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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

All reports of volcanic activity published by the Smithsonian since 1968 are available through a monthly table of contents or by searching for a specific volcano. Until 1975, reports were issued for individual volcanoes as information became available; these have been organized by month for convenience. Later publications were done in a monthly newsletter format. Links go to the profile page for each volcano with the Bulletin tab open.

Information is preliminary at time of publication and subject to change.


Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Aira (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Agung (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kerinci (Indonesia) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent explosions with ash plumes, February-May 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Suwanosejima (Japan) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash plumes continued during January through June 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Great Sitkin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small steam explosions in early June 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ibu (Indonesia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ebeko (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Yasur (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ambae (Vanuatu) — June 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Declining thermal activity and no explosions during February-May 2019

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

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

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

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

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


Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2019 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 43, Number 01 (January 2018)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Agung (Indonesia)

New eruption after 54 years; extensive pre-eruption seismicity precedes ash emission on 21 November 2017

Bezymianny (Russia)

Eruption continues with ash plumes and lava flows through December 2017

Copahue (Chile-Argentina)

Ash emissions and incandescence during June-July 2017; ongoing degassing with sporadic ash

Galeras (Colombia)

Eruption with ash plumes May 2012-January 2014; steam emissions through 2017

Heard (Australia)

Intermittent low-to-moderate thermal anomalies end in mid-November 2017

Kanlaon (Philippines)

Phreatic explosions on 9 December 2017 with ashfall and high seismicity

Kirishimayama (Japan)

Explosive eruption with ash plumes in October 2017

Lopevi (Vanuatu)

Episodes of unrest in January and September 2017; gas-and-steam plumes

Reventador (Ecuador)

Large pyroclastic and lava flows during late June and late August 2017; continuing ash emissions and block avalanches throughout January-September 2017

Semeru (Indonesia)

Renewed thermal anomalies from mid-May through December 2017



Agung (Indonesia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruption after 54 years; extensive pre-eruption seismicity precedes ash emission on 21 November 2017

A large explosive and effusive eruption lasting about 11 months during 1963-64 at Indonesia's Mount Agung on Bali produced voluminous ashfall, devastating pyroclastic flows that caused extensive damage, and over 1,000 fatalities. The volcano remained largely quiet until renewed seismicity began in August 2017, the prelude to a new eruptive episode, which started in late November 2017 and is ongoing. Self and Rampino (2012) and Fontijn et al. (2015) published detailed summaries of historical activity at Agung prior to this new episode; a brief summary of their work is provided.

Information about the new eruptive episode comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), also known as the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) which is the National Board for Disaster Management, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various sources of satellite data. The first two months of this new episode, through December 2017, are discussed in this report.

Summary of 1963-64 eruption. The February 1963 to January 1964 eruption, Indonesia's largest and most devastating eruption of the twentieth century, was a multi-phase explosive and effusive event that produced both basaltic andesite tephra and andesite lava (Self and Rampino, 2012). After a few days of felt earthquakes on 16 and 17 February 1963, explosive activity began at the summit on 18 February. This was followed the next day by the effusion of about 0.1 km3 of andesite lava which was extruded until 17 March 1963, when a large explosive eruption generated pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) and lahars that devastated wide areas N, SW, and SE of the volcano (figure 1) (Fontijn et al, 2015).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of Gunung Agung and vicinity, eastern Bali, showing the extent of the 1963 lava flow (cross-hatched), pyroclastic flow deposits (stippled), and lahar deposits (dark shading) of the 1963–1964 eruption (after unpublished map courtesy of Indonesian Volcanological Survey). Sg is Siligading village, where many fatalities occurred. Reproduced from Self and Rampino (2012, figure 3).

Explosive activity continued intermittently until a second explosive phase of similar intensity occurred two months later, beginning on 16 May 1963 with reported ash plumes reaching 10 km above the 3-km-high summit (figure 2). This phase produced the greatest proportion of the pyroclastic flow material from the eruption and led to additional death and destruction in villages at the foot of the volcano (Self and Rampino, 2012). Explosive outbursts continued intermittently until 17 January 1964. The total death toll of the eruption was estimated between 1,100 and 1,900 (see references in Fontijn et al., 2015). A total estimated volume of erupted magma was ca 0.4 km3 (Self and Rampino, 2012).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Photograph reported to be of the 16 May 1963 eruption column at Agung; the view is from the SW, perhaps near Rendang (shown on figure 1). Photo courtesy of the family of Denis Mathews, reproduced from Self and Rampino (2012, figure 2b).

Activity between 1964 and 2017. Almost no activity was reported from Agung during 1964-2017. Weak solfataric activity from within the summit crater was reported in 1989 (SEAN 14:07). MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported intermittently on one or two days during a few years (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013), but all of the alerts were located on the middle or lower flanks, suggesting their source was agriculture or forest fires, unrelated to volcanic activity. Chaussard et al. (2013) reported inflation centered on the summit at a rate of 7.8 cm/year between mid-2007 and early 2009, followed by slow deflation at a rate of 1.9 cm/year until mid-2011 (the last acquired data).

Summary of September-December 2017 Activity. Increases in seismic activity were first noted at Agung during mid-August 2017. Exponential increases in the rate of events during the middle of September led PVMBG to incrementally raise the Alert Level from I to IV (lowest to highest) between 14 and 22 September. Steam-and-gas emissions were intermittently observed 50-500 m above the summit crater from the end of September through October, with occasional bursts as high as 1,500 m. Seismicity dropped off almost as quickly as it rose, beginning on 20 October, and then continued a more gradual decrease through the end of the month and into November. The number and intensity of hot spots observed within the summit crater increased during September, then leveled off during October.

Ash emissions first appeared on 21 November, rising to 700 m above the summit. Ash density and heights of plumes increased several times during the rest of November to about 3,000 m. Ashfall as deep as 5 mm affected neighboring communities, and was reported several hundred kilometers from the summit; the international airport about 60 km SW was forced to close for a few days at the end of the month. Thermal data indicated effusion of lava into the summit crater at the end of November. After 30 November, emissions continued, primarily comprised of steam and gas, with intermittent plumes of dense ash, rising up to 2.5 km above the summit throughout December.

Activity during August-September 2017. In their monthly report of volcanic activity for August 2017, PVMBG noted that 49 volcanoes, including Agung, were listed at Alert Level 1, meaning "Normal", with no apparent increases in visual or seismic activity. The first signs of renewed unrest at Agung appeared as an increase in the rate of deep volcanic earthquakes (VA or Vulkanik Dalam) beginning on 10 August 2017. Shallow volcanic earthquakes (VB or Vulkanik Dangkal) began to increase two weeks later on 24 August, followed by an increase in the number of local tectonic earthquakes on 26 August (figure 3). Based on this increased seismicity, and an observation on 13 September of new solfataric activity at the bottom of the summit crater, PVMBG raised the Alert Level the following day from Level I (Normal) to Level II (Beware); the Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow on a four-color scale (Green, Yellow, Orange, Red). The deeper earthquakes (VA) had a seismic amplitude range from 3-10 mm. The shallow earthquakes (VB) had an amplitude range of 2-7 mm. Otherwise, there was no surface expression of activity during September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Seismic activity at Agung between 1 July and 13 September 2017. The Y-axis is the number of daily earthquakes. The increase in deep volcanic seismicity (VA, or Vulkanik Dalam) that began on 10 August 2017 was followed two weeks later by an increase in shallow volcanic seismicity (Vulkanik Dangkal or VB). Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Tingkat Aktivitas Gunung Agung, 14 September 2017).

The Agung Volcano Observatory (AVO) is located in Rendang village about 8 km SW. Webcams are located in Rendang and in Bukit Asah, about 8 km W. On 15 September 2017 a steam emission was observed rising 50 m above the crater rim. The AVO issued a VONA on 18 September noting a rapid increase in volcanic earthquake activity with a small hot spot detected in satellite data. This contributed to them raising the Alert Level again to Level III (Standby), resulting in a 6-km-radius exclusion zone activated around the summit, extending to 7.5 km on the N, SE, and SSW flanks where the pyroclastic flows of 1963 had caused the most damage. Many of the 50,000 village residents within the 6 km exclusion zone began voluntary evacuations. The communities affected included Jungutan (7 km S) and Buana Giri (12 km SE) villages in the Bebandem District, Sebudi Village (6 km SW) in the Selat Subdistrict, Besakih Village (12 km SW) in the Rendang Subdistrict, and Dukuh (4 km NE) and Ban (7.5 km NW) villages in the Kubu Subdistrict. About 9,500 people had voluntarily evacuated from the villages by 22 September 2017.

The observatory issued another VONA on 19 September 2017, reporting an 'ash cloud' at 0255 UTC (1055 Central Indonesia Time, or WITA). It was described as a dense, white plume moving to the W. Around the same time (0240 UTC) MODVOLC recorded ten thermal alerts on the N and E flanks. Bali's Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) reported in Antara News on 19 September that the source of the smoke and ash were forest fires caused by excessively dry conditions.

A VONA issued by AVO in the morning of 22 September stated that a steam emission about 50 m above the summit drifted NW. During the evening of 22 September, PVMBG raised the Alert Level to Level IV (Caution), the highest of the four-level scale, based primarily on continuing increases in seismicity. They expanded the exclusion zone to 9 km around the summit, and to 12 km in the areas S, SE, and NNE. The number of evacuees had risen to nearly 35,000 people by 24 September. Steam-and-gas plumes were intermittently observed rising to 200 m above the crater rim during the rest of September. By 26 September, PVMBG reported increasing seismic activity with 579 deep volcanic (VA) quakes, 373 shallow quakes (VB), and 50 local tectonic events that day. Seismicity continued to escalate through the end of the month. By the end of September, the government was assisting with the logistics of evacuating tens of thousands of livestock, primarily cattle, as well as over 90,000 people from within and around the 9 km exclusion zone. MAGMA Indonesia reported that new steaming and thermal areas within the summit crater expanded during the last week of the month.

Activity during October 2017. Narrow steam plumes rose 50-200 m above the summit crater during the first half of October. The rate of earthquakes during the last week of September and the first week of October continued to fluctuate at high levels, averaging 1-3 per minute, and more than 600 per day. By the first week of October, shallow earthquakes alone had increased to more than 200 per day, suggesting the possibility of magmatic activity at shallow depth. Satellite data showed increasing steam emissions along the NE edge of the crater rim. Tiltmeter data showed sudden deflation on 1 October, followed by continued inflation through 5 October. AVO released a VONA on 7 October noting a steam plume rising 1,500 m above the summit crater at 1245 UTC and drifting E (figure 4).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. A steam plume rose 1,500 m above the summit of Agung on 7 October 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

During the second half of the month, steam plumes were denser and rose more frequently to 200-500 m above the summit crater. BNPB flew drones over the summit on 20 and 29 October 2017 and captured 400 aerial photographs (figures 5 and 6). The images revealed a widening of the fracture zone on the E side of the summit crater, and a new fracture on the SE side.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. A view into the summit crater of Agung on 20 October 2017, taken by a BNPB drone. Steam fumaroles rose from the NNE flank. N is to the left. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A view into the summit crater of Agung on 29 October 2017, taken by a BNPB drone. The steam plumes rose from the NE corner of the summit crater. The NE rim of the crater slopes away to the upper left. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

PVMBG noted a decline in seismicity beginning on 20 October 2017 which continued through the end of the month (figure 7), leading them to lower the Alert Level from IV to III on 29 October, and reduce the exclusion zone to a 6 km radius, plus a 7.5 km area in the NNE, SE and SSW sectors. In their late October report, they observed that remote sensing thermal infrared data had detected an increase in the thermal energy beginning on 10 July 2017, in the form of an increased number of hot spots within the summit crater. During August and September, the number of hot spots had increased significantly and correlated with the increases in seismicity (figure 8). The intensity of the thermal anomalies then decreased during October. Inflation resumed in mid-August and peaked in mid-September. After that, the GPS data indicated deflation at lower levels, but uplift of 6 cm occurred near the summit. The deformation rate slowed after 20 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Daily seismic activity at Agung from 27 July-29 October 2017. Seismicity decreased noticeably on 20 October 2017, leading PVMBG to lower the Alert Level from IV to III on 29 October. Note that the vertical axis counting the number of daily seismic events ranges from 0 to 1,200, while in figure 3 the same axis ranges from 0 to 14. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali dari Level IV (AWAS) ke Level III (SIAGA) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 pukul 16.00 WITA).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Satellite thermal imagery from Citra-Sentinel 2 revealed an increase in the number and intensity of hotspots within the summit caldera of Agung during September 2017, followed by a decrease in early October. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

Activity during November 2017. For the first three weeks of November, dense white steam plumes rose 50-500 m above the summit crater. A VONA issued late on 11 November reported a 500-m-high steam plume. Seismicity continued at a much lower rate than during late September-October, with tens of daily events as opposed to hundreds.

The first ash emission of the current eruption occurred on 21 November at 1705 local time; the plume rose to 700 m and drifted ESE (figure 9). Trace amounts of ashfall were reported in the Pidpid-Nawehkerti area about 9 km SE. At the time of the first ash emission, BNPB reported the number of evacuees living in temporary housing at about 25,000. The emission was preceded by a low-frequency tremor. Multiple volcanic ash advisories were issued by the Darwin VAAC on 21 November, although the ash was not visible in satellite imagery due to weather clouds. Continuous tremor with 2-5 mm amplitude was recorded the following three days, and ash-and-steam emissions rose 300-800 m above the summit crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. The first reported ash emission from Agung in 53 years rose 700 m and drifted SE on 21 November 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Letusan Gunung Agung Selasa, 21 November 2017 Pukul 17.05 WITA).

A larger emission on 25 November sent black-gray ash plumes 2,000 m above the crater rim (figure 10) which then drifted W. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 7.6 km altitude drifting WSW. Emissions continued later in the day, rising 4.6-6.7 km altitude and extending SE. Bright incandescence at the summit crater was observed that night. Ashfall was reported to the WSW in the villages of Menanga and Rendang (12 km SW) at the AVO Post, and also in Besakih Village, located in the upper part of Pempatan (8 km W). A number of international flights were cancelled from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar (60 km SW), affecting about 2,000 passengers, although the airport remained open.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. An ash emission rose at least 1,500 m above the summit of Agung on 25 November 2017 and drifted W. Courtesy of PVMBG (Letusan Gunung Agung 25 November 2017 Pukul 17:30 Wita).

Around 0545 local time the following day (26 November), the intensity of the ash emissions increased; the top of the plume reached 3,300 m above the summit at 1100 local time, and was drifting SE and E (figure 11). Ashfall was reported in many areas downwind including North Duda (9 km S), Duda Timur (12 km S), Pempetan, Besakih, Sideman (15 km SSW), Tirta Abang, Sebudi (6 km SW), Amerta Bhuana (10 km SSW), and some villages in Gianyar (20 km WSW) (figure 12). The largest amount, deposits 5 mm thick, was reported in Sibetan (11 km SSE). Trace amounts of ash were also reported much farther away, in Nusa Penida (an island 40 km S), Lombok (100 km ESE), and Sumbawa, 250 km E on the island of West Nusa Tenggara. Explosions from the crater were audible 12.5 km away that evening. Incandescence at the summit was observed from Bukit Asah and Batulompeh. The Darwin VAAC reported continuous ash emissions to 7.9 km altitude drifting SE throughout most the day, increasing to 9.1 km later in the day; ashfall was also reported at the international airport.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. A dense plume of ash rose 3,000 m above the summit of Agung and drifted ESE on 26 November 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Ash from an eruption of Agung on 26 November 2017 covered garden plants in Jungutan Village, 7 km SE. Courtesy of Reuters.

The airport in Denpasar was forced to close during 27-29 November 2017. On those days ash drifted in multiple directions at different altitudes; it was observed drifting E at 9.1 km altitude, SW at 7.6 km altitude, and was moving S below 6.1 km. This increase in emissions led PVMBG to raise the Alert Level from III to IV on 27 November. Pictures and video showed a white steam plume adjacent to a gray ash plume rising from the crater, suggesting two distinct sources (figure 13).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. A white steam plume and dense gray ash both rose from the summit of Agung on 27 November 2017. Photo by K. Parwata, courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

A single MODVOLC thermal alert appeared at the summit that day, along with a strong thermal anomaly in the MIROVA system data (figure 14) consistent with the appearance of new lava in the summit crater. The tiltmeter installed at the Yehkori station 4 km S of the summit showed continued inflation of up to 6 microradians between 22 and 27 November (figure 15). PVMBG also increased the exclusion zone to a radius of 8 km from the summit crater plus areas 10 km from the summit to the NNE, SE, S, and SW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. A MIROVA plot of satellite infrared data for the year ending 23 February 2018 showed the first thermal anomaly from Agung in late November 2017, consistent with the emergence of lava in the summit crater. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. A steady inflation was measured by the tiltmeter located at the Yehkori station 4 km S of the summit of Agung between 22 November and 27 November. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).

MAGMA Indonesia reported that beginning with the ash eruption on 21 November, lahars appeared in the Tukad Yehsa, Tukad Sabuh, and Tukad Beliaung drainages on the S flank, as well as Tukad Bara on the N flank. As of the end of November 2017, these lahars had impacted houses, roads, and agricultural areas. Although ash emissions increased, and lava was confirmed within the summit crater during the last week of November, the number of seismic events remained well below the values recorded during September and October (figure 16).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Seismicity at Agung decreased significantly beginning on 20 October 2017 and remained well below 200 daily events throughout November, even though ash emissions began on 21 November. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).

Ash emissions were reported by PVMBG rising to 3,000 m above the summit and drifting S on 27 November (figure 17). Continuing ash emission during 28-29 November rose to 2,000-4,000 m above the summit and drifted WSW (figure 18). Continuous seismic tremors were recorded during 28 November-1 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Ash plumes from Agung rose to altitudes of around 6,000 m (3,000 m above the summit crater) and drifted S on 27 November 2017. Image courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level Ill (SIAGA) ke Level IV (AWAS), 27 November 2017 10:07 WIB, Ir. Kasbani, M.Sc.).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. A dense plume of steam and ash rose from Agung and drifted away from this villager and his livestock on 28 November 2017. Courtesy of CNN.

With the increase in ash emissions during the last days of November 2017, satellite instruments also recorded significant releases of SO2 (figure 19). MAGMA Indonesia reported on 1 December that satellite data also recorded high temperatures consistent with new lava within the crater on 27, 28, and 29 November 2017. They estimated the volume of lava in the crater to be about 20 million cubic meters, equivalent to about a third of the total crater volume. The base of the ash-and-steam plumes was often reddish during 29 November-5 December reflecting incandescence from the lava in the crater (figure 20).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. The concentrations of SO2 emitting from Agung increased to levels that were easily detected by the Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite on 27 (top) and 28 (bottom) November 2017. The concentration of SO2 is measured in Dobson Units, a measure of the molecular density of the SO2 in the atmosphere. These NASA Earth Observatory images were created by Joshua Stevens, using OMPS data from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Incandescence appeared at the base of the ash-and-steam plume at Agung on 29 November 2017, consistent with lava effusion in the summit crater. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Perkembangan Terkini Aktivitas Gunung Agung (1 Desember 2017 21:00 WITA), 2 December 2017 07:55 WIB, Ir. Kasbani, M.Sc.).

By 29 November, continuous ash emissions were rising to 6.4 km altitude and drifting from the SW towards the S, becoming diffuse over the Denpasar region (figure 21). The plume was observed moving E at the same elevation on 30 November, lowering to 5.5 km later in the day. Although emissions were primarily steam and gas beginning on 30 November, pilot reports on 1 December indicated ash was still visible SE of Agung, and steam-and-ash emissions were continuing. Steam-only emissions were reported on 2 December rising less than 1,000 m above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Gas-and-ash emissions from Agung on 29 November 2017 were drifting both W and S in this false-color image generated by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite. The image uses a combination of shortwave infrared light and natural color, making it easier to differentiate between ash, clouds, and forest. The plumes appear to rise from two vents in the volcano's summit crater. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

Activity during December 2017. Steam, gas, and ash emissions continued throughout December 2017. During the first two weeks, emissions were primarily steam and gas, rising up to 2,000 m (figure 22), and incandescence was often observed at the summit. Dense gray ash emissions were observed, however, during 1-2 December. BNPB noted on 5 December that 63,885 evacuees were distributed in 225 evacuation shelters. On 8 December at 0759 a brief event generated a dense ash plume that rose 2.1 km above the crater rim and drifted W (figure 23). Minor amounts of ash were deposited on the flanks, and lapilli were reported in Temakung. A second ash plume rose 3 km at 1457 later that day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. A burst of dense steam rose as high as 1,500 m from the crater of Agung on 5 December 2017 at 0848 local time (WITA) and drifted E, after which only a narrow diffuse plume remained. View is from the S. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. An eruption at Agung on 8 December 2017 at 0759 WITA sent a dense gray ash plume 2,100 m above peak to the W. View is from the S. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

The Darwin VAAC reported multiple daily explosions during 8-15 December, creating ash plumes that drifted NW, W, and WSW at altitudes between 4.3 and 5.5 km. The explosions were visible in the webcams and from ground-based observers, and occasionally in satellite imagery when not blocked by weather clouds. VONA's were issued for events on 8 and 12 December. Multiple events during 11-12 December sent plumes rising up to 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifting NW and W (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. A small ash emission rose from the crater of Agung during the early morning of 11 December 2017. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

The Darwin VAAC reported larger ash emissions to 7.6 km altitude on 15 and 16 December interspersed with lower altitude (5.5-6.1 km) plumes. Continuing, regular discrete emissions during 16-17 December rose to 6.1 km and drifted WNW. An overhead image of the summit crater of 16 December revealed that, since a similar photo was taken on 20 October, new lava had filled about 1/3 of the crater with an estimated 30 million cubic meters of material (figure 25).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Repeated overhead images of the Agung summit crater taken on 20 October and 16 December 2017 showed new lava filling about 1/3 of the crater with an estimated 30 million cubic meters of material. Posted on Twitter by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho for BNBP.

Discrete emissions to 5.5 km moving N and NNE were common during 18-21 December. Ash and steam drifted both E and W from the summit on 22 December. An ash emission on 23 December rose to 5.8 km and drifted NE, after which repeated emissions continued, rising to 4.6 km (figure 26). Ash fell on the flanks and in Tulamben, Kubu (9 km NE). In the morning of 24 December, a much larger plume drifting W at 10.7 km altitude was visible in satellite imagery. It dissipated after a few hours, and a separate plume was observed drifting NE at 5.5-5.8 km (figure 27); emissions continued throughout the day and into the next. PVMBG reported that the ash deposits from the NE-drifting plume were up to 3 mm thick (figure 28).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. An event at Agung on 23 December 2017 sent a dense, gray plume to 2,500 m above the crater rim at 1157 WITA. View is from a village on the W flank, likely about 7 km from the summit. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Agung erupted steam and ash with a plume height of 2,000-2,500 m on 24 December 2017 at 1005 WITA. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Map showing distribution and thickness of volcanic ash and lapilli from the ash emissions at Agung that began on 24 December 2017 at 1005 WITA. A thin layer of ash was deposited in a narrow NE trending band on the NE side of Agung. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

As of 25 December, BNPB reported just over 70,000 evacuees spread out in 239 shelters. Discrete ash emissions continued through the end of the month rising as high as 2 km above the crater rim and drifting in several different directions. The last VAAC report of 2017 indicated an ash plume drifting W at 4.3 km altitude on 31 December.

References: Chaussard E, Amelung F, Aoki Y, 2013, Characterization of open and closed volcanic systems in Indonesia and Mexico using InSAR time series. J Geophys Res Solid Earth, 118:3957–3969. DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50288.

Fontijn K, Costa F, Sutawidjaja I, Newhall C G, Herrin J S, 2015, A 5000-year record of multiple highly explosive mafic eruptions from Gunung Agung (Bali, Indonesia): implications for eruption frequency and volcanic hazards. Bull Volcanol, 77: 59. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-015-0943-x.

Self S, Rampino M, 2012, The 1963–1964 eruption of Agung volcano (Bali, Indonesia). Bull Volcanol 74:1521–1536. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-012-0615-z.

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/); 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/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); 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/); Antara News (URL: https://bali.antaranews.com); Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head of Information Data and Public Relations Center of BNPB via Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/Sutopo_PN); Cable News Network (CNN), Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (URL: http://www.cnn.com/); Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com/).


Bezymianny (Russia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption continues with ash plumes and lava flows through December 2017

An eruption at Bezymianny continued into April 2017 with ash plumes and lava flows (BGVN 42:06). Similar activity was reported from May through December 2017. Observations came from reports from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) advisories.

KVERT reported on 26 May that activity had decreased after an explosion on 9 March and the effusion of several lava flows onto the dome flanks. Though gas-and-steam emissions continued, along with thermal anomalies identified in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code (ACC) was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale). Moderate gas-and-steam emissions continued throughout the reporting period.

On 15 June KVERT reported that the temperature of a thermal anomaly identified in satellite images had increased, and that the webcam recorded a gas-and-steam plume rising to an altitude of 4 km and drifting SSE. Hot avalanches of material originated from the lava dome. The next day, 16 June, a powerful explosion began at 1653 (local) that produced an ash cloud that rose to an altitude as high as 12 km and drifted 700 km E and SE. Nighttime incandescence from the lava dome was observed afterwards, and a lava flow emerged from the W flank of the dome. The ACC was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-color scale), but lowered back to Orange (the second highest level) about 5 hours later. At 2110 (local) the ash cloud was 212 x 115 km in size and drifting E; the leading edge of the cloud was about 245 km E. Strong gas-and-steam emissions and incandescence above the lava dome could be seen on 18 June (figure 23).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Photo of Bezymianny on 18 June 2017 showing the plume from a strong gas-and-steam emission, along with incandescence over the lava dome. Courtesy of A. Belousov, IVS FEB RAS.

During 20 June-29 September a daily thermal anomaly over Bezymianny was identified by KVERT in satellite images, when not obscured by clouds. A lava flow continued down the W flank of the dome, and incandescence from the dome was usually visible at night. Moderate gas-and-steam activity continued.

According to KVERT, by the first week of October the volcano had quieted somewhat, although moderate gas-steam activity continued. KVERT reported that a lava flow continued down the W flank of the lava dome through 4 October, but no mention was made of a lava flow in their reports after 4 October. Weak daily thermal anomalies were recorded when the volcano was not obscured by clouds. On 5 October, the ACC was lowered to Yellow.

On 18 December hot avalanches on the SE flank of the lava dome were recorded by a webcam, prompting KVERT to raise the ACC to Orange. A strong explosion that started at 1555 (local) on 20 December generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 10-15 km, prompting KVERT to raise the ACC to Red. Ash plumes identified in satellite data drifted at least 320 km NE. Later that day satellite images indicated decreased activity; the ACC was lowered back to Orange. Moderate gas-and-steam emissions continued on 29 December, and a lava flow likely effused onto the N flank of the lava dome. Thermal anomalies continued to be identified in satellite images. The ACC was lowered to Yellow.

Thermal anomalies. During May-December 2017 thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were only observed during a small portion of June and July 2017 (most days between 19-26 June, most days during the first week of July, 17-18 July, and 28 July). In contrast, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected numerous hotspots every month, with the most intense cluster during the middle of June through the middle of September. Virtually all MIROVA hotspots were within 5 km of the summit.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS) (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); 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/).


Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Copahue

Chile-Argentina

37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions and incandescence during June-July 2017; ongoing degassing with sporadic ash

Recent activity at Copahue through December 2016 consisted of gas and steam plumes with minor amounts of ash. Eruptive activity ended in late December 2016, but ash emissions began again in early June 2017. Distinct ash emissions decreased after July, and crater incandescence was no longer reported. However, persistent tremor and degassing with sporadic ash continued through 2017.

This report through December 2017 is based on information obtained from the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the Southern Andes Volcanological Observatory (OVDAS), and the Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (National Geology and Mining Service) (SERNAGEOMIN). Volcano Alert Levels are set by SERNAGEOMIN (on a four-color scale) and by the Chilean Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior (National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry) (ONEMI), on a three-color scale), for alerts to individual communities in the region.

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that webcams recorded an increase in ash emissions on 4 June 2017. There were no significant changes in the magnitude or number of earthquakes recorded by the seismic network. The report noted that due to inclement weather making visual observations difficult, the observatory did not know if the ash emission began in the early hours of 4 June, or the day before. On the same day, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level to Yellow; ONEMI set a Yellow Alert for the communities of Villarrica, Pucón, and Curarrehue in La Araucanía, and for Panguipulli in Los Ríos.

During 5-15 June 2017 the seismic network detected long-period earthquakes. Gas plumes constantly rose from El Agrio crater and on several days contained ash. The highest plume, detected on 5 June, rose 300 m and drifted E.

The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 1 July the webcam recorded a steam-and-gas plume with minor ash near the summit. Webcam and satellite images analyzed by the Buenos Aires VAAC showed that during 7-8 July steam plumes with minor amounts of ash rose to altitudes of 4-4.3 km altitude and drifted ESE. During 16-17 July similar plumes rose to altitudes of 3-3.4 km and drifted N and NW. According to ONEMI, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 16-31 July surficial activity had decreased. The webcam recorded constant gas emissions with sporadic ash rising no more than 280 m from El Agrio crater. Crater incandescence was visible during clear weather. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, and SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry closer than 1 km of the crater. ONEMI continued an Alert Level of Yellow for the municipality of Alto Biobío.

In August, activity continued to decrease. Degassing was constant and sometimes contained ash. Plumes did not exceed 500 m in height and incandescence was absent. During the first half of the month, 23 seismic events occurred, 20 of which were volcanic-tectonic; tremor associated with the degassing was constant. During the latter half of August, SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level to Green. Because gas emissions continued, SERNAGEOMIN suggested that the public stay beyond a radius of 500 m of the active crater.

SERNAGEOMIN reports for November and December indicated that some seismic activity continued. In November, 337 earthquakes occurred, 261 of which were volcanic-tectonic. Tremor associated with degassing continued, and incandescence was reported on some days. Based on satellite and webcam views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 21 and 24-27 November diffuse steam plumes containing minor amounts of ash rose and drifted E and NE. Plumes rose to altitudes of 3.3-3.6 km during 25-26 November.

On 2 December, one volcanic-tectonic earthquake occurred at 1758 local time. More than 20 volcanic-tectonic earthquakes occurred about 2245 on 5 December. The SERNAGEOMIN report for December noted persistent tremor associated with gas and ash emissions, and that constant gas plumes with sporadic ash rising to a maximum height of 1,300 m above the summit was recorded by the web camera. The Alert Level remained Green through December 2017.

Geologic Background. Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Beaucheff 1637/1671, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.onemi.cl/); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/).


Galeras (Colombia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption with ash plumes May 2012-January 2014; steam emissions through 2017

A central cone slightly lower than the summit caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate historical eruptions recorded since the time of the Spanish conquistadors at Columbia's Galeras volcano. Persistent steam and gas, and occasional ash emissions from multiple vents around the summit have characterized activity for many years. Steam plumes are generally visible from two sites at the summit of the pyroclastic cone. Two small craters, known as Chavas and El Paisita, are located on the N and W rim of the larger central summit crater. Information for this report was gathered primarily from monthly technical reports provided by the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP) of the Sevicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC). Four webcams document the activity from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP) located in Pasto (8 km ESE), from Consacá (11 km W), from the top of Galeras in the area called Barranco Alto (2.6 km NW), and from the SW flank at an area called Bruma.

The last time an Alert Level 1 (Red: imminent eruption or in progress) was issued was on 25 August 2010 when a plume of gas and ash rose 300 m above the summit and dispersed ash over numerous communities up to 30 km away. Seismicity decreased the following day, and steam and gas-only emissions returned. Fumarolic activity persisted throughout 2011, with only a single mention of possible low ash content in the plumes observed on 31 March and 1 April. Steam plumes rose a few hundred meters from the summit crater during January-May 2012. Seismic swarms were recorded in April and May.

An eruption with ash emissions began on 13 May 2012 and persisted until 30 January 2014 (BGVN 37:04, 38:03, 39:01). A summary of activity during that eruptive episode is provided below, along with additional information not previously reported. Activity after the end of that eruption, from February 2014 through December 2017, included only steam and gas emissions from the summit crater, and low levels of seismicity.

Activity during 2012. During January and February 2012, steam plumes rose 900-1,000 m above the summit, emerging from the El Paisita and Chavas vents at the N and W rims of the summit crater (figure 130). Plumes rose higher during March, reaching 1,900 m. VT seismic swarms were reported between 11 and 16 April 2012, and deformation sensors recorded inflation towards the W flank beginning in April. Most of the seismicity was located within the vicinity of the summit crater at depths less than 5 km. Steam plumes rose to 2,300 m above summit in April (figure 131).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 130. Volcán Galeras, viewed at 1828 local time from Barranco Alto (2.6 km NW) on 16 February 2012, showed typical low-level steam plumes rising from vents on the N and W rims of the summit crater. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, febrero de 2012).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. A substantial steam plume rose from Galeras in this image taken from OVSP (Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto) headquarters (8 km SE) on 20 April 2012 at 0738 local. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2012).

Steam plumes rose less than 200 m above the summit at the beginning of May; a second swarm of VT seismic events on 9 and 10 May 2012 preceded a new sequence of ash emissions that began on 13 May. Pulsating plumes of ash rose less than 800 m and deposited material primarily on the upper NW flank. Inflation continued to be measured in the inclinometers on the W flank, coinciding with the area of the epicenters of the 9-10 May seismic swarm. Ash-bearing emissions were reported on 13, 14, 17, 26 (figure 132), 27, and 30 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. An ash emission rose from Galeras at 0802 local time on 26 May 2012 and was recorded by the Barranco Alta webcam on the NW flank. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, mayo de 2012).

Ash emissions continued during June-August 2012. Plume heights during the period ranged from 1,300-2,500 m above the summit. Plumes recorded on 12 and 17 June (figure 133) resulted in ashfall in Sandoná (14 km NW) and Samaniego (32 km NW), Mapachico (9 km NE), and Genoy (7 km NNE). Additional days with reports of ash emissions included 5, 6, 8, 19, 22, 27 and 29 June. Ash-bearing emissions were reported on at least 16 days during July with reports of ashfall in Maragato, Chorillo (18 km W) and Genoy. Ash plumes rose to 2,500 m above the summit during at least nine different days of August, and ashfall was reported again in the Genoy area.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. Seismogram and spectrogram of a tremor (TRE) event recorded at 1605 local time on 17 June 2012 that was associated with an ash emission from Galeras as viewed from the Barranca (upper left), OVSP (upper and lower right), and Consacá (lower left) webcams (11 km W). Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, junio de 2012).

Tremor associated with gas and ash emissions persisted throughout September 2012; another VT seismic swarm was reported on 28 September. Ash-bearing emissions were reported during at least seven days of the month, and reached 2,000 m above the crater (figure 134). During at least 16 days of October, tremors were associated with ash emissions that rose as high as 1,800 m. On 19 October, fine-grained ashfall was reported by personnel of the Observatory who were working on the upper NE flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 134. Gas and ash emissions at Galeras on 12 September 2012 were recorded photographically from the El Vergel Shelter in Pasto around 1805 local time, at most of the digital seismograph stations around the volcano, and also at the analog recorder at the Anganoy station (upper right) in Pasto (Provided by Architect Darío Gómez of the Municipal Council for Risk and Disaster Management (DMGRD) of the municipality of Pasto). Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, septiembre de 2012).

Gas and ash plumes rose 1,000-1,300 m during November and December 2012 and were also associated with tremor signals. The most significant emissions were observed on 1, 7, 14, 22, 23, 29 and 30 November, and 17 (figure 135), 19, 21, 26, 27 and 29 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 135. Ash emissions rose from Galeras on the morning of 17 December 2012 as seen in this series of images from the OVSP webcam while seismographs recorded tremor-type events. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, diciembre de 2012).

Activity during 2013. Continuous inflation towards the western flank was measured beginning in April 2012. Similar deformation processes continued at Galeras during much of 2013. The 'Crater' inclinometer located about 0.8 km E of the summit crater showed the most significant amount of westward inflation (figure 136).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 136. Resultant vectors for the electronic inclinometers at Galeras for the period between 25 October 2012 and 31 January 2013 show 2,962.1 microradians (µrad) of movement to the W at the 'Crater' inclinometer as well as movement to the N and SW at several other instruments. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, enero de 2013).

Eruptive activity continued in a similar manner to 2012 throughout 2013. During January, ash-bearing emissions rose up to 1,000 m at least nine times and drifted in various directions. The emission event of 22 January caused ashfall in Sandoná (13 km NW). During February, the most notable seismic activity was several tremor events associated with ash emissions. Plume heights remained below 1,500 m and were observed on at least 11 days of the month. There were reports of ashfall in San Isidro, the upper part of the municipality of Sandoná, NW of the volcano, during the morning of 24 February. Most of the ash emissions during March 2013 were deposited on the upper NW flank. The Crater, Cobanegra, and Calabozo inclinometers continued to show movement associated with inflation towards the W flank during March and April. Gas and ash plumes reached 1,000 m above the summit on 6, 7, 11, 22 and 25 March. Activity was similar during April, with plumes rising to 1,200 m and seismic tremors associated with ash and gas emissions reported on at least 13 days (figures 137 and 138).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 137. Seismograms registered a tremor-type event (TRE) on 5 April 2013 at Galeras that was associated with ash emissions captured in the Barranca webcam. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2013).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 138. Gas and steam emissions rose from the crater at the summit of the pyroclastic cone at Galeras on 24 April 2013. Image taken from the caldera rim at the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2013).

Seismic activity decreased somewhat during May 2013, although tremor signals associated with ash and gas emissions were noted on at least eight occasions. The pulsating ash plumes were small, and deposited material mostly on the NW flank. The deformation network recorded stability at the Crater inclinometer for the first time in many months. SGC noted a seismic swarm during the evening of 22 May that included a tremor event that lasted for 11 minutes and possibly included ash emissions.

Emissions during June 2013 were mostly steam that rose to 1,300 m, but ash plumes were reported on seven days. The frequency of seismic activity remained steady during July, but the amount of energy released increased significantly. The Crater inclinometer showed deflation. Ash and gas plumes were noted on 6, 12, 13, 17 and 22 July rising as high as 1,500 m. Seismic frequency and energy both decreased during August and September 2013, and inclinometers showed little change in deformation. Plume heights, mostly gas and steam, remained below 500 m. Tremors associated with ash emissions were reported on five days of August and on 3, 11 and 14 September.

Seismicity increased in both amplitude and frequency during October and November 2013. The majority of the VT seismicity was located on the NE flank at 5-10 km depth. Steam plume heights remained below 600 m; emissions reported on 8 and 11 October included ash (figure 139). In addition to steam plumes observed throughout November, ash plumes were reported rising to 1,000 m on 17, 23, and 30 November. Seismicity decreased during December 2013 while deformation remained stable. Ash plumes were reported on 4, 13, 26, 27, and 31 December associated with tremor events (figure 140).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 139. Ash emissions rose from the summit crater at Galeras on 11 October 2013. They were photographed by Mr. Mario Alberto Caicedo, Radio and TV Analyst, from the RTVC Galeras station, at the caldera rim near the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, octubre de 2013).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Seismograms recorded frequencies associated with tremor (TRE) events on 4 December 2013 while the Barranca webcam recorded ash emissions. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, diciembre de 2013).

Activity during 2014. Tremor events during 11-14, 21, 23, and 27-30 January 2014 were associated with ash and gas emissions (figure 141) that reached 850 m above the summit. During the early hours of 11, 13, and 23 January, incandescence was observed at the crater. The last confirmed ash emission of the year occurred on 30 January 2014.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 141. Emissions of steam and ash on 29 January 2014 were captured by the Bruma webcam (SW of the cone) while seismograms registered tremor events. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, enero de 2014).

A decrease in both frequency and energy levels of seismicity were reported during March 2014. SGC noted several tremor-type seismic events associated with gas emissions; steam plumes rose up to 1,000 m above the summit. Although they reference "gas and ash" emissions in a few photographs, only steam is visible in the photographs from March. Reports of activity by SGC for April and May 2014 refer to only steam plumes rising 1,000 m from the summit from the vents on the N and W sides of the crater rim. No further reports are available for Galeras for 2014.

Activity during 2015-2017. Throughout 2015, SGC reported only steam plumes rising from the two vents at the summit of the Galeras pyroclastic cone, known as the Chaldean fumarole fields (Las Chavas) on the W rim, and the El Paisita on the N rim (figure 142). Plume heights were as high as 700 m in January, but dropped below 200 m by May, where they remained for the rest of the year. Inflation to the W began again in September 2014 and continued through May 2015.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 142. Steam plumes rose a few hundred meters above the summit of the pyroclastic cone at Galeras on 9 April 2015. This type of activity was typical for all of 2015. Photo from the Barranco webcam NW of the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2015).

Minor variations in seismic frequency and energy levels fluctuated throughout 2016 and 2017, but there were no reported particulate emissions. Steam emissions from the two primary vents at the summit crater (Las Chavas and El Paisita) rarely rose more than 200 m above the summit, often drifting NW.

An inspection of the summit crater by SGC on 25 August 2016 revealed a deep vent with several points of gas emissions (figure 143), including areas on the N wall (El Paisita) and the E wall (Las Alterada). The W wall (Las Chavas) had a cave-like entrance of 50 m diameter with fumarolic activity on the back wall and the ceiling that condensed into a sulfur-rich water on the floor of the opening. The El Pinta vent had no observed emissions. A rare 200-m-high steam plume rose from the crater in October 2016, but otherwise activity remained very low at Galeras throughout 2017 (figure 144).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 143. An inspection of the summit crater at Galeras by SGC on 25 August 2016 revealed a deep vent with several points of gas emissions including areas on the N wall (El Paisita) and the E wall (Las Alterada). The W wall (Las Chavas) had a cave-like entrance of 50 m diameter with fumarolic activity on the back wall and the ceiling that condensed into a sulfur-rich fluid on the floor of the opening. The El Pinta vent had no emissions. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, agosto de 2016).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 144. Low-level steam emissions seen from the Bruma webcam SW of the summit of Galeras on 3 August 2017 were typical activity for the entire year. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, agosto de 2017).

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

Information Contacts: Servicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC), Diagonal 53 No. 34-53 - Bogotá D.C., Colombia (URL: https://www2.sgc.gov.co/volcanes/index.html).


Heard (Australia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

53.106°S, 73.513°E; summit elev. 2745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent low-to-moderate thermal anomalies end in mid-November 2017

The most recent eruptive period at Heard began in September 2012 (BGVN 38:01). Direct observations are rare at this remote volcano, but the presence of lava flows can frequently be discerned using infrared satellite data. Thermal anomalies were intermittent, with some episodes of clearly stronger activity, during 2016 and through September 2017 (BGVN 42:10).

During all of 2017, MODIS infrared satellite data analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm showed anomalies near the summit only on 2, 16, and 26 September, and on 1 and 22 October. The MIROVA system also detected numerous hotspots within 5 km of the volcano through late October. One additional significant anomaly was identified on approximately 12 November 2017 (figure 31). No further significant anomalies were noted through February 2018.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Low to moderate power thermal anomalies in MODIS data were identified by the MIROVA system in September and October, with another on approximately 12 November 2017. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. Heard Island on the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean consists primarily of the emergent portion of two volcanic structures. The large glacier-covered composite basaltic-to-trachytic cone of Big Ben comprises most of the island, and the smaller Mt. Dixon lies at the NW tip of the island across a narrow isthmus. Little is known about the structure of Big Ben because of its extensive ice cover. The historically active Mawson Peak forms the island's high point and lies within a 5-6 km wide caldera breached to the SW side of Big Ben. Small satellitic scoria cones are mostly located on the northern coast. Several subglacial eruptions have been reported at this isolated volcano, but observations are infrequent and additional activity may have occurred.

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/); 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/).


Kanlaon (Philippines) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanlaon

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosions on 9 December 2017 with ashfall and high seismicity

A series of three explosions at Kanlaon on 18 June 2016 sent ash plumes as high as 3 km above the crater and caused minor ashfall in neighborhoods W, SW, and NW of the volcano (BGVN 42:01). This was followed by steam plumes through 25 July 2016. The active Lugud crater (figure 4) has been the source of 21 reported eruptions since 1969; the latest eruption took place in December 2017. Information summarized here for activity from September 2016 through December 2017 was provided by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Photo looking down from the rim into the historically active Lugud crater at Kanlaon on 7 March 2010. Courtesy of Billy Lopue, used under Creative Common BY-NC-ND 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/).

PHIVOLCS reported on 5 May 2017 that since the last phreatic eruption in June 2016 there had been a general decline in activity: seismicity was at baseline levels, no significant deformation had been detected since August 2016, sulfur dioxide emissions were low, and no steaming had been observed since 29 September 2016. The Alert Level was lowered to 0 (on a scale of 0-5), though the public was warned to not enter the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Between 24 June and 18 August 2017 the seismic network detected 244 volcanic earthquakes. The PHIVOLCS report noted that the increased seismic activity could be followed by phreatic explosions at the summit crater, despite the absence of visible degassing or steaming from the active vent. The Alert Level was raised to 1. The number of daily volcanic earthquakes increased after 18 August. In their 15 November report, PHIVOLCS indicated that during the previous 24 hours there had been 279 deep volcanic earthquakes recorded (compared to five the day before). This prompted them to raise the Alert Level to 2 (moderate level of unrest), where it remained for the rest of the year. The next day, the number recorded was 217. After that the daily number of volcanic events dropped considerably, especially after 21 November. Based on PHIVOLCS reports, the number of daily volcanic earthquakes during the first eight days of December 2017 varied from one to seven.

On 9 December an approximately 10-minute-long, low-energy phreatic explosion began at 0947 that was heard as far away as La Castellana, Negros Occidental (15 km SW). A plume of voluminous steam and dark ash rose 3-4 km above the summit vent (figure 5), and minor amounts of ash fell in Sitio Guintubdan (23 km W), and barangays W of the volcano (Ara-al, Sag-ang, and Ilihan). The eruption was preceded by the resumption of degassing at the summit crater at 0634, detectable as continuous low-energy tremor during periods when the summit was not visible; degassing was last observed September 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Photo of the 9 December 2017 plume rising from Kanlaon as seen from Barangay Manghanoy, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, about 15 km SW. Photo by Ms. Ritchel Demerin Villanueva; posted by PHIVOLCS on Facebook.

Only three volcanic earthquakes were detected on 10 December, but then the number increased to 155 the next day. The number of daily events earthquakes increased again to 578 on 13 December, rose to 1,007 the next day, and peaked at 1,217 on the 15 December. The earthquake count dropped to 149 on 16 December before returning to six or fewer through 19 December. White steam plumes rose 800 and 300 m above the crater on 13 and 14 December, respectively. White plumes were diffuse on 15 December; weather clouds prevented views of the summit area during 16-18 December. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 603-687 tons per day during 13-14 December.

PHIVOLCS reported that during 19-20 December there were 412 volcanic earthquakes. A low-energy, explosion-type earthquake was detected at 0233 on 21 December associated with gas emissions from the summit area. Later in the day steam plumes rose 400 m and drifted NE. The number of daily volcanic earthquakes increased to 957 the next day and then decreased to less than 20 per day during 22-23 December. The daily earthquake count increased to 382 and 776 events on 24 and 25 December, respectively, decreased to 82 on 26 December, and the dropped to three or fewer over the last days of the year. Weather clouds often prevented observations , but white plumes rose 300 m and drifted NE, NW, and SW on 21 December, and 700 m on 26 December. A steam plume on 30 December was seen rising 500 m above the crater rim and drifting SW. On 30 December 2017, sulfur dioxide levels were measured at an average of 1,946 tonnes/day.

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

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Billy Lopue, flickr (URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21905294@N03/).


Kirishimayama (Japan) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Kirishimayama

Japan

31.934°N, 130.862°E; summit elev. 1700 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruption with ash plumes in October 2017

After an explosive eruption during January-September 2011, Shinmoe-dake (Shinmoedake), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, was quiet except for gas-and-steam plumes and slowly decreasing seismicity that returned to baseline levels by May 2012 (BGVN 37:07). The following report summarizes events through December 2017, and relies primarily on reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

On 22 October 2013, JMA reported that no eruptions had been detected at the volcano since the eruption on 7 September 2011. Earthquake activity and sulfur dioxide emissions were both below the detection limit. The Alert Level was lowered from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

According to JMA, an eruption began at 0534 on 11 October 2017, prompting the agency to raise the Alert Level to 3 (figure 21). Ash plumes rose 300 m above the crater rim (2 km altitude) and drifted NE. Volcanic tremor amplitude increased and inflation was detected. Ashfall was noted in at least four towns in the Miyazaki (to the E) and Kagoshima (to the SW) prefectures. Based on JMA notices, pilot observations, and satellite data, the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8-2.1 km on 11 October and 3.4 km on 12 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. An ash plume rises from the Shinmoedake crater at Kirishimayama after its eruption on 11 October 2017. Courtesy of Tomoaki Ito / Kyodo News.

Gas measurements taken during field surveys on 12 and 13 October showed that the sulfur dioxide flux was 1,400 tonnes/day, an increase from 800 tonnes/day measured on 11 October. Volcanic tremor fluctuated but the amplitude was slightly lower. During 0823-1420 on 14 October, an event produced a tall plume which rose 2.3 km above the crater rim. Another event, at 1505, generated a grayish-white plume that rose 1 km and then blended into the weather clouds. Ashfall was reported in Kirishima (22 km SW) in the Kagoshima prefecture, in Kobayashi (14 km NE) in the Miyazaki prefecture, and reaching as far as Hyuga city (92 km NE). An increase in low-frequency earthquakes was recorded on 16 October.

The eruption lasted almost continuously until the morning of 17 October. The eruption plume usually rose several hundred meters about the crater rim, though on 14 October the plume rose as high as 2.3 km. Sulfur dioxide flux exceeded 10,000 tonnes/day. Cloudy weather conditions prevented webcam views during 19-20 October. Plumes rose 200-600 m on 21, 23, and 24 October. During an overflight on 24 October, scientists observed a white plume rising from the active vent on the E side of the crater, and puddles in multiple low areas of the crater.

Activity during 25 October-20 November 2017 activity continued to be slightly elevated. White plumes rose 100-500 m above the crater rim, though weather clouds sometimes prevented visual observations. Almost daily field surveys by JMA revealed no particular changes in the fumarolic and fissure areas near the cracks on the W flank, or to the thermally anomalous zone below the crack. Sulfur dioxide fluxes were as high as 200 tonnes/day. The Alert Level remained at 3.

Geologic Background. Kirishimayama is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km. The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located Karakunidake being the highest. Onamiike and Miike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakunidake and at its far eastern end, respectively. Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Miike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoedake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Associated Press (URL: https://www.ap.org/en-us); Kyodo News (URL: https://english.kyodonews.net).


Lopevi (Vanuatu) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Lopevi

Vanuatu

16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Episodes of unrest in January and September 2017; gas-and-steam plumes

Since an eruptive episode in May 2007, Loopevi has been quiet except for a thick gray plume on 24 February 2008 and a short-lived increase in activity in December 2014 (BGVN 32:05, 34:08, 40:05). This report covers activity during January 2015-December 2017. Data were primarily drawn from reports issued by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) and the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Based on a pilot observation and webcam views, the Wellington VAAC reported that a short-lived steam-and-gas plume beginning at 0500 on 13 January 2017 produced a that rose no higher than 3 km in altitude and drifted SE. That same day VGO reported that the Volcanic Alert Level (VAL) was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-5); it was lowered to Level 2 on 17 January and then to Level 1 on 20 February.

Steam plumes were again observed on 23 September by the web camera, prompting VGO to raise the VAL to 2, indicating major unrest (danger around the crater rim and specific area, considerable possibility of eruption, chance of flank eruption). Observation flights on 30 September and the first week of October showed that the activity was occurring only in the active craters below the summit crater (figure 24). Photographs and thermal infrared images taken during the flights confirmed that activity consisted of hot volcanic gas and steam. VGO reported that photos and satellite images acquired at the end of November confirmed that gas-and-steam emissions were continuing.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24.Aerial view of the active cone at Lopevi on 3 October 2017. Courtesy of VGO.

The unrest continued through at least December 2017, and the VAL remained at 2. The Wellington VAAC noted that on 20 December a low-level plume was visible in satellite and webcam images drifting NW at an altitude of 1.5 km.

Geologic Background. The small 7-km-wide conical island of Lopevi, known locally as Vanei Vollohulu, is one of Vanuatu's most active volcanoes. A small summit crater containing a cinder cone is breached to the NW and tops an older cone that is rimmed by the remnant of a larger crater. The basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, primarily along a NW-SE-trending fissure that cuts across the island, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the coast. Historical eruptions at the 1413-m-high volcano date back to the mid-19th century. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960. The latter eruption, from a NW-flank fissure vent, produced a pyroclastic flow that swept to the sea and a lava flow that formed a new peninsula on the western coast.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO), Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://www.geohazards.gov.vu/, http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/index.php/geohazards/volcano); 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/, http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/NZ/messages.html).


Reventador (Ecuador) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Large pyroclastic and lava flows during late June and late August 2017; continuing ash emissions and block avalanches throughout January-September 2017

Reventador has exhibited historical eruptions with numerous lava flows and explosive events since the 16th century. Eruptive activity has been continuous since 2008. Persistent ash emissions and incandescent block avalanches characterized activity during 2016; occasional pyroclastic and lava flows were also reported (BGVN 42:11). Similar activity continued during January-September 2017; information for this period is provided primarily by the Instituto Geofisico-Escuela Politecnicia Nacional (IG-EPN) of Ecuador and also from satellite-based MODIS infrared data.

Summary of activity, January-September 2017. Activity remained high at Reventador during January-September 2017. The strongest (4 km long) pyroclastic flow since 2002 occurred in late June along with a large lava flow that traveled over 2.5 km, the longest since 2008. Visual observations of ash emissions and block avalanches were often difficult due to weather conditions that obscured views of the summit certain times of the year (figure 60, table 9). Thermal alerts and anomalies recorded by satellite instruments complemented the visual information reported by IG-EPN (figure 61) and showed near-continuous activity as well. Variation in the frequency of the different types of seismic events fluctuated throughout the period (figure 62) and generally corresponded to variations in the surface activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Activity at Reventador during January-September 2017 included MODVOLC alerts (red), ash emissions (gray) and block avalanches (blue) reported many times each month. The number of cloudy days (yellow) affected the number of observed events during most months. Data courtesy of IG-EPN, compiled from daily reports.

Table 9. High levels of activity at Reventador during January-September 2017 were evident from the numbers of MODVOLC thermal alerts, and days with reported ash emissions and block avalanches. Cloudy weather impacted observations of activity during most months. Compiled from IG-EPN daily reports, VAAC reports, and MODVOLC data.

Date MODVOLC alerts Cloudy days Days with ash emissions Plume heights above summit (m) Days with block avalanches Block avalanche runout distances (m)
Jan 2017 9 20 10 700-3,000 0 --
Feb 2017 13 6 18 900-2000 2 1,000-1,500
Mar 2017 6 10 18 500-2,000 2 1,000
Apr 2017 6 9 21 200-2,000 12 600-1,800
May 2017 4 6 19 300-over 800 10 500-800
Jun 2017 20 3 22 Less than 200–2,000 10 200-800
Jul 2017 12 9 17 200-800 9 200-800
Aug 2017 14 0 29 300-over 1,000 25 200-1,000
Sep 2017 23 1 27 400-over 1,200 18 500-1,500
Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. MIROVA thermal anomalies for Reventador for the year ending 29 September 2017 show a persistent record of heat flow from the volcano. Significant cloudiness during certain times of the year affected the completeness of the MODIS infrared satellite data on which this is based. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Frequency of daily seismic events at Reventador between 6 January and 14 September 2017. LP: Long Period, EXPL: Explosions, TRESP: Tremors. A significant tremor event took place during the lava flow event of late June, and LP seismic events peaked during the eruptive activity of late August. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

Ash emissions occurred many times each month, with the highest plumes exceeding 3,000 m above the summit of the pyroclastic cone inside the caldera. The number of block avalanches reported each month increased steadily throughout the period, with blocks falling hundreds of meters from the summit on all flanks numerous times. Pyroclastic flows were reported a few times most months; the largest event in June sent flows nearly 4 km. Four lava flow events were recorded during the period; on 3 April, a flow traveled 1,600 m down the SW flank, a small flow in early June travelled 200 m down the NE flank, the large flow of 23 June-1 July traveled over 2.5 km down the NE flank, and multiple flows overflowed the summit crater and traveled in five different directions on 24 August 2017.

Activity during January-May 2017. Steam, gas, and ash emissions were reported during 10 of the 12 clear days of January 2017 when observations could be made. The plume heights varied up to 3,000 m above the 3,600-m-altitude summit. Ashfall was reported in El Chaco (30 km SW) on 18 January; nine MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported during the month.

Clearer skies during February 2017 resulted in observations of gas, steam, and ash emissions during 18 days of the month. The plume heights ranged from 900-2,000 m above the summit crater. On 7-8 February, in addition to steam and ash emissions rising 1,500 m and drifting W, block avalanches were observed traveling 1,000-1,500 m down all the flanks. A pyroclastic flow also traveled 800 m down the S flank. On 13 February at 0806 local time, the pilot of a plane from Aerogal observed a vertical plume that reached 2,000 m above the summit; nearby lookouts reported explosion sounds, and slight ashfall was observed in Gonzalo Pizarro in the Sucumbíos province (about 40 km NE). Incandescence appeared at the summit six times in February, triggering 13 MODVOLC thermal alerts.

Ash plume heights in March 2017 ranged from 500-2,000 m during the 18 days they were observed. Although incandescence was seen at the summit seven times, block avalanches were observed on the flanks only twice, on 11 and 23 March, traveling 1,000 m down the flanks each time. A pyroclastic flow traveled 500 m from the summit on 16 March.

Activity increased significantly during April 2017; ash emissions, ranging from 200-2,000 m high were recorded on 21 days, and block avalanches were observed 12 days, traveling 600-1,500 m down the SE flank most of the time. The largest event, on 20 April, sent large blocks 1,800 m down all the flanks. A lava flow moved 1,600 m down the SW flank on 3 April. On 10 April, multiple emissions of steam and gas with moderate ash content reached 2,000 m above the summit crater. On 24 April, a 1,300-m-high ash plume was witnessed during a flyover.

Block avalanches continued at a high rate during May 2017, traveling 500-800 m down all the flanks on at least 10 days of the month. Ash emissions persisted and were observed on 18 of the 25 clear days, rising from 300 to over 800 m. In the early hours of 26 May, a cloud of material was observed on the S flank, likely from a pyroclastic flow.

Activity during June 2017. The technical staff of IG-EPN visited the NE flank of Reventador to monitor activity during 29 May-1 June 2017. They observed a small lava flow on the NE flank, several explosions and emissions associated with both the N and S vents at the summit, pyroclastic flows, 'chugging' (audible, closely spaced intermittent gas emissions), and the projection of ballistic material.

The new lava flow was located on the upper NE flank; the only movement they detected was collapsing of the front of the flow, which sent blocks down to the base of the cone. Explosions with ash emissions from the two vents generally occurred every 15-30 minutes. Gas and ash emissions generally rose 1-2 km high, and the larger explosions produced pyroclastic flows. The sounds of the explosions were audible 5-8 km from the volcano. The researchers used a thermal camera to record a small pyroclastic flow that lasted for about 1 minute and 16 seconds and reached 800 m in length. They also observed avalanche blocks from the S vent that rolled 1,200 m down the flank. The thermal camera measured temperatures as high as 521°C.

During a flyover on 7 June 2017, scientists observed recent pyroclastic flows around all the flanks, the largest ones, on the N and S flanks, reached 1.2 km. Volcanic bombs were visible around the periphery of the crater rim. The lava flow observed a few days earlier by the ground crew extended 200 m down the NNE flank, and did not appear to be associated with either of the summit vents. Several explosions were witnessed from the two vents at the summit crater (figure 63).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. Two active vents were visible at the summit crater of the central cone at Reventador on 7 June 2017. Top: Steam and ash emerged from the N vent at the summit crater, and fumarolic activity rose from the NE flank in this view to the NE. Bottom: A lava flow created a pale scar on the NE flank (foreground), while ash and steam emissions rose from the summit crater in this view looking SW. Photos by P Ramón, courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 2-Volcan El Reventador, Observaciones entre 29 de mayo -01 junio y 7 de junio 2017, 26 junio 2017).

Thermal imagery taken during the 7 June overflight revealed three emission centers at the summit; the two vents inside the crater that produced explosions with ash, larger bombs, and pyroclastic flows, and a fissure on the NE flank about 70 m below the summit that produced the lava flow (figure 64). The highest temperatures were measured in the N vent (Vento Norte).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. Thermal imagery taken during the overflight of Reventador on 7 June 2017 revealed three emission centers at the summit; the two vents inside the crater (Vento Sur, Vento Norte) produced explosions with ash, larger bombs and pyroclastic flows, and a fissure on the NE flank (fisurales) that produced a small lava flow (flujo de lava). Inset photos show visible image (top right) and thermal image (bottom right) of summit. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 2-Volcan El Reventador, Observaciones entre 29 de mayo -01 junio y 7 de junio 2017, 26 junio 2017).

In a special report on 23 June 2017, IG-EPN noted that Reventador had averaged about 50 daily explosions in recent months, as well as a similar number of LP earthquakes. During 22-24 June, a continuous seismic tremor was recorded (figure 62), along with more episodic tremors that included small explosions. Surface activity included pyroclastic flows down all the flanks, and ash plumes that rose about 2.5 km and drifted W. The pyroclastic flows sent material as far as 4 km to the E of the cone, into the headwaters of the El Reventador River (figure 65). IG-EPN reported that the pyroclastic flows generated during this event were the strongest since 2002.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. A large pyroclastic flow on 23 June 2017 traveled down the NE flank of Reventador at 0757 local time, as viewed from the Copete webcam on the SE edge of the caldera. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 1-Volcan El Reventador, Cambio en la actividad eruptive, 23 junio 2017).

The tremors were associated with a new emission of lava that advanced rapidly down the NE flank of the cone and was active until 1 July. It traveled about 2.65 km before stopping, and was nearly 250 m wide near the base (figure 66). IG-EPN reported that the lava flow was the longest since 2008 and covered and area of just under 0.5 km2. In addition to pyroclastic flows and a lava flow, a significant SO2 plume was released on 24 June 2017 (figure 67). Ash emissions were reported on 22 days during June. Plume heights ranged substantially from less than 200 m to over 2,000 m. Block avalanches traveling up to 800 m down the flanks were reported on ten days, and 20 MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. The lava flow and pyroclastic flows of 23 June-1 July 2017 at Reventador were measured in an overflight on 21 July by IG-EPN. dC is the diameter of the summit crater (168 m). The width of the flow was about 120 m partway down the flank, and 246 m at its widest point. It traveled a distance of 2.65 km (F1) from the summit. The pyroclastic flow was measured at 3.95 km (Pf) from the summit. Inset thermal image shows lava flow during the same overflight. Photo by St. Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. An SO2 plume captured by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite on 24 June 2017 drifted WNW from Reventador. It coincided in time with an eruptive episode that also produced several pyroclastic flows and a 2.65-km-long lava flow. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Activity during July-September 2017. There were fewer observations of ash emissions during July, on only 17 days, with plume heights ranging from 200-1,500 m (figure 68). Twelve MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued and block avalanches were reported on nine different days moving 200-800 m down all the flanks. A pyroclastic flow reported on 6 July traveled 800 m down the E flank. By the time of the 21 July overflight by IG-EPN, the two summit vents had merged, block avalanches surrounded the rim, and the still-warm flow was visible on the NE flank (figure 69). A visit by IG-EPN scientists on 1 August confirmed the continuing audible explosions, as well as the cooling of the late June lava flow (figure 70).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. A dense ash plume rose 1.5 km above the summit crater and drifted N at Reventador during a flyover by IG-EPN on 21 July 2017. Glacier-covered Volcán Cayambe appears in the distance to the NW (right of the ash plume). Courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Thermal and visible images of Reventador on 21 July 2017 reveal a single strong thermal anomaly at the summit, block avalanches and bombs around the rim, and a still warm lava flow on the NE flank, dark brown in the visible image on the right. Photo by Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. Ash emissions and the cooling lava flow on the NE flank of Reventador on 1 August 2017. Top: An ash-laden emission rose from the summit of the cone; the fresh dark brown lava flow is visible on the lower flank. Bottom: The same image from the thermal camera showed the residual heat from the lava flow (lower right), active heat from the ash emission, and a warm area on the upper flank (upper left), likely from block avalanches or a smaller flow. Photo and Image by M. Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).

The frequency of eruptive activity increased substantially during August 2017. Ash emissions were reported on 29 days of the month most rising over 500 m; block avalanches occurred on at least 25 days sending debris as far as 1,000 m down all the flanks. Pyroclastic flows were reported twice, during 11-12 and 23-24 August (figure 71). Lava flows descended multiple flanks simultaneously on 23 August (figure 72).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. A pyroclastic flow descended the SE flank of Reventador during the early morning of 24 August 2017 in this image taken by the IG Copete webcam. Courtesy IG-EPN (Informe del estado del Volcan Reventador No. 236, Jueves, 24 de agosto de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Lava flows descended multiple flanks of Reventador simultaneously on 23 August 2017 in this infrared image. Five lava flows emerged from both the N and S vents at the summit of the central cone. Ln-1 flowed NE from the N vent and Ln-2 flowed ENE from the N vent. Three flows emerged from the S vent, Ls-1 flowed WSW, Ls-2 flowed ESE, and Ls-3 flowed S. Image by M. Almeida, processing by M.-F. Naranjo, courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

The Washington VAAC issued 114 aviation alerts during August 2017 and 123 during September, indicating a continued level of high eruptive activity; plume heights were reported as high as 3,500 m above the summit, and block avalanches covered most of the upper cone down to 900 m a number of times during both months (figure 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Explosions with rolling incandescent blocks descend 900 m on all sides of Reventador on 11 September 2017 in this image from the Copete webcam. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG), 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); 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/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Semeru (Indonesia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Renewed thermal anomalies from mid-May through December 2017

In 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, activity at Semeru was characterized by numerous ash explosions and thermal anomalies (BGVN 42:05). Thermal anomalies became consistent after mid-May 2017, increasing over the next few months and continuing through December 2017. The information below comes from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, or CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisor Center (VAAC), and MODIS thermal sensors aboard satellites. The Alert Level since February 2012 has remained at Yellow (Waspada, or Alert).

According to PVMBG monthly reports, Semeru did not show any change of activity during the reporting period. Presumably, this included numerous ash explosions and thermal anomalies indicating the presence of lava flows or dome growth. A Darwin VAAC ash advisory stated that an ash explosion on 7 June at 0020 UTC generated a plume that rose 4 km in altitude and drifted 13 km SW a day later.

Thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were not observed between 19 November 2016 and 6 June 2017. On 6 June, a single hotspot was recorded, coincident with the ash explosion. The next hotspot occurred on 2 August, followed by anomalous pixels on three additional days through 13 August, but none during the rest of August. The number rose to 7-12 days per month during September-December, many of which were multi-pixel events.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected only two distinct MODIS hotspots during April through the middle of May 2017. After mid-May, the number rose dramatically and every month through December numerous hotspots were detected, almost all within 5 km of the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. MODIS satellite thermal anomaly data at Semeru analyzed by the MIROVA system for the year ending 8 January 2018. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); 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/).

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/).