Activity for the week of 30 September-6 October 2015
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Activity for the week of 30 September-6 October 2015
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.
|Alaid||Kuril Islands (Russia)||New|
|Copahue||Central Chile-Argentina border||New|
|Michael||South Sandwich Islands (UK)||New|
|Nevado del Ruiz||Colombia||New|
|Cleveland||Chuginadak Island (USA)||Ongoing|
|Karymsky||Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)||Ongoing|
|Kilauea||Hawaiian Islands (USA)||Ongoing|
|Piton de la Fournaise||Reunion Island (France)||Ongoing|
|Semeru||Eastern Java (Indonesia)||Ongoing|
|Sheveluch||Central Kamchatka (Russia)||Ongoing|
|Shishaldin||Fox Islands (USA)||Ongoing|
Alaid | Kuril Islands (Russia) | 50.861°N, 155.565°E | Elevation 2285 m
KVERT reported that an intense thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images over Alaid starting at 0305 on 2 October, possibly due to the onset of Strombolian activity. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale).
Copahue | Central Chile-Argentina border | 37.856°S, 71.183°W | Elevation 2953 m
On 6 October SERNAGEOMIN reported that beginning at 0202 observers noted sporadic crater glow at Copahue, indicative of small explosions in Agrio Crater. A grayish plume rose 200 m above the crater and drifted SE. SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level to Yellow and recommended no entry into a restricted area within 2.5 km of the crater. ONEMI maintained Level Yellow for the community of Alto Biobío (40 km W) in the Biobío region (since 3 June 2013).
Grimsvotn | Iceland | 64.42°N, 17.33°W | Elevation 1725 m
According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the water level of the Skaftá river at Sveinstindur (the closest gauging station at 28 km downstream from the ice margin) and electrical conductivity both rose on 29 September, indicating the beginning of a glacial outburst flood (jökulhlaup), originating from Grímsvötn's Eastern Skaftá ice cauldron. GPS measurements indicated that the ice surface above the lake began to subside late on 27 September; the rate progressively increased reflecting increased discharge from the lake.
At 0330 on 1 October the discharge rate detected at Sveinstindur was higher than 1,300 m³/s, the highest rate recorded since the station was established in 1971. At around 1000, floodwater was also detected in Skaftárdalur at a discharge rate of ~400 m³/s and was rising quickly. GPS data from the eastern ice cauldron showed over 66 m of subsidence since 1800 on 27 September. IMO warned that hydrogen sulfide released from the floodwater as it drains is particularly potent at the river outlet from the ice margin, where concentrations may reach poisonous levels. The cauldrons drain every two years on average, producing floods of up to 1,500 cubic meters per second. During fieldwork later that day volcanologists observed where the jökulhlaup had burst through the glacier at several locations 1-2 km from the terminus. Ice fragments a few tens of centimeters in diameter were scattered near the terminus; ice blocks 3-5 m high and 10 m long were deposited close to the outflow points.
On 2 October IMO noted that the jökulhlaup was possibly the largest to have occurred from the Skaftá cauldrons. The discharge rate peaked at 0200, just short of 2,100 m³/s, however true discharge rate was thought to have been considerably greater (3,000 m³/s) since water flooded outside of the gauged area. The discharge rate peaked at 1300 at Eldvatn near Ásar at an approximate rate of 2,200 m³/s. According to a news article, the high waters in the Skaftá River damaged the bridge over Eldvatn prompting authorities to close the bridge during 4-5 October.
Michael | South Sandwich Islands (UK) | 57.787°S, 26.46°W | Elevation 990 m
The MODVOLC thermal alert system detected thermal anomalies over Michael’s summit crater during 30 September-7 October (GMT time, local -2).
Nevado del Ruiz | Colombia | 4.892°N, 75.324°W | Elevation 5279 m
Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 28 September-5 October seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz was characterized by long-period earthquakes and short-duration volcanic tremor associated with gas-and-ash emissions. Earthquakes occurred at depths between 0.6 and 7 km. The largest event was recorded at 0138 on 4 October; the event was a local M 1.4, occurring at a depth of 4 km. Minor thermal anomalies over the crater were detected in satellite images on 28 and 30 September. Significant amounts of water-vapor and gas were emitted from the crater during the week. On 29 September a gas-and-ash plume rose 2 km above the crater and drifted mainly NW. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").
Veniaminof | United States | 56.17°N, 159.38°W | Elevation 2507 m
Volcanic tremor at Veniaminof increased during 30 September-1 October, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory. Slightly elevated levels of seismicity continued through at least 6 October.
Aira | Kyushu (Japan) | 31.593°N, 130.657°E | Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that during 28 September-2 October emissions rose from both Showa Crater and Minami-Dake Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).
Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) | 52.825°N, 169.944°W | Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that during 30 September-6 October low-level unrest at Cleveland likely continued. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite images during 29-30 September. Minor steaming was recorded by the webcam on 1 October. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Colima | Mexico | 19.514°N, 103.62°W | Elevation 3850 m
Based on satellite images, wind data, webcam views, and notices from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that during 3-5 October ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.5-8.2 km (18,000-27,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NNE, and NE.
Cotopaxi | Ecuador | 0.677°S, 78.436°W | Elevation 5911 m
During an overflight of Cotopaxi on 29 September, IG scientists observed low-energy pulsating emissions with low or no ash content that rose 1 km above the crater and drifted W. Fracturing continued on both the upper and lower parts of the glacier, at the toes. Rapid melting had occurred from the glacier on the upper E flank which resulted in material falling onto the lower part of the glacier. New thermal anomalies on the upper parts of the outer crater were identified, likely from newly deposited material. During 30 September-6 October gas-and-water vapor plumes sometimes with low ash content rose as high as 2 km and drifted in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in Tanicuchí (25 km SW) on 1 October.
Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) | 1.68°N, 127.88°E | Elevation 1335 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 30 September-2 October and during 4-6 October ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55-260 km NW, N, and NE.
Fuego | Guatemala | 14.473°N, 90.88°W | Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 30 September-1 October explosions at Fuego occurred at a rate of 4-6 per hour, generating ash plumes that rose 950 m above the crater and drifted 10 km W. Some explosions produced shock waves. Ash fell in Sangre de Cristo and possibly in San Pedro Yepocapa. During 3-6 October ash plumes from explosions rose 450 m and drifted 10 km W and SW. Shock waves vibrated local structures. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m high, and avalanches descended the Trinidad (S) and Santa Teresa (W) drainages. Advancing lava flows in those same two drainages were 400-600 m long. Ashfall was reported in Panimache I and II, Santa Sofía, and Morelia. In a special report from 7 October, INSIVUMEH noted that activity at Fuego had been at a high level during recent weeks. The lava flows continued to advance; the flows were 1 km long and 700 m long in the Trinidad and Santa Teresa drainages, respectfully. Gas-and-ash plumes rose over 1 km and drifted 12 km W and SW.
Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | 54.049°N, 159.443°E | Elevation 1513 m
Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) | 19.421°N, 155.287°W | Elevation 1222 m
HVO reported that seismicity beneath Kilauea's summit, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone was at background levels during 30 September-6 October. The lava lake continued to circulate and spatter in the Overlook vent. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active within 3-7 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o Crater. A small lava pond, not visible with the webcams, remained active in a pit on the W side of the crater floor.
Pacaya | Guatemala | 14.381°N, 90.601°W | Elevation 2552 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 30 September-1 October and 3-6 October fumarolic plumes rose from Pacaya's Mackenney cone and drifted S. Low-frequency tremor was detected and incandescence from the crater was visible at night. Weak explosions were detected during 5-6 October.
Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France) | 21.244°S, 55.708°E | Elevation 2632 m
OVPDLF reported that seismicity at Piton de la Fournaise slowly increased during 24 September-2 October, and deformation data showed a trend of deflation since 27 September. Inclement weather inhibited gas flow measurements; the few measurements taken showed a slight increase in sulfur dioxide emissions. During fieldwork on 27 September volcanologists noted continuous lava fountains. Small lava flows were active, though the fronts of the two larger ones were not progressing.
Popocatepetl | Mexico | 19.023°N, 98.622°W | Elevation 5426 m
CENAPRED reported that during 30 September-6 October the seismic network at Popocatépetl recorded 23-142 daily emissions consisting of water vapor, gas, and sometimes ash; cloud cover often prevented visual observations. Variable nighttime or morning crater incandescence was observed most days, and 1-7 daily explosions were registered. On 3 October a gas, steam, and ash plume rose 2 km and drifted NW. During a series of explosions on 6 October, material was ejected onto the N flank, not far from the crater. Gas, steam, and ash plumes drifted NE. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.
Santa Maria | Guatemala | 14.756°N, 91.552°W | Elevation 3772 m
Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) | 8.108°S, 112.92°E | Elevation 3676 m
PVMBG reported that during August-29 September both white plumes and gray-to-brownish plumes from Semeru were observed rising as high as 600 m above the crater and drifting in multiple directions; inclement weather sometimes prevented observations. Rockslides from the crater traveled 500 m down the S flank in August. Seismicity was dominated by explosions and emission signals. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale from 1-4); visitors and residents were warned to avoid the SE flank within 4 km of the crater.
Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) | 56.653°N, 161.36°E | Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 25 September-2 October lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, and hot avalanches. Satellite images detected a daily thermal anomaly over the dome. On 26 September a 30 x 15 km ash cloud generated by an avalanche rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 130 km SE. A strong explosion at 0959 on 4 October generated an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) | 54.756°N, 163.97°W | Elevation 2857 m
AVO reported that seismicity at Shishaldin continued to be elevated over background levels during 30 September-4 October, indicating that low-level eruptive activity confined to the summit crater continued. Cloud cover often prevented satellite and webcam observations. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Sinabung | Indonesia | 3.17°N, 98.392°E | Elevation 2460 m
PVMBG reported that during 21-28 September foggy weather sometimes prevented visual observations of Sinabung and the growing lava dome in the summit crater. Lava flows on the flanks were incandescent as far as 3 km E to SE. As many as five pyroclastic flows per day were detected, traveling as far as 4 km ESE. Ash plumes rose as high as 4.5 km. Seismicity consisted of avalanche signals, low-frequency and hybrid events, tremor, tectonic events, and volcanic earthquakes. Seismicity fluctuated at high levels, although it had declined compared to the previous week. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), indicating that people within 7 km of the volcano on the SSE sector, and within 6 km in the ESE sector, should evacuate.
Tungurahua | Ecuador | 1.467°S, 78.442°W | Elevation 5023 m
IG reported moderate-to-high seismic activity at Tungurahua during 30 September-6 October, characterized by long-period events, volcano-tectonic events, and signals indicating emissions. Cloud cover often prevented visual observations; steam-and-vapor plumes were observed on a few days. On 4 October ashfall was reported in Manzanó (8 km SW). The next day residents in Manzanó heard an explosion; ashfall was reported there as well as in Cahuají (8 km SW).
Weekly Reports Archive
|Alaid||Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba||Little Sitkin||San Cristobal|
|Asamayama||Guagua Pichincha||Manda Hararo||Semeru|
|Azul, Cerro||Hierro||McDonald Islands||Sinarka|
|Bardarbunga||Huila, Nevado del||Misti, El||Sorikmarapi|
|Barren Island||Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai||Miyakejima||Sotara|
|Bezymianny||Ijen||Montagu Island||Soufrière St. Vincent|
|Cameroon||Ioto||Negra, Sierra||Sulu Range|
|Campi Flegrei Mar Sicilia||Izu-Torishima||Negro, Cerro||Sumbing|
|Cayambe||Jackson Segment||Nightingale Island||Sundoro|
|Chaiten||Kanlaon||NW Rota-1||Tair, Jebel at|
|Chillán, Nevados de||Karymsky||Ontakesan||Tandikat-Singgalang|
|Cleveland||Katmai||Palena Volcanic Group||Telica|
|Dabbahu||Kick 'em Jenny||Pinatubo||Tolbachik|
|Dieng Volcanic Complex||Kirishimayama||Popocatepetl||Tongkoko|
|Erebus||Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker Volcanic Complex||Redoubt||West Mata|
|Erta Ale||Kuchinoerabujima||Reventador||White Island|
|Etna||Kusatsu-Shiranesan||Rincon de la Vieja||Witori|
|Etorofu-Yakeyama [Grozny Group]||Kverkfjoll||Rinjani||Wolf|
|Fournaise, Piton de la||Lengai, Ol Doinyo||Ruiz, Nevado del|
News Feeds and Google Placemarks
The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website.
The CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management. They are similar in content to the RSS feed, but contain no active links.
A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.
Criteria & Disclaimers
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.
Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.
It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.
1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.
2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.
3. Preliminary accounts sometimes contain exaggerations and "false alarms," and accordingly, this report may include some events ultimately found to be erroneous or misleading.
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RSS and CAP Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.
At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.
CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.
Google Earth Placemarks
A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
a.s.l. - above sea level
CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)
COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer
CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation
GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite
GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory
ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)
IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)
IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand)
INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)
INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)
INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)
INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)
INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)
IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)
M - magnitude
METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite
MWO - Meteorological Watch Office
NOTAM - Notice to Airmen
OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)
RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement
RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory
SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Chile)
SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information
SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)
SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Kurile Islands)
UTC - Coordinated Universal Time
VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center
VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)