's of Bulletin and predecessor Smithsonian reports going back to 1983 (SEAN 08:05). In this report we provide a brief summary of activity from 1 March 2008 into October 2013, an interval including several episodes with lava flows, ash bursts, elevated seismicity, and ash fall. During 4 May 2008-7 June 2013 the available data suggest comparative quite, although during part of that time the volcano lacked a seismic monitoring system. During the reporting interval, the Aviation Alert Level often shifted between Orange and Yellow (high to intermediate values on a scale from Green to Red). As discussed below, there was also an interval without seismic monitoring announced 17 November 2009 when the hazard status was termed 'unassigned' owing to a seismic instrument outage. This report omits detailed seismic data published by the USGS (eg. Dixon and Stilher, 2009; Dixon and others, 2012). On 30 August 2013 ash plumes rose to over 6 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Location of Veniaminof on the Alaskan Peninsula. Map courtesy of AVO.

Table 1 synthesizes available AVO reporting on Veniaminof behavior during February 2008 through 6 October 2013. See their reports for more details. During the interval 4 May 2008 to 7 June 2013 the volcano was often quietly steaming, although seismicity increased during part of May 2009. Several highlights follow. Weather permitting, satellite images showed some days with high elevated surface temperatures at the cinder cone inside the caldera consistent with lava effusion. For example, during 24 July-30 July 2013, a "river of lava" flowed down the cone. As discussed in a subsection below, several noteworthy images were acquired in mid-2013 showing ash and thermal signatures on the volcano. On 30 August 2013 the plume reached over 6 km altitude as an unusually vigorous eruptive event ensued. The last lava emissions of the reporting interval took place on 6 October 2013.

Table 1. Representative dates and noteworthy eruptive or non-eruptive intervals at Veniaminof during March 2008 through late August 2013. Courtesy of AVO.

Date Ash plume altitude and movement Other comments
Late Feb through May 2008 Below 2.7 km Sporadic increases in seismic and eruptive activity were noted since 11 February, including tremor episodes that lasted 1-2 minutes and occurred several times per hour. Broadly during late February 2008, AVO noted both small ash bursts with local ashfall at the crater accompanied by seismicity, and occasional high thermal fluxes.
4 May 2008-7 June 2013 (Steaming) 7-26 May 2009, often quiet steaming with generally low to occasional high seismicity and with absence of thermal anomalies. No reports during other portions of the interval 4 May 2008 to 7 June 2013. Seismic station outage announced 17 November 2009, with seismic reports returning 8 June 2013.
19 June 2013 4.6 km NE Cloudy weather sometimes prevented views of the caldera, although most days satellite images showed very high elevated surface temperatures at the cinder cone inside the caldera consistent with lava effusion. On 19 June, residents in Sandy River reported ash bursts.
24-30 July 2013 4.5 km NW Lava effusion, a "river of lava," flowing down the cone.
14-20 August 2013 3.7 km W and then SSE AVO reported that during 13-15 August seismic tremor at Veniaminof was high, and persistent elevated surface temperatures consistent with lava effusion were visible on satellite imagery. An 18 August webcamera image revealed minor ash emissions. On 19 August a helicopter overflight revealed two lava flows On 20 August, trace ash fall reported in Perryville ((32 km SSE); they also heard hearing explosions; infrasound equipment in Dillingham (322 km NE) also detected impulses.
21 Aug-20 Oct 2013 4.6-6.7 km SE 27-29 Aug, episodic tremor bursts interpreted as lava effusion and emissions; prominent satellite thermal anomalies. On 30 Aug, some of the strongest emissions since the eruption began in June 2013; ongoing into early Sept but diminishing in late Sept, and without evidence of eruption in satellite and webcamera data on and around 20 Sept. A lava effusion was recognized 6 October, then waning by mid-October.

As noted above and in table 1, non-eruptive steaming prevailed at the volcano during much or all of the interval 4 May 2008-7 May 2009. On 17 November 2009 AVO announced that Veniaminof was one of four volcanoes in Alaska that they could no longer monitor because of seismic station outages. They then shifted both their Alert Level of Normal and the Aviation Color Code of Green to the category "unassigned." AVO stated that these volcanoes "will likely remain without real-time seismic monitoring until next summer, when necessary upgrades at these and other networks will occur. As at other volcanoes without real-time seismic networks, AVO will continue to use satellite data and reports from pilots and ground observers to detect signs of eruptive activity."

Following the announced station outage, the next update at Veniaminof was on 8 June 2013.

Pilots of aircraft PEN241 saw on 27 August 2013 intermittent ash discharges at 1720 UTC . "Occasional ash to [~3 km a.s.l.] moving NNE. Cloud height up to [~4 km a.s.l.] every 2-5 minutes." This reporting was transmitted to Air Traffic authorities and then to Bulletin editors via the Volcanic Activity Reporting Form (VAR; Appendix 2 of Federal Aviation Administration, 2012). Reports like these are valuable to engineers and scientists who benefit from the direct observations provided by pilots.

During 6-7 May 2009, seismic activity from Veniaminof increased, prompting AVO to raise the Volcanic Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. Small magnitude earthquakes occurred at rates of 5-10 per hour during quieter periods and 1-3 per minute during periods of more intense activity. Visual observations indicated typical steaming from the summit caldera cone. Seismicity remained elevated during 8-12 May 2009. On 26 May 2009, AVO reported that seismicity from Veniaminof had decreased during the previous week. The Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to Normal and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

During 2010-12 the volcano was relatively quiet (table 1). There were no AVO weekly reports on Veniaminof during this interval.

On 13 June 2013, low-level emissions led the AVO to increase the aviation color code to orange. The Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported on 15 June 2013 that the eruptions had ended, but AVO still reported intermittent activity continuing through 8 July 2013. In addition, MODVOLC had detected 248 thermal alerts during 14 June-11 July 2013 (figure 13).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. This image of Veniaminof displays MODVOLC thermal alerts from 14 June 2013 to 11 July 2013. Thermal alerts from MODVOLC are derived from data collected by the MODIS thermal sensors aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites and processed by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology using the MODVOLC algorithm. Note that the hotspots (red) are clustered in the immediate region of the summit and are not wildfires.

July 2013 activity. Figure 14 shows a satellite image from 4 July 2013 portraying both ash desposits on the snow surface and the thermal signature of an ongoing lava flow. On 8 July 2013, AVO reported that nearly continuous, low-level volcanic tremor had occurred during the previous 24 hours. Cloudy satellite images detected thermal anomalies (figure 14). Web camera images from Perryville (32 m SSE) showed incandescence from the Veniaminof intracaldera cone.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. This satellite image from 4 July 2013 shows thermal emissions from an active lava flow as detected by shortwave infrared data, The image also shows ash deposits covering the snow fields that engulf the volcano. N is to the top. The ash appears as radial spokes due to deposition during changing wind directions. The lava flow was active at the time of this photo, extending southward from the vent. Image courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory.

AVO reported that the ongoing low-level eruption of Veniaminof, characterized by lava effusion and emission of minor amounts of ash and steam, continued during 26 June-8 July 2013, indicated by nearly continuous volcanic tremor and occasional small explosions detected by the seismic network. Figure 15 shows a photo taken on 26 June. Satellite images showed elevated surface temperatures at the cinder cone inside the caldera consistent with lava effusion. During 26-30 June web camera images from Perryville showed a small light-colored plume rising above the cone to just above the rim of the caldera, and night time images showed persistent incandescence from the cone. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color code remained at Orange.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Steam rising from the active intracaldera cone of Veniaminof. The photo was taken from ~600 m elevation, looking SW toward the volcano on 26 June 2013. Photo courtesy of Will Lawrence.

2008-2011 seismicity. According to Dixon and others (2009) and additional AVO reports, the monitoring network for Veniaminof included nine stations, at least through 2011. The network experienced intermittent outages (eg. figure 16 of broken solar panel.) The number of recorded earthquakes between 2008-2011 is presented in table 1.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Helena Buurman works to remove smashed solar panels at station VNFG- one of the main repeaters in the Veniaminof network (17 July 2010). Photo courtesy of Cyrus Read.

Table 2. Veniaminof VT and LF earthquakes detected during 2008-2011. Because of occasional equipment outages, values in the table may under-represent actual numbers. Values for 2012 were not yet available. Sources included Dixon and others (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

Year Earthquakes located Volcano-tectonic (VT) Low frequency (LF)
2008 17 14 3
2009 4 3 1
2010 22 18 4
2011 7 6 1

2009 annual seismicity. The Aniakchak, Cerberus, Gareloi, Great Sitkin, Pavlof, Veniaminof, and Wrangell subnetworks had insufficient numbers of located earthquakes to calculate a Mc. The Mc ranged from -0.1 to 1.5 for the individual subnetworks.

2010 annual seismicity. The seismograph networks on Aniakchak, Korovin, and Veniaminof were repaired in 2010. There were many station outages in the previous two years.

Seismicity at Veniaminof and Westdahl were the only areas in which an increase over the seismicity in 2009 was noted. The increase in seismicity at Veniaminof was a result of a small swarm of activity northwest of the active cone in late July.

2011 annual seismicity. There were fewer station outages and more than four were operating during the year. Veniaminof had insufficient numbers of located earthquakes in 2011 to calculate a magnitude completeness.

References. Dixon, J.P., Stihler, S.D., Power, J.A., and Searcy, C.K., 2011, Catalog of earthquake hypocenters at Alaskan Volcanoes: January 1 through December 31, 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 645, 82 p.

Dixon, J.P., Stihler, S.D., Power, J.A., and Searcy, C.K., 2012, Catalog of earthquake hypocenters at Alaskan Volcanoes: January 1 through December 31, 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 730, 82 p.

Dixon, J.P., Stihler, S.D., Power, J.A., and Searcy, Cheryl, 2010, Catalog of earthquake hypocenters at Alaskan volcanoes: January 1 through December 31, 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 531, 84 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, 86 p.

Federal Aviation Administration, 2012, Aeronautical Information Manual, Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures (issued 9 February 2012; with revisions as late as 22 Aug ust 2013) (URL: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/index.htm).

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

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory, 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/); Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 6930 Sand lake Road Anchorage, AK 99502-1845 USA (URL: http://vaac.arh.noaa.gov/); and Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alert System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http:hotspot.higp.hawaiii.edu/).


Yasur (Vanuatu) — May 2013 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive activity continued into at least early 2013

In BGVN 36:05, we reported that on 12 May 2011, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) reported, based on information collected by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department, that a OMI (ozone monitoring instrument) satellite image showed strong degassing of SO2 from Yasur volcano during the previous week (see map of this island volcano in figure 42 of BGVN 36:05). On 1 June 2011, the Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) was raised from 2 to 3, following increasing explosive activity during May, then lowered to 2 on 13 June (table 3).

Table 3. The Vanuatu Volcanic Alert Level (VVAL) scale for the six volcanoes monitored by Vanuato Geohazard Observatory (Yasur, Lopevi, Ambrym, Aoba, Gaua, and Suretamatai). Courtesy of Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory.

VVAL Description
Lvl. ? Insufficient monitoring to make assessment.
Lvl. 0 Normal low-level activity.
Lvl. 1 Increased activity, danger near crater only.         
Lvl. 2 Moderate eruptions, danger close to the volcano vent, within parts of Volcanic Hazards Map Red Zone.
Lvl. 3 Large eruption, danger in specific areas within parts of Volcanic Hazards Map Red and Yellow Zones.    
Lvl. 4 Very large eruption, island-wide danger (including areas within Red Yellow and Green Zones).

During the week of 7-12 July 2012, VGO observed that explosive activity at Yasur became stronger and more frequent, and shifted from Strombolian to sub Plinian. Bombs ejected from the vents fell in the crater, around the summit area, and on the tourist walk and parking area (within the red zone, figure 43). The explosions were heard, felt, and observed from nearby villages and schools. Activity at all three volcanic vents was characterized by degassing, ash emissions, and ejection of bombs. On 13 July 2012, the Alert Level was raised to 3.

VGO reported an OMI satellite image on 1 April 2013 showed diffuse SO2 from Yasur. Explosive activity increased on 2 April 2013, with explosions becoming stronger and more frequent, and continued to slightly increase through 28 May. Bombs again fell around the summit area, the tourist walk, and the parking area. Moderate ash emissions and ashfall occurred on 2, 4, and 5 April, and 5 and 8 May 2013. Photos included in the report showed dense white plumes on 23 and 24 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0 4).

Volcano Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reports on Yasur. In many cases the VAAC lacked any satellite data and in cases where they did have data they frequently were unable to detect the plume or in other cases could not detect ash in the plume (table 4).

Table 4. Yasur volcano aviation reports (VAAs, Volcanic Ash Advisories) for the time interval 11 January 2009 to 10 June 2010. In many cases the information sources were the Vanuatu Geohazard Observatory (VGO). On 11 January the source was an AIREP, an aircraft report. Data provided courtesy of the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisor Centre (VAAC).

Date (time UTC) Info Source (type of observation) Details Altitude (km) Drift or cited wind direction
11 Jan 2009 AIREP Plume sighted over volcano by aircraft (to ~4 km altitude, drifting SE). Ash not seen by VAAC analysts in satellite data. ~4km SE
29 May 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, however no satellite image was made. ~2km Winds NE
30 May 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud was captured with a Modis image. ~2km Winds E
31 May 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud obscured the satellite image. ~2km Winds NE
01 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud obscured the satellite image. ~2km Winds N
02 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud was unidentifiable on satellite image. ~2km Winds N
03 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud was unidentifiable on satellite image. ~2km Winds E/NE
04 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported plume, and a volcanic ash cloud was unidentifiable on satellite image. ~2km Winds NE
05 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume, and a volcanic ash could was unidentifiable on satellite image. A remark was made suggesting volcanic eruption may be easing. ~2km Winds NW
06 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume,and a volcanic ash cloud was unidentifiable on satellite image. ~2km Winds NW
07 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume, and satellite image was unavailable. ~2km Winds NW
08 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume, and satellite image was unavailable. ~2km Winds NW
09 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume, and satellite image was unavailable. ~2km Winds
10 Jun 2010 VGO Observatory reported a plume, and that no volcanic ash was visible on satellite image. ~2km Winds NE

Satellite Thermal Alerts. The MODIS/MODVOLC satellite thermal alert system has shown least 1 to 10 alerts each month over Yasur since the beginning of 2011. A lava lake has existed at Yasur for many years.

References. Allen, S.R., 2005, Complex spatter and pumice rich pyroclastic deposits from an andesitic caldera forming eruption:The Siwi pyroclastic sequence, Tanna, Vanuatu, Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 67, pp. 27 41.

Calmant, S., Pelletier, B., Lebellegard, P., Bevis, M., Taylor, F.W., and Phillips, D.A., 2003, New insights on the tectonics along the New Hebrides subduction zone based on GPS results, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, no. B6, pp. 2319 2339.

Carnay, JN., and MacFarlane, A, 1979, Geology of Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna and Aniva, New Hebrides Geological Survey Report 1979, pp. 5 29.

Métrich, N., Allard, P., Aiuppa, A., Bani, P., Bertagnini, A., Shinohara, H., Parello, F., Di Muro, A., Garaebiti, E., Belhadj, O., and Massare, D., 2011, Magma and Volatile Supply to Post collapse Volcanism and Block Resurgence in Siwi Caldera (Tanna Island, Vanuatu Arc), Journal of Petrology, v. 52, no. 6, pp. 1077 1105; DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egr019.

Nairn, I.A., Scott, B.J., and Giggenbach, W.F., 1988, Yasur volcanic investigations, Vanuatu September 1988, New Zealand Geological Survey Report 1988, pp.1 74.

Pelletier, B., Calmant, S., and Pillet, R., 1998, Current tectonic of the Tonga New Hebrides region, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 164, pp. 263 276.

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: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory, Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://www.geohazards.gov.vu); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov); MODIS/MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), 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/); and Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService), PO Box 722, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.metservice.com/vaac/, URL: http://vaac.metservice.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/).