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.

 Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 40, Number 04 (April 2015)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Pavlof (United States)

Spatter-fed lava interacting with ice, spawning clastogenic lava flows, lahars, and pyroclastic flows

Tangkubanparahu (Indonesia)

West Java volcano issues very small eruption in March 2013; months of tremor and few volcanic earthquakes

Tofua (Tonga)

Five thermal alerts detected, 28 September-30 June 2015

Turrialba (Costa Rica)

29 October 2014 magmatic eruption, the first such event in 150 years

Pavlof (United States) — April 2015 Cite this Report


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Spatter-fed lava interacting with ice, spawning clastogenic lava flows, lahars, and pyroclastic flows

This report discusses Pavlof’s behavior during May 2014 through 26 December 2014, a time period with two clear eruptive intervals that included lava fountaining, spatter, fragmental (agglutinate-rich, clastogenic) lava flows, lahars, pyroclastic flows, and diverse plumes. On 30 May 2014, an eruption began that continued intermittently through the first week of June. A thermal image taken from a satellite on 24 June 2014 showed warm areas ~5 km down the N flank interpreted as the signature of an earlier, still-warm lava flow. (This flow was perhaps similar to (fountain- and spatter-fed, fragmental, agglutinate-rich, clastogenic) lava flows and possible associated lahars seen during 2013; Waythomas and others, 2014; Wolf and Sumner, 2000.) Another eruption took placed during 12-16 November 2014. Besides the previously mentioned characteristics, common observations during eruptions included strombolian emissions, multiple-kilometer-long zones of incandescent lava, plumes ranging from those dominated by steam and gas to others that were rich in ash. Diagnostics from distant instruments included acoustical signals of eruption received with infrasonics and lightning from inferred ash plumes detected with a lightning detection array.

Background. In BGVN 38:05 we reported on the then most recent eruption at Pavlof, which occurred during May-June 2013. Waythomas and others (2014) summarized Pavlof’s eruptive behavior during 2013. This is relevant, in part, because similar ice-spatter interactions also prevailed during 2014. “The 2013 eruption of Pavlof Volcano, Alaska began on13 May and ended 49 days later on 1 July. The eruption was characterized by persistent lava fountaining from a vent just north of the summit, intermittent strombolian explosions, and ash, gas, and aerosol plumes that reached as high as 8 km above sea level and on several occasions extended as much as 500 km downwind of the volcano. During the first several days of the eruption, accumulations of spatter near the vent periodically collapsed to form small pyroclastic avalanches that eroded and melted snow and ice to form lahars on the lower north flank of the volcano. Continued lava fountaining led to the production of clastogenic lava flows that extended to the base of the volcano, about 3–4 km beyond the vent. The generation of fountain-fed lava flows was a dominant process during the 2013 eruption; however, episodic collapse of spatter accumulations and formation of hot spatter-rich granular avalanches was a more efficient process for melting snow and ice and initiating lahars. The lahars and ash plumes generated during the eruption did not pose any serious hazards for the area. However, numerous local airline flights were cancelled or rerouted, and trace amounts of ash fall occurred at all of the local communities surrounding the volcano, including Cold Bay, Nelson Lagoon, Sand Point, and King Cove.”

The reports by the AVO also announced Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes. The four Alert Levels apply to conditions in vicinity to the volcano (of greatest concern to residents). The Levels consist of Normal, typical background or noneruptive state; Advisory, exhibiting signs of unrest or possible renewed increase; Watch, exhibiting escalating or heightened unrest; and Warning, hazardous eruption is eminent or underway. The respective Color Codes address risks to aircraft from ash plumes. The Codes consist, in increasing order of concern, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red.

Pavlof is monitored by satellite imagery, observers, several in-situ and remote instruments, and by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) web camera. Figure 9 shows Pavlof as seen from the FAA web camera, which resides in Cold Bay. The photo shows conditions on a clear day when the volcano was quiet. The camera produces still images sometimes used to convey the volcano’s behavior (‘FAA supplementary weather products’).

Figure 9. A NE view that features snow- and ice-clad Pavlof as seen from the FAA web camera in Cold Bay (Alaska) on a clear day, date unknown. MSL stands for elevation (in this case with respect to MSL, mean sea level, here expressed in feet, 1 foot = 0.305 m). SM stands for statue miles, used to describe the distance from the camera to a building and to Pavlof (~56 km away; 1 SM = 1.61 km). Courtesy of FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration).

Eruption of 30 May to 4 June 2014. The AVO weekly report issued on 6 June 2014 summarized conditions during the 30 May-4 June eruption period as follows: “Pavlof Volcano is experiencing a typical Strombolian eruption, characterized by lava fountaining, minor explosions, and the accumulation of spatter on the upper north flank of the volcano. Accumulations of spatter have occasionally built up and collapsed, forming hot, ashy, particle-rich flows that generate high-rising steam plumes on the lower north flank of the volcano. As these flows interact with ice and snow on the volcano, they produce meltwater and steam plumes. Spatter-fed lava flows also are likely forming”.

According to AVO’s 6 June 2014 weekly summary, Pavlof began erupting on 30 May 2014. On the morning of 31 May 2014 elevated surface temperatures were detected at the summit of Pavlof, suggesting a low-level eruption with extruding lava. Campers near the volcano confirmed this detection, and noted lava flows originating from a vent on the NE flank. As those lava flows interacted with glacier ice, low-altitude ash clouds and plumes were created. The plumes were detected in satellite imagery, as well as by pilots and with the Cold Bay FAA web camera.

On the evening of 31 May 2014, small explosion signals were detected by a distant infrasound sensor. The eruption continued, followed by incandescence. The FAA web camera in Cold Bay detected weak incandescence glowing at the summit on the evenings of 31 May and 1 June. Clouds obscured views of the volcano by web camera although no ash clouds were detected in satellite imagery. Weak seismic activity was detected on the Pavlof network of seismometers near the volcano. An increase of seismic tremor occurred 2 June at 1500, decreasing around 2300 that evening (Alaska Standard Time = UTC - 9 hours; during May-June, Daylight Saving Time = UTC - 8 hours). The Aviation Color Code and Alert Levels on 31 May were Orange and Watch respectively.

On 2 June 2014, AVO reported a plume discharged almost continuously from the vent rising to an altitude of 6.7 km and extending over 75 km E, as seen in figure 10. The AVO daily report for this eruption stated “Hazardous conditions exist on the north flank and north side drainages heading on the volcano due to continued pyroclastic and lahar activity. Ash in the vicinity of the volcano remains a hazard to local air traffic” (figure 10).

Figure 10. Visible image of a Pavlof plume acquired by the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite on 2 June 2014 (2145 UTC 2 June, which corresponds to local Daylight Saving Time and date of 1345 on 2 June). The plume extended -75 km E of Pavlof. Courtesy of NASA and AVO/USGS.

The AVO photo archive for 2 June contained over 40 photos with captions. Some were taken from Cold Bay and others from at sea and aircraft, documenting eruptive activity that day. Chris Waythomas (AVO) noted incandescence associated with lava fountaining and low-level ash and steam plume on images caught by the FAA camera. Several photos by Rachael Kremer were captioned by AVO scientists. The caption of one image (ID #591161 written by Game McGimsey, AVO/USGS) not only described incandescence from lava fountaining at the summit vent, it also stated the presence of “spatter-fed lava flowing down the N flank.” Further, “ash and steam clouds rising from lower on the north flank were likely generated by pyroclastic flows intermixing with glacier ice.”

AVO daily reports issued on 2 and 3 June 2014 described a vigorous continuing eruption. Late on the 2nd, tremor increased again. During the night included observers noted intense lava fountaining and a spatter fed lava flow down the N flank. By the morning of the 3rd, and ash and steam plumes rose up to 7.3 km altitude. The AVO report issued at 1233 on the 3rd noted a wind shift and wind at the time of that report carrying the main plume SSW. Lower winds (below ~3 km altitude) carried a plume that may have contained trace ash to the WSW.

The AVO report issued at 1754 on the 3rd made these statements: “Although the eruption of Pavlof continues, seismic tremor has deceased over the past 12 hours and has remained relatively steady throughout the day at a much lower level than that of yesterday. Recent satellite data and web camera views of the eruption plume indicate that there are now two distinct parts of the plume. The part of the plume that reaches high above the volcano appears to be mainly steam and gas with minor ash present, extending south of the volcano. Additionally, pyroclastic flow activity on the north flank is producing diffuse ash emissions that result in areas of hazy air, with variable concentrations of ash below [~3 km]. Low-level winds are likely to disperse this ash to the west-southwest with no more than trace amounts accumulating. There are no reports of ash falling in nearby communities.” The Aviation Color Code was reduced from Red to Orange and the Alert Level to Watch. Ash remained a hazard to local air traffic.

Similar conditions prevailed on 4 June, with plumes containing minor ash but rich in sulfur dioxide extending 30 to 100 km downwind over Cold Bay. Although incandescence was visible in early morning web cam images, seismicity had remained stable for the past 24 hours. Incandescence from lava fountaining was visible in webcam images on 4 June. According to a news article, flights in and out of Cold Bay and Unalaska were canceled on 4 June, affecting about 200 people.

At 0205 and 0245 on 5 June 2014, seismic data indicated two distinct explosions. AVO inferred these represented the collapse of spatter built up around the vent, with a possible explosive component. A similar third, less energetic, event occurred at 0844. The explosions generated lightning, which was detected by the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN, a collaboration of over 50 universities) (Morton, 2014). AVO inferred that hot debris moved down the N flank, resulting in localized low-level clouds of fine ash. There was no ash above the meteorological clouds whose tops reached 8.8 km in height.

As of 6 June 2014, elevated surface temperatures persisted but cited that on this morning they had observed greatly diminished ash and lava emissions. Steam or ash plumes were absent in satellite images since 4 June. A weekly summary issued on 6th noted plumes during the eruption that started on the evening of 30 May 2014 had reached about 9.1 km in altitude. Seismic data indicated lahars occurred intermittently.

Comparative quiet. During 7-23 June 2014, Pavlof was comparatively quiet. Although extreme temperatures associated with fountaining were not seen, a thermal image of Pavlof on 24 June 2014 suggested broad areas of warm temperatures from what AVO interpreted as a recent lava flow (figure 11). According to the scientist who prepared the image, David Schneider, “Composite satellite image of Pavlof Volcano showing the extent of the lava flows on the northeast flank. The base image was collected by the Worldview-2 satellite on May 9, 2014 (prior to the onset of eruptive activity) and is overlain (in color) with a Landsat-8 thermal infrared image collected early in the morning on June 24, 2014. The thermal infrared sensor measured the heat given off by the still-warm lava flow. The length of the longest branch of the lava flow is about 5 km (3 miles). Note that the lava flow appears to have traveled under the ice on the upper flank of the volcano.”

Figure 11. A thermal image from Landsat 8, with areas of increased infrared radiation, acquired in the early morning of 24 June 2014 showing the path of lava flows down the slopes. For scale, the longest arm of the flow was about 5 km. The lava flow traveled under the ice in an area of the upper flank. For more details, see text. Courtesy of AVO. Caption details and image preparation by D. Schneider (AVO/USGS).

An AVO Notification issued on the 25th indicated that AVO had observed no evidence of ash emission from the volcano since early June. Clear web camera and satellite images of the volcano over the past several days showed no evidence of continued lava fountaining. The Aviation Color Code was reduced to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was reduced to Advisory. AVO further added that small discrete seismic events continued. They suggested that the signals may have been related to several processes including, (1) degassing of unerupted magma within the volcano’s conduit and (2) periodic collapse of ejecta and other debris down the steep flanks of the volcano. The latter, appears consistent with the lava flow seen on figure 11.

On 30 July 2014 the Color Code was lowered to Green and the Volcano Alert Level to Normal. Since mid-June, levels of unrest had gradually declined. Rockfalls and small avalanches of debris still occurred sporadically on the NNW flank of volcano. The next eruptive event did not occur until 12 November.

Eruption of 12-16 November 2014. As previously mentioned, an eruption occurred during 12-16 November 2014. On 12 November 2014, AVO reported a ground observer in Cold Bay sighted ash emissions from Pavlof rising to an altitude of 2.7 km, signifying a new eruption. Minor ash emissions were visible in the Cold Bay web camera beginning around 1650 Alaska Standard Time (AKST) on 12 November. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code and Volcano Alert Level at 1957 on 12 November. Tremor remained elevated on the 12th, 13th, and 14th, with lava fountaining and ash emissions. On 14 November satellite imagery revealed a narrow ash plume extending ~200 km at 4.8 km altitude.

On 15 November 2014, AVO reported the eruption of had intensified. Thus, the Aviation Color Code was raised to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning. Behavior was characterized by explosive eruptions, lava fountaining from a vent just N of the summit, and flows of rock debris and ash descending the N flank of the volcano. Ash emissions were observed from the ground and in satellite images. The intensity of seismic tremor had increased significantly, and satellite data indicated the ash cloud top at 7.6 km altitude extending 200 km NW from the vent. Figure 12 shows a Landsat 8 image captured on the 15th. The top of an ash plume in the image had reached an altitude of ~9 km. Another satellite image taken the same day showed ash plume above cloud cover and extending ~300 km NW from the volcano.

Figure 12. On 15 November 2015, Pavlof was lofting ash plumes to an altitude of 9 kilometers as shown in the natural-color image, acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite. Pavlof’s volcanic plume rises well above the cloud deck. NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat 8 data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Original image by David Schneider.

Although as mentioned above, on 15 November 2014, the ash plume reached more than 9 km, tremor had abruptly decreased at about 1900 that day. This was accompanied by a large decrease in ash emissions, and the next day no evidence of an ash plume at the volcano was reported.

On the 16th, the Aviation Color Code decreased to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch. During 17-18 November seismicity remained low; surface temperatures on the upper NW flank were elevated. The AVO weekly report issued on 21 November 2014 described the week’s activity as still remaining low. Intermittent tremor was detected, and satellite images still showed lava flow on the volcano's NW flank. At that stage it reached ~7 km from the summit.

On 25 November 2014, AVO further lowered the Aviation Color Code/Volcano Alert Level to Yellow/Advisory, citing continued low seismicity and lack of any observations to suggest ongoing lava fountaining or ash emission.

According to the last AVO weekly report issued on 26 December 2014, the status of Pavlof remained unchanged. Seismicity at Pavlof continued slightly above background levels. Weather conditions continued to be cloudy during the week and no activity was observed in satellite or web camera views of the volcano.

References. Demas, A., (3 June) 2014, Volcano Warning Alert Issued for Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano, U.S. Geological Survey [accessed August 2014] (URL: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/volcano-warning-alert-issued-for-alaskas-pavlof-volcano/ ). [accessed August 2014]

Morton, M, (6 April) 2014, Volcanic Lightning Generated in a Bottle, Earth Magazine (URL: http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/volcanic-lightning-generated-bottle)

Schwaiger, H.F., Denlinger, R.P., and Mastin, L.G., April 2012, Ash3d: A finite-volume, conservative numerical model for ash transport and tephra deposition. Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 117, Issue B4, 20 p.[accessed August 2014] (URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JB008968/pdf).

Schwartz, D., (11 August) 2013, Ash3D is Federal Answer to Ash Cloud Response, Peninsula Clarion [accessed August 2014] (URL: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-08-10).

Waythomas, C. F., Haney, M. M., Fee, D., Schneider, D. J., and Wech, A., 2014, The 2013 eruption of Pavlof Volcano, Alaska: a spatter eruption at an ice-and snow-clad volcano. Bulletin of Volcanology, 76(10), pp. 1-12.

Wolff, J. A., & Sumner, J. M. (2000). Lava fountains and their products. Encyclopedia of volcanoes, H Sigurdsson, B Houghton, S McNutt, H Rymer, J Stix (Eds.); pp. 321-329.

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

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320,Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys,794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL:http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/); Christopher Waythomas, Game McGimsey, and Cheryl Cameron, AVO; Rachel Kremer (affiliation unknown); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 800 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20591, USA (http://www.faa.gov/); and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (URL: http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

Tangkubanparahu (Indonesia) — April 2015 Cite this Report



6.77°S, 107.6°E; summit elev. 2084 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

West Java volcano issues very small eruption in March 2013; months of tremor and few volcanic earthquakes

Tangkubanparahu (Tankuban Parahu) erupted multiple times during the interval of reporting discussed here. That interval extends from February 2013 through December 2014; however, Bulletin editors were unable to find ongoing reports of activity between 1 January 2014 and 1 June 2015. The eruptions were from Ratu crater and of quite small size (highest reported plumes only rose to 100 m tall). The vent grew in size as a result of these eruptions, reaching in early March 2013 a diameter of 20 m. The small eruptions contained minor ash but did not emit a dome or lava flows and accordingly did not lead to thermal anomalies detected via the MODVOLC satellite-based infrared detection system (and this is the case going back to at least the year 2010).

In past reports during the past few decades, Tangkubanparahu has largely been quiet but with occasional tremor and volcanic earthquakes (eg., late August-October 2002, 12-19 April 2005, and August-September 2012; BGVN 27:09, 28:08, 30:12, and 37:11). The location of the volcano in Java is shown in figure 1 of BGVN 37:11.

According to the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM, also known as Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi, PVMBG), tremor increased on 21 February 2013 and diffuse ash emissions rose from Ratu Crater. Based on the seismicity, visual observations, and temperature increases of the land around the crater, CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) and visitors were reminded not to approach the crater within a radius of 1.5 km.

CVGHM reported that phreatic eruptions from Tangkubanparahu's Ratu Crater occurred on 28 February and during 4-6 March 2013, and generated ash plumes that rose up to 100 m above the crater.

A news report (kompas.com) quoted CVGHM as stating that the March explosion was much stronger than the one on 21 February 2013. The news report said that the 6 March eruption lasted for ~8 minutes. The Jakarta Post also said that the 6 March eruption lasted ~8 minutes and ejected ash about 30 m above Ratu Crater. The Jakarta Post reported that on 18 March, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level to 1 (normal) because of a significant decrease in the tremor frequency. The article also quoted CVGHM as stating that deformation, using a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM), found at one or more stations a decline in relative elevation from 6.84 cm to a few millimeters by 18 March. Deflation was again detected from 24 February through early March 2013, but was stable during 7-14 March 2013.

According to CVGHM, sulfur dioxide emissions increased to 5.3 metric tons per day (t/d) on 24 February 2013, decreased through 3 March 2013 to 2.1 t/d, and then increased again during 5-9 March 2013 to 4.9 t/d. CVGHM speculated that the increase was due to an enlargement of the eruptive vent, which had grown to a diameter of 20 m.

Gas emissions decreased abruptly on 10 March 2013 to 2.1 t/d and emission sounds stopped. On 4 March 2013, a new solfatara vent opened, but SO2 levels could not be measured on that day because of weather conditions.

On 5 October 2013, a phreatic eruption occurred,, causing CVHGM to raise the Alert Level to 2. Figure 2 is an image of Ratu Crater.

Figure 2. Photo of Tangkubanparahu’s Ratu crater taken (or posted?) in June 2014. Ratu crater is the currently active crater and one of two large craters on the volcano; it is about 1 km in diameter and has a depth of about 400 m. CVGHM reporting notes that, overall, the volcano hosts 9 craters. Image courtesy of Marietha S as posted on Tripadvisor.com.

CVGHM reported that during November-December 2014 white plumes rose up to 50 m above Ratu Crater. Deformation occurred and seismicity increased. On 31 December the Alert level rose to 2 (on a scale of 1-4), cautioning people to remain at least 1.5 km from the crater.

Seismicity. The CVGHM report discussing late 2014 features a plot of seismic data during December 2012 through December 2014, which the authors termed significant, the chief observation prompting a rise in alert level (to II).

Tremor was most prominent beginning mid-2013 to early March 2014. Both low-frequency and hybrid earthquakes were nearly absent except during a short sequence in late 2014 (each with over 100 earthquakes; see table below). Type-B earthquakes were common at levels from a few to ten events per 20-day interval, and like the low-frequency and hybrid earthquakes, peaked in latest December 2014 (~50 type-B events). Type-A earthquakes showed little or no tendency to cluster and remained below 5 events per 20 day interval and on many days they were absent.

Table 3 indicates the types and frequencies of seismic activity at Tangkubanparahu during selected, mostly active periods during 2013. Shallow volcanic earthquakes predominated during many of these periods. The number of tremor was high during the first week of March 2013, but significantly declined thereafter. The 25 September 2013-5 October 2013 period contained somewhat elevated seismicity, yet apparently lacked significant eruptive activity. Note the emergence of 513 low-frequency earthquakes during 1-31 December 2014 (lower right). That data is in the same year-end report (issued in early 2014 and written in Indonesian) and is also noteworthy in terms of the plot of distance (EDM) data to various reflectors around the crater during the entire year of 2013.

Table 3. A compilation of earthquake counts and tremor durations recorded at Tangkubanparahu for selected periods during 2012-2014. Definitions: -- signifies no data (presumably no episodes); VA, volcanic type-A earthquake; VB, type B (shallow volcanic earthquake); TJ, deep tectonic earthquake; BQ, an earthquake indicative of emissions; and TL, local tectonic earthquake. Courtesy of CVGHM.

Date (day or days) VA VB TJ BQ TL Tremor (amplitude, duration) Other data & kinds of earthquakes (EQs)
22 Jun 2012-28 Feb 2013 5 20 2 4 2 13 (2-45 mm, 3-92 min) Phreatic eruption on 21 Feb
1-6 Mar 2013 14 32 2 41 -- 19 (2-30 mm, 3-92 min) 4 eruptions during period (6-35 mm, 7-13 min)
7-13 Mar 2013 2 25 4 6 -- 2 No tremor 8-18 Mar
14-18 Mar 2013 1 14 5 -- -- 0  
25-30 Sep 2013 6 26 8 -- 1 1  
1-5 Oct 2013   13 7 1 -- 2  
21 Oct 2013 -- 4 1 -- -- Continuous (amp. 1-3 mm, 12 hr)  
22 Oct 2013 -- 13 1 -- -- 1 1 Low freq earthquake
23 Oct 2013 1 12 7 1 -- 3 1 Low freq earthquake
24 Oct 2013 2 9 2 5 -- --  
25 Oct 2013 -- 6 4 1 -- 2 (0.5-1 mm, less than 2 min)  
26 Oct 2013 1 7 4 -- -- 1 (0.5-1 mm, less than 2 min)  
27 Oct 2013 (partial) -- 1 1 -- -- --  
1-31 Oct 2014 9 126 45 50 12 10 cases 6 low-frequency EQs,
1-30 Nov 6 146 35 185 6   8 low-frequency EQs; 14 tornillo EQs
1-31 Dec 2014 10 352 41 22 6   1 tornillo EQ; 513 low-frequency EQs

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

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) (URL: http:proxy.vsi.esdm.go.id/index.php); kompas.com (URL: kompas.com); and The Jakarta Post (URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com/).

Tofua (Tonga) — April 2015 Cite this Report



19.75°S, 175.07°W; summit elev. 515 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Five thermal alerts detected, 28 September-30 June 2015

Tofua is a remote volcano in Tonga that is not monitored. The primary sources of information about the volcano’s activity are from infrequent field visits, ash advisories from the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, and MODIS thermal sensors aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites.

Bulletin authors are not aware of any ash advisories on Tofua from the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre during the reporting period, 28 September 2013-30 June 2015. Likewise, we are not aware of any scientific field visits during this period. A labelled photo of Tofua showing its location was provided in a previous issue of the Bulletin (BGVN 36:09).

Our previous report (BGVN 38:07) listed thermal alerts through 27 September 2013. Since then, five thermal alerts were recorded through 30 June 2015, listed in table 1. Two of those alerts, on 14 and 23 September 2014, were located outside and NW of the caldera rim and therefore were probably not associated with volcanic activity. No thermal alerts were issued between 18 October 2014 and 30 June 2015.

Table 3. Thermal alerts between 28 September 2013 and 30 June 2015. Thermal alerts are derived from data collected by the MODIS thermal sensors aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites and processed by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology using the MODVOLC algorithm. Courtesy of Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

Date No. Pixels Satellite
10/10/2013 2 Aqua
7/27/2014 1 Aqua
9/14/2014 1 Aqua
9/23/2014 1 Terra
10/18/2014 2 Terra

Several articles on Tofua’s volcanic geology and geochemistry published in the past few years have come to our attention (Caulfield, 2011, 2012, 2015). Caulfield and others (2011, 2012) include helpful aerial and cross-section sketches of the volcano’s various geologic features.

References: Caulfield, J. T., Cronin, S.J., Turner, S.P., & Cooper, L.B., 2011, Mafic Plinian volcanism and ignimbrite emplacement at Tofua volcano, Tonga, Bull. Volcanology, v. 73, pp.1259–1277.

Caulfield, J. T., Turner, S. P., Smith, I. E. M., Cooper, L. B., & Jenner, G. A., 2012, Magma evolution in the primitive, intra-oceanic Tonga arc: petrogenesis of basaltic andesites at Tofua volcano. Journal of Petrology, v. 53(6), pp. 1197-1230.

Caulfield, J. T., Blichert-Toft, J., Albarède, F., & Turner, S. P., 2015, Corrigendum to ‘Magma Evolution in the Primitive, Intra-oceanic Tonga Arc: Petrogenesis of Basaltic Andesites at Tofua Volcano’and ‘Magma Evolution in the Primitive, Intra-oceanic Tonga Arc: Rapid Petrogenesis of Dacites at Fonualei Volcano, Journal of Petrology, v. 56(3), pp. 641-644.

Geologic Background. The low, forested Tofua Island in the central part of the Tonga Islands group is the emergent summit of a large stratovolcano that was seen in eruption by Captain Cook in 1774. The first Caucasian to set foot on the 515-m-high island was Capt. William Bligh in 1789, just after the renowned mutiny on the "Bounty." The summit contains a 5-km-wide caldera whose walls drop steeply about 500 m. Three post-caldera cones were constructed at the northern end of a cold fresh-water caldera lake, whose surface lies only 30 m above sea level. The easternmost cone has three craters and produced young basaltic-andesite lava flows, some of which traveled into the caldera lake. The largest and northernmost of the cones, Lofia, has a steep-sided crater that is 70 m wide and 120 m deep and has been the source of historical eruptions, first reported in the 18th century. The fumarolically active crater of Lofia has a flat floor formed by a ponded lava flow.

Information Contacts: 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://hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu/).

Turrialba (Costa Rica) — April 2015 Cite this Report


Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

29 October 2014 magmatic eruption, the first such event in 150 years

This report primarily summarizes activity during January 2013 through mid-December 2014 (although a plot of SO2 flux during 1 October 2008-30 November 2013 is also presented). That activity included frequent gas emissions, occasional increases in seismicity, intermittent gas explosions that generated ash plumes and ashfall, and strong gas explosions on 21 May 2013 and 29-31 October 2014. Material here are primarily extracted from a 2013 annual report and the suite of 2014 monthly reports, all prepared by the Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA).

Recent Bulletin reports (BGVN 37:06 and 38:02) indicated that the number of volcanic earthquakes and degassing events at Turrialba’s W crater during 2012 were lower than those in 2010 and 2011. The three main fumaroles present in the W crater were as follows: Boca 2010 on the W wall, Boca 2011 on the N wall, and Boca 2012 on the E wall.

Gas data, 2008-early 2013. Ultraviolet spectral analysis can yield estimates of volcanogenic SO2. The methods to assess and express volcanogenic SO2 vary, with some methods looking at the atmospheric column (total column mass) and others the flux of the gas close to the volcano (mass per unit time, for example, metric tons per day).

The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) travels in space onboard NASA’s Aura satellite and yields estimate of the column SO2 mass. For Turrialba during the 2008-2013 period OMI determined SO2 mass burdens generally below 1,500 metric tons and in a few cases to higher values including two cases in the range 2,500-4,000 metric tons (figure 36).

Figure 36. OMI satellite retrievals for SO2 masses in the atmospheric column during 1 October 2008-1 November 2013. Headers are in Spanish (unchanged from original source): Y-axis is SO2 mass in thousands of metric tons, X-axis is date (dd/mm/yyyy). Note the use of commas on the X-axis scale in the place of decimal points (0,5 = 0.5). Graphic is directly from the 2013 annual OVSICORI-UNA report (p. 6).

During 1 April 2013 to 27 November 2013, the ground-based differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) stations near Turrialbal recorded fluxes generally between 500-1,000 metric tons/day.

Based on the DOAS observations, OVSICORI-UNA plotted the CO2 / SO2 molar ratio. After an explosion on 21 May 2013, the observatory found this ratio generally increased progressively in available data during the nearly six months that followed (figure 37). In a similar manner, the H2S / SO2 molar ratio also showed a tendancy towards progressive increase in available data (figure 38).

Figure 37. CO2 /SO2 molar ratios at the Boca 2010 vent from DOAS measurements at Turrialba in the interval from 1 April 2013 to 27 November 2013. DOAS stands for Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy, measurements made by stations at the volcano. Spanish labels (left to right): ash emission, increase in seismicity, decrease in seismicity. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.
Figure 38.

H2S/SO2 ratios between 1 April 2013 and late November 2013 at Turrialba’s Boca 2010, as measured by DOAS stations. Spanish-language labels correspond to triangles on the X-axis stating, from left to right: “ash emission,” “increase in seismicity,” and “decrease in seismicity.” Note error bar (incertidumbre) at upper left. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

2013 events and monitoring. According to OVSICORI-UNA, the year 2013 began with low seismic activity (shallow hybrid earthquakes) and weak gas emissions similar to those in 2012. In March and April 2013, volcano-tectonic earthquakes originating more than 5 km below the summit began to occur, along with the first tornillo earthquakes of the year. (Tornillo-type earthquakes are long period with wave forms that, at or near the start, contain higher amplitude signals that gradually decrease with time. Their shape on seismograms resembles a woodscrew.) The number of volcanic earthquakes increased from 10/day on 18 April to more than 500/day on 13 July. This high level persisted until the end of August 2013.

On 20 May 2013, increased gas emissions produced a sky-blue plume visible from nearby areas. An eruption followed the next day.

At 0452 on 21 May, the number of hybrid earthquakes became numerous. Continuous harmonic tremor increased at 0720. At 0830 and after 1100, explosions from both Boca 2010 and Boca 2012 vents generated ash plumes that rose more than 500 m (figure 39). Ashfall was reported in nearby communities to the N, W, and WSW. The 21 May ash emission event was discussed in the context of molar ratios of gas species in figures 37 and 38.

Figure 39. Gas explosions on 21 May 2013 at Boca 2010 and Boca 2012 on Turriabla’s W crater. Photo taken by the webcam OVSICORI-UNA-A. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

At noon on 21 May 2013, ash emissions ceased and seismicity decreased. Seismic activity declined sharply after the 21 May explosions, as did the CO2 /SO2 ratio, as measured in situ by a portable Multigas station. As previously noted (figures 37 and 38), for plotted measurements, the CO2 / SO2 and H2S / SO2 ratios tended to progressively rise during the months that followed.

OVSICORI-UNA reported that a pilot flying past Turrialba about 40 km away observed a blackish plume on 29 May 2013. Officials from the Parque Nacional Volcán Turrialba observed a gas plume that was slightly darker than usual between 0730 and 0745; however, seismic records showed no abnormal activity at those times or seismic data signifying the discharge of a plume during the previous 48 hours. In addition, web camera images lacked evidence of ash emissions since 23 May. Gas plumes with temperatures more than 750°C were emitted from the two vents. The plume from Boca 2010 was whiter than the plume emitted from Boca 2012.

On 4 June 2013, light ashfall was reported in Pacayas (about 13 km W) and San Pablo in Oreamuno de Cartago (25 km SW). An observer in the previously closed National Park engulfing Turrialba noted that gas emissions that day were slightly stronger and more grayish than usual.

According to OVSICORI-UNA, seismic activity increased significantly again on 13 July 2013 with low-frequency signals (figure 40). On that day, the number of seismic events increased to more than 500/day. Seismicity remained at this level until late August when it decreased. During this period the gas temperature from Boca 2012 decreased from ~800°C to ~600°C. During 18-19 July, low-frequency tremor was detected. No morphological changes at the surface were observed.

Figure 40. As recorded at Turrialba between January-November 2013, the number of volcanic earthquakes (y-axis on plot at left) and the number of very long period (VLP) earthquakes (y-axis on plot at right). Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Volcanic earthquakes with very long periods ceased in November 2013. Tornillos also became less frequent.

2014. The 29 October magmatic eruption discussed below culminated years of high gas emissions at Turrialba. The eruption was sudden and impulsive, termed an explosion by OVSICORI-UNA, but was led by ongoing ash-bearing emission and a clear multihour escalation in tremor. No human injuries were reported. Costa Rica has bolstered its hazard infrastructure in recent years. According to GFDRR (2012) the legislation called the “Emergencies and Risk Prevention Law (No. 8488) requires Government agencies and municipalities to allocate resources for disaster risk reduction activities in their programs and budgets. Presidential Decree (No.36721-MP-PLAN) enhanced the risk management competencies of the CNE [the National Risk Prevention and Emergencies Management Commission] and provides a model to assess vulnerability (compulsory in governmental planning processes).”

During January-September 2014, the number of volcanic earthquakes often remained relatively low (under 100, figure 41, left plot). Occasionally the number approached 200. The low seismicity was broadly similar to that in the last half of 2013; the majority of earthquakes were of low magnitude, including those of tornillo, volcanic-tectonic, and hybrid affinities. During January-September 2014, volcano-tectonic (VT) seismicity was generally stable (at 3 or fewer events per day)(figure 41, right plot).

Figure 41. The number of daily seismic events at Turrialba during 1 January 2014-30 September 2014. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

On 28 July 2014, a swarm of small, low-amplitude, short-duration, and high-frequency events lasted two hours. OVSICORI-UNA attributed the swarm to movement of fluids through cracks.

Conde and others (2014a) published an article about volcanic SO2 and CO2 fluxes at Turrialba during early 2013. They discussed SO2 and CO2 measurement methodologies used at Turrialba and Telica. OVSICORI-UNA reports during January-March 2014 noted the development of significantly more accurate, continuous ground-based SO2 monitoring. In addition, OVSICORI-UNA acquired and used an additional instrument, a Flyspec (a mini-spectrometer to measure SO2 levels). According to the OVSICORI-UNA September 2014 monthly report, SO2 fluxes in 2014 through September ranged from 400 to 1,500 metric tons/day, well below the maximum ~3,500 t/d they recorded during several days in June-August 2009 (Conde and others, 2014b).

In addition, reported CO2/SO2 ratios were ~8 in May, 2-4 in June, and ~2.5 in July 2014. H2S/SO2 molar ratios were ~1.2 in May and 0.2-0.7 in June 2014. Several authors in the two cited articles by Conde and others are affiliated with the NOVAC project (Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change). According to its website, the main objective of NOVAC is to establish a network for the measurements of volcanic gas and aerosol emissions--in particular SO2 and BrO--and to use the data from this network for risk assessment and volcanological research, both locally and on a regional and global scale. OVSICORI-UNA is part of the NOVAC consortium.

The temperatures at the W crater vents during January-July 2014 were about 600°C or lower, similar to the values of the previous six months as measured 15-20 m from the vents. In August and September, temperatures rose slightly to ~650°C; the composition of the gases were stable and interpreted as primarily magmatic.

Deformation in the August and September 2014 OVSICORI-UNA reports was determined by using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), Global Position System (GPS), and electronic distance meter (EDM) surveys. According to the August 2014 report, the InSAR and EDM measurements showed, in the 2013-2014 time interval, a relative contraction of several centimeters around the E and W craters. The September 2014 OVSICORI-UNA reported that a GPS survey on a 4-point transect from the base of the volcano to the summit yielded preliminary results indicating that one of the stations (VTQU, on the S flank) had sunk 2-3 cm/year since 2011. The September 2014 report did not report deformation at other stations.

According to OVSICORI-UNA, seismic activity, which had been low earlier in the year, began to increase in late September 2014. In mid-October instruments recorded a three-day swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes. The largest event, M 2.8, occurred at 2035 on 16 October at a depth of 5 km beneath the active crater. SO2 flux remained low to moderate ranging between 400 and 1,500 metric tons per day during through October 2014. Magmatic influenced degassing intensified during 28-29 October; the SO2 flux was ~2,000 t/d, higher than the 1,300 t/d average measured in September 2014 and the highest to date during 2014. (Recalling the previously mentioned interval 1 April-27 November 2013, the recorded fluxes also stood lower, generally in the range 500-1,000 tons/day).

The 30 October report by OVSICORI-UNA, which contains informative graphics omitted here, including photos of the plume, tephra deposited on a car, seismic instrument records and spectral information, a helicorder record for a 24-hour interval bracketing the explosion). OVSICORI-UNA described the eruption on the 29th as a moderate eruption of ash between 2310 and 2335 (25 munutes).

According to that report, tremor began at 0600 on the 29th and continued unbroken into at least early the next day. The tremor and the associated RSAM escalation was sufficiently ominous as to lead OVSICORI to notify locals of the situation (including the CNE, the National Park, as well as a nearby lodge. The same OVSICORI-UNA report added that at unstated time during this episode the lodge’s chief Tony Lachner noted the plume was darker than usual, contained a yellowish tinge, and was judged to contain ash. At 1700, OVSICORI-UNA again informed local authorities on the situation. The tremor had increased in amplitude and continuity (duration) during the afternoon. Tremor became strongest around 2310-2320 on the 29th coincident with the strong explosion then. The same report noted that OVSICORI-UNA had alerted aviation authorities of the explosion around midnight.

The explosion, heard by local residents, also left a clear record on instruments in the region including those at Poas and Irazu. The explosion ended what started as an initially small eruption from the West Crater that lasted about 25 minutes. The explosion was heard by nearby villagers. An ash cloud rose to an altitude of 5.8 km and drifted WSW. Ash fell on numerous nearby communities, including parts of the capital of San José (whose outskirts are ~30 km W) and Heredia (centered less than 40 km WNW of the volcano). In more detail, settlements noted by OVSICORI-UNA included San Gerardo de Irazú, San Ramón de Tres Ríos, Coronado, Moravia, Curridabat, Desamparados, Aserrí, Escazú, Santa Ana, Belén, Guácima de Alajuela, Río Segundo de Alajuela, San Pedro Montes de Oca, Guadalupe, areas of Heredia, and the capital of San José (population ~350,000, with central downtown located~ 70 km SW of Turrialbla).

The explosion on the 29th destroyed the wall between the West and Central craters, depositing material around the Central Crater and partially burying it. According to a news report (Agence France-Presse), Turrialba National Park remained closed, and eleven people from Santa Cruz de Turrialba were evacuated to shelters. Some schools were also temporarily closed, affecting over 300 area students. OVSICORI-UNA literature (including the 30 October report discussed above) noted that magma had not previously reached the surface at Turrialba since an eruption in 1866 (~150 years ago).

The magmatic eruption continued during 30-31 October (figure 42) with growing magmatic components seen in samples. Analyses of tephra showed that the proportion of juvenile material increased during 30 and 31 October, respectively, rising from the range of 3-5% by volume to the range of 7-10% by volume. A 30 October OVSICORI-UNA report noted that the ash dispersion modeling assumed a plume height of 1.5 km, consistent with a photo they showed (time unstated), which showed much of the plume remaining comparatively low in the area of view near the volcano. According to the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the 30-31 October eruption produced a continuous emission of gas and light ash with an occasional burst of heavier ash, generally moving W and SW.

Figure 42. A photo of emissions at Turrialba’s West Crater on 31 October 2014. The photo was taken from the tourist vista point at Turrialba Volcano National Park. The image shows two distinct plumes adjacent each other, a dark ash-bearing plume and a white plume rich in condensed steam. The plumes rose ~1 km above the vent. Courtesy of Raúl Mora (National Seismological Network, RSN, and University of Costa Rica).

In their 7 November 2014 report, OVSICORI-UNA discussed how named staff collected and ran tests on leachate acidity for material deposited in the explosions during 29-31 October. Leachate reached pH 3.3 (highly acidic). In contrast, ash erupted during 4-5 January 2010 yielded leachate with pH 6.7-7.1 (near neutral). The 2014 report cautioned that such values were of considerable concern to human health, to environmental impacts (native vegetation, aquatic species, etc.), to cultivated plants, and to the well being of livestock and farm animals. The authors attributed the low pH values to the magmatic nature of the eruption and to absorption of those gases on the ash particle surfaces.

An explosion at 0520 on 1 November 2014 generated an ash plume that drifted toward the E and N parts of the Central Valley. A 3 November report stated that during the previous 24 hours seismicity had decreased significantly and no explosions had been detected; seismicity remained elevated. An phone and online (Facebook) public survey allowed residents to record if they had observed ashfall in their localities during the eruptive interval. Responses depicted a W-directed dispersal pattern that covered much of the urban area around San Jose.

OVSICORI-UNA reported a seismic signal indicating a strong emission lasting 50 minutes that started at 2320 on 6 November. The same 7 November report noted that in broad terms seismicity had decreased overall during the previous few days.

An ash-bearing explosion from Turrialba started at 1926 on 13 November and lasted about 10 minutes. Another explosion occurred at 1342 on 14 November and lasted about 15 minutes, although the strongest part was 7-minutes long. The OVSICORI-UNA report issued at 1635 on the 14th emphasized the associated explosive signal of these two emissions in terms of seismicity, for example, noting the dominant frequencies for the respective events were centered at 6.8 and 4.0 Hz. The report also said that of National Park officials reported ashfall at the top of Irazú. Volcanologists observed the 14 November explosion and collected samples at Hacienda La Central, 3 km SE of West Crater.

According to news reports (The Tico Times and crhoy.com), OVSICORI-UNA reported a strong gas emission on 13 November, accompanied by a massive outpouring of ash. A pilot reported ash plume S of the volcano at an altitude of 3.7-4.3 km.

According to OVSICORI-UNA, a strong Strombolian explosion occurred at 2128 on 8 December 2014, considered by them as one of the large explosions in the series that started with the magmatic eruption on 29 October 2014. The explosion lasted about ten minutes and had no precursory activity. The main pulse of ash emissions took place in under 100 seconds. Ashfall, 1 cm thick, and ballistics up to ~5 kg were deposited as far as 300 m W. Ashfall of 0.01 to 2 cm thickness was reported in the Central Valley and in towns to the W and SW, with 23 reports from citizens consistent with ash at distances of 45-80 km from the source. The report also noted constant inflation at Turriabla, ~10-15 mm annually, since the year 2010.

Citizen input to acquire ash thickness data. The Turriabla reporting took advantage of an OVSICORI questionare (Encuesta Alcance de Cenizas, V. Turrialba) to engage citizen observations on ash deposition. The online questionnaire (find link in “Information Contacts” section below) features a scalable map that features a positionable icon to show the location of ash-thickness observation. This position then automatically computes the resulting coordinates (latitude and longitude). The questionare includes several other questions relating to thickness, date and time of observation, rainfall, and weather conditions (which can perturb the original thickness). Entering contact information is optional.

References. Conde V., Robidoux, P., Avard, G., Galle, B. Aiuppa, A.,? Muñoz, A., and Giudice, G., 2014a, Measurements of volcanic SO2 and CO2 fluxes by combined DOAS, Multi.GAS and FTIR observations: a case study from Turrialba and Telica volcanoes, Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch), 103, pp. 2335-2347, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg. (Also Errata November 2014, 103 (8), p 2349.)

Conde, V., Bredemeyer, S., Duarte, E., Pacheco, J., Miranda, S., Galle, B., and Hansteen, T., 2014b, SO2 degassing from Turrialba Volcano linked to seismic signatures during the period 2008–2012, International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geol Rundsch) 103, pp. 1983–1998, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.

GFDRR, 2012, Costa Rica Country Update – GFDRR, October 2012; Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). (URL: http://www.gfdrr.org/sites/gfdrr.org/files/COSTA_RICA.pdf) (Accessed 12 July 2015).

Geologic Background. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of IrazĂș volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive 3340-m-high Turrialba is exceeded in height only by IrazĂș, covers an area of 500 sq km, and is one of Costa Rica's most voluminous volcanoes. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)(URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr ; Questionare, http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=122); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/); Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change (NOVAC)(URL: http://www.novac-project.eu/index.html); The Tico Times (URL: http://www.ticotimes.net/); Agence France-Presse (URL: http://www.afp.com/); The Costa Rica Star (URL: http://news.co.cr/); and crhoy.com (URL: www.crhoy.com).

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 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.

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Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

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 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.


False Report of Sea of Marmara Eruption

Africa (northeastern) and Red Sea

False Report of Somalia Eruption

Africa (eastern)

False Report of Elgon Eruption

Kermadec Islands

Floating Pumice (Kermadec Islands)

1986 Submarine Explosion

Tonga Islands

Floating Pumice (Tonga)

Fiji Islands

Floating Pumice (Fiji)

New Britain


Andaman Islands

False Report of Andaman Islands Eruptions

Sangihe Islands

1968 Northern Celebes Earthquake

Kawio Barat


False Report of Mount Pinokis Eruption

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

Mikura Seamount

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


False Report of New Volcano




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-Gibraltar Fracture Zone

Antarctica and South Sandwich Islands

Jun Jaegyu

East Scotia Ridge

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