Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

















 Activity for the week of 25 February-3 March 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.

Name Location Activity
Ambrym Vanuatu New
Chikurachki Paramushir Island (Russia) New
Fuego Guatemala New
Popocatepetl Mexico New
Sangay Ecuador New
Villarrica Chile New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bardarbunga Iceland Ongoing
Chirinkotan Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Nishinoshima Japan Ongoing
Reventador Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) Ongoing
Zhupanovsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing


New Activity/Unrest


Ambrym  | Vanuatu  | 16.25°S, 168.12°E  | Elevation 1334 m

On 2 March the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that activity at Ambrym had slightly decreased but remained elevated. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a new scale of 0-5). Areas deemed hazardous were near and around the active vents (Benbow, Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu), and in downwind areas prone to ashfall.

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory



Chikurachki  | Paramushir Island (Russia)  | 50.324°N, 155.461°E  | Elevation 1781 m

KVERT reported that satellite images showed no activity at Chikurachki after 19 February. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green on 26 February.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Fuego  | Guatemala  | 14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Elevation 3763 m

In a special notice, INSIVUMEH reported that an effusive eruption at Fuego that began on 28 February produced 300-400-m-high lava fountains. One lava flow traveled 1.6 km S down the Trinidad drainage and another traveled 600 m W down the Santa Teresa drainage. The eruption produced rumbling and train sounds audible up to 12 km away. Ash plumes rose 850-1,250 m above the crater and drifted 35 km W. Ashfall was reported in nearby areas including Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW). During 28 February-1 March explosions generated ash plumes that rose an average of 650 m and drifted 9-10 km W. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m above the crater, and a small lava flow (400 m long) descended the Trinidad drainage. INSIVUMEH noted that the effusive phase had ended at 2156 on 1 March. Ash plumes from explosions rose 550-750 m and drifted 10 km W on 2 March and SW on 3 March.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5426 m

CENAPRED reported that a series of explosions at Popocatépetl from 2250 on 24 February to 0345 on 25 February was accompanied by periods of tremor and Strombolian activity which ejected incandescent material as far as 700 m onto the NE and SE flanks. Additional explosions (19) were detected on 25 February. Ashfall was reported in San Martín Texmelucan, San Matías Tlalancaleca, San Salvador el Verde, Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Tlaltenango, Huejotzingo, San Miguel Xoxtla, Domingo Arenas, Santa María Atexcac, and the Puebla airport. Explosions on 26 February ejected incandescent tephra 700 m away from the crater onto the N and NE flanks. Ashfall was noted in Domingo Arenas, San Martín Texmelucan, and Huejotzingo in the state of Puebla. The international airport in Huejotzingo suspended operations to clean up the ash. Steam, gas, and ash plumes drifted NE.

On 27 February explosions generated ash emissions and ejected incandescent tephra 300 m onto the flanks. Ashfall was reported in Huejotzingo, Domingo Arenas, Tlaltenango, San Andrés Cholula, and Puebla. During an overflight that same day, volcanologists observed dome number 55 which had grown and was filling the bottom of the inner crater. The dome was 250 m in diameter and at least 40 m thick, putting it about 60 m from the bottom of the main crater floor. The volume was an estimated 1.96 million cubic meters. The volcanologists also observed a small explosion that produced a 1.5-km-high ash plume.

Two separate series of explosions were detected on 28 February, and incandescent tephra was ejected 300 m onto the flanks. Steam-and-gas plumes rose from the crater during 1-2 March. Steam, gas, and ash plumes rose as high as 1.5 km on 3 March. Low-amplitude harmonic tremor and explosions were detected. Ash emissions drifted N. Incandescent tephra was ejected 100-300 m onto the N and NE flanks. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

Based on a SIGMET notice of a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 26 February an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images only detected an intermittent thermal anomaly. According to the VAAC, on 27 February IG reported a lava flow and a possible diffuse ash plume that rose to an altitude below 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. within 15 km of the summit. On 2 March a local pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. On 3 March an ash plume rose to an estimated altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 13 km W.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Villarrica  | Chile  | 39.42°S, 71.93°W  | Elevation 2847 m

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 28 February a significant increase in seismicity at Villarrica was detected along with Strombolian explosions and tephra ejected 1 km away. Seismicity continued to increase and on 2 March indicated that the lava lake level had risen. Strombolian explosions continued and ejected tephra as far as 600 m onto the flanks. Seismicity again increased significantly at 0230 on 3 March. The Alert Level was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-color scale). Strombolian activity intensified and became continuous, ejecting a large volume of material onto the flanks and producing a 1.5-km-tall lava fountain. Lava flows descended the flanks. The eruptive plume rose 6-8 km above the crater and drifted 400 km ENE. According to ONEMI about 3,600 people were evacuated from a 10-km-radius of the volcano. At 1500 ONEMI reported that seismicity was decreasing, and by 1800 was low. Only weak pulses of ash rose from the crater, and most evacuees had returned home.

Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI)



Ongoing Activity


Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

JMA reported that eight explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m during 23-27 February. An explosion on 24 February generated an ash plume that rose 3.3 km. Incandescence from the crater was visible at night on 25 and 27 February, and inflation continued to be detected. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 25-28 February and 2-3 March plumes rose to altitudes of 1.2-3.4 km (4,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, E, and SE.

Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Bardarbunga  | Iceland  | 64.63°N, 17.53°W  | Elevation 2009 m

The Icelandic Met Office reported that the eruption at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure, which began on 31 August 2014, had ended on 27 February; the Aviation Colour Code was lowered to Yellow. During an overflight scientists did not see any incandescence from the vents, although gas emissions persisted. Radar measurements showed that no increase in the extent of the lava field had been detected since mid-February.

Source: Icelandic Met Office



Chirinkotan  | Kuril Islands (Russia)  | 48.98°N, 153.48°E  | Elevation 724 m

In a report from 4 March SVERT noted that weak steam-and-gas emissions from Chirinkotan were observed in January and February but that volcanic activity was not currently observed; the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Chirpoi  | Kuril Islands (Russia)  | 46.525°N, 150.875°E  | Elevation 742 m

SVERT reported that satellite images over Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, showed gas-and-steam emissions on 23 February and a thermal anomaly on 23 and 25 February. Cloud cover obscured views on other days during 23 February-2 March. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Elevation 3850 m

Based on satellite images, Mexico City MWO, and a webcam, the Washington VAAC reported that during 25 February-3 March multiple gas-and-ash plumes per day from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.2-7.6 km (17,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ash drifted as far as 370 km SE (on 28 February). New thermal anomalies were identified on 28 February and continued through 2 March.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that during 20-27 February moderate seismicity at Karymsky was detected. Satellite images showed a thermal anomaly over the volcano on 21 and 24 February, and ash plumes drifting 254 km ENE on 23 February. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 25 February-3 March HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to widen with several small breakouts across the interior and edges of the lobes, upslope of the leading front. These breakouts included a lobe extending to the N, which remained about 1.6 km upslope from Highway 130, and a lobe on the S side of the flow, about 870 m upslope of Malama Market. The most distal lobe of lava remained about 500 m above Highway 130, near police and fire stations. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor and minor lava flows within the crater were observed. During an overflight on 27 February volcanologists observed a few lava ponds in the vents. The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Klyuchevskoy  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.056°N, 160.642°E  | Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that during 20-27 February a Strombolian and Vulcanian eruption at Klyuchevskoy continued. Incandescence at the summit was visible and bombs were ejected 150 m above the crater. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images showed a daily, big, bright thermal anomaly over the volcano and ash plumes that drifted 430 km mainly NE, E, and SE. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Nishinoshima  | Japan  | 27.247°N, 140.874°E  | Elevation 25 m

According to news articles, the eruption at Nishinoshima continued at least through 27 February. The Japan Coast Guard noted that the island had grown to about 2.46 square kilometers and the active cone was about 100 m tall. Explosions occurred several times per minute and ash-and-gas plumes rose 1.2 km. Steam plumes rose from areas where lava flows contacted sea water.

Sources: The Japan Times, The Japan News



Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

During 25 February-3 March IG reported moderate seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and occasional tremor at Reventador; cloud cover often prevented visual observations. On 25 February a thermal anomaly was detected from the lava flow on the SW flank. On 27 February continuous emissions of gas and ash rose 1 km and drifted SW. A steam-and-ash plume rose 600 m and drifted W on 1 March.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 20-27 February lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot block avalanches, and fumarolic activity. Strong explosions during 20-21, 24, and 26 February generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 580 km E and NE during 20-21 and 24-26 February. A thermal anomaly over the dome was detected daily. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. According to a news article ash caused a few flight cancellations in W Alaska on 28 February.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), CNN



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 25 February-3 March. Elevated surface temperatures, sometimes that were highly elevated, were detected in satellite images almost daily. The webcam recorded minor degassing on 25 February and a low-level plume during 28 February-1 March. Low-level eruptive activity confined to the summit crater likely continued. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Zhupanovsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 53.589°N, 159.15°E  | Elevation 2899 m

KVERT reported that a moderate explosive eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 20-27 February. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the volcano during 20-22 and 25-26 February. Ash clouds rose to altitudes of 3-3.5 km (10,000-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 250 km E and SE. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Weekly Reports Archive


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Dempo Kick 'em Jenny Pinatubo Tokachidake
Descabezado Grande Kikai Planchon-Peteroa Tolbachik
Dieng Volcanic Complex Kilauea Poas Toliman
Dukono Kirishimayama Popocatepetl Tongariro
Ebeko Kizimen Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Tongkoko
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Egon Kolokol Group Ranakah Turrialba
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Fogo Langila Rotorua Zealandia Bank
Fonualei Lascar Ruang Zhupanovsky
Fournaise, Piton de la Lengai, Ol Doinyo Ruapehu Zubair Group
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 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


Criteria

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.


Disclaimers

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.

4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

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Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

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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

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

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)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

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)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)