Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

















 Activity for the week of 10 December-16 December 2014


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
Asosan Kyushu (Japan) New
Chirinkotan Kuril Islands (Russia) New
Fogo Cape Verde New
Kusatsu-Shiranesan Honshu (Japan) New
Lopevi Vanuatu New
Moyorodake [Medvezhia] Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia) New
Nevado del Ruiz Colombia New
Sinarka Shiashkotan Island (Russia) New
Villarrica Chile New
Zhupanovsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bardarbunga Iceland Ongoing
Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kuchinoerabujima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Mayon Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing
Ontakesan Honshu (Japan) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) Ongoing
Sinabung Indonesia Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity/Unrest


Asosan  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 32.884°N, 131.104°E  | Elevation 1592 m

JMA reported that, based on seismicity and infrasound data, the eruption from Asosan’s Nakadake Crater that began on 25 November continued during 8-12 December; inclement weather often prevented observations of the crater. A webcam recorded tephra being carried by high winds and deposited in an area 1 km W. During a field survey on 10 December volcanologists observed 20-cm-wide blocks near the crater and 5-10-cm-wide blocks within 1.2 km SW of the crater. Plumes rose 600 m above the crater and incandescent material was sometimes ejected onto the crater rim. During 12-15 December the plume rose 1 km above the crater rim. Ashfall was reported E in Hanoi Aso (Kumamoto Region). Incandescent material was occasionally ejected onto the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



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

SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detecetd in satellite images during 10-11 and 13-14 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 8-15 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Fogo  | Cape Verde  | 14.95°N, 24.35°W  | Elevation 2829 m

According to news articles the rate of lava output from Fogo's Pico cone inside the Cha Caldera had decreased on 9 December and remained low through 14 December. Gas and ash emissions also decreased and were almost absent by 14 December. Even though output was low, the remaining buildings in the town of Bangaeira were overtaken by lava.

Source: Fogo News



Kusatsu-Shiranesan  | Honshu (Japan)  | 36.618°N, 138.528°E  | Elevation 2165 m

During 5-12 December JMA maintained Alert Level 2 for Kusatsu-Shiranesan due to continued unrest. GPS measurements indicated inflation, although thermal anomalies had been absent since July. Volcanic earthquakes continued at a low level and tremor was absent.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Lopevi  | Vanuatu  | 16.507°S, 168.346°E  | Elevation 1413 m

On 15 December the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, based on observations and analyses in early December, activity at Lopevi had increased dramatically over a short time period. The Alert Level was raised to 1 (on a scale of 0-4), and access to the island was prohibited.

Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory



Moyorodake [Medvezhia]  | Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia)  | 45.389°N, 148.838°E  | Elevation 1124 m

On 12 December SVERT reported that activity at Kudriavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, had not increased since 1 December. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Nevado del Ruiz  | Colombia  | 4.895°N, 75.322°W  | Elevation 5321 m

Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that on 15 December at 0738 seismic signals indicating ash emissions were detected, and then confirmed, by a local webcam and residents. Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC noted that an ash plume drifted almost 20 km S that same day. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Sinarka  | Shiashkotan Island (Russia)  | 48.875°N, 154.175°E  | Elevation 934 m

SVERT reported that on 8 December satellite images of Sinarka showed diffuse steam-and-gas emissions. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 9-15 December. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

According to Projecto Observación Visual Volcán Villarrica (POVI), satellite images of Villarrica acquired on 10 and 26 November and 3 December revealed a progressively more intense thermal anomaly. Photographs on 9 December showed particulates suspended above the crater rim, and the next day a thin veneer of ash covered the NW edge of the crater rim. Detonations from the crater were heard during 10-12 December. On 13 December observers noted that the intense blasts of gas from the previous few days had removed some ash deposits from the inner crater wall leaving lighter colored streaks.

Source: Projecto Observación Visual Volcán Villarrica (POVI)



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

KVERT reported that an eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 5-12 December. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly on 9 December; the volcano was either quiet or obscured by clouds on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Ongoing Activity


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

JMA reported that four explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 1,800 m during 8-12 December. Incandescence from the crater was visible at night during 11-12 December. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported plumes during 11, 13, and 15-16 December that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3 km (4,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and NE. On 11 December a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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



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

During 10-16 December, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure. A decreased rate of subsidence of the Bárdarbunga Caldera continued. The lava field covered just over 78.6 square kilometers on 15 December.

Source: Icelandic Met Office



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 a thermal anomaly during 8-14 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

In a special bulletin issued on 10 December, INSIVUMEH reported that during the previous few weeks activity at Fuego had remained high, characterized by ash emissions, frequent powerful explosions, and rumbling. On 10 December activity changed, with explosions being accompanied by lava fountains that rose 100-150 m above the crater. During 11-16 December explosions generated ash plumes that rose 650-850 m and drifted 15 km W, SW, S, and SE. Avalanches from lava flows descended drainages. Ashfall was reported in areas near the observatory, and in Morelia (9 km SW) and Panimaché (8 km SW). Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater and explosions sometimes generated shock waves.

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



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

During 10-16 December HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. A narrow lobe of lava that had broken away from the W edge of the flow field below the crack system advanced at rates of several hundred meters per day; by 16 December the front was about 1.6 km above the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130, near the Pahoa Marketplace.

The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Kuchinoerabujima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 30.443°N, 130.217°E  | Elevation 657 m

JMA reported that no eruptions occurred from Kuchinoerabujima during 8-12 December, although the level of activity remained elevated. White plumes rose 400 m above the crater. Low-level seismicity continued and tremor was absent. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased on 9 December; measurements indicated a rate of 1,700 tons per day. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Mayon  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 13.257°N, 123.685°E  | Elevation 2462 m

PHIVOLCS reported that during 9-16 December white plumes were occasionally observed rising from Mayon's crater and drifted WNW and WSW, sometimes downslope. Three volcanic earthquakes were recorded on 9 December and one was recorded on 11 December. Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 0-5 scale). PHIVOLCS reminded residents of the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the SE flank.

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



Ontakesan  | Honshu (Japan)  | 35.893°N, 137.48°E  | Elevation 3067 m

JMA reported that cloud cover mostly prevented visual observations of Ontakesan during 10-16 December; white plumes rose 50 m above the crater rim and drifted SW on 10 December. Seismicity remained low. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



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

CENAPRED reported that during 10-16 December seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing emissions of water vapor, gas, and ash. Incandescence from the crater was visible each night. Explosions were detected at 0052 and 0132 on 10 December. Multiple explosions on 16 December generated ash plumes that rose 1 km. An explosion at 0259 ejected incandescent material onto the NE flank, less than 200 m from the crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

KVERT reported that during 5-12 December lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot avalanches, and fumarolic activity. Two strong explosions on 5 and 11 December generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 8-9 km (26,200-29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 200 km ENE on 5 December and 364 km on 11 December. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the dome during 5 and 9-11 December; cloud cover prevented views of the volcano on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Shishaldin  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 54.756°N, 163.97°W  | Elevation 2857 m

AVO reported that seismicity at Shishaldin continued to be elevated during 10-16 December. Nothing significant was observed in partly-to-mostly cloudy satellite and web camera images. A low-level lava eruption was likely still occurring within the summit crater of the volcano. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Sinabung  | Indonesia  | 3.17°N, 98.392°E  | Elevation 2460 m

Based on webcam views and weather models, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 December an ash plume from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. The notice stated that the eruption was more significant and higher than the intermittent pyroclastic flows observed during the previous week. Eruptions during 11-16 December produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.3-6.1 km (14,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted at most 30 km N, NW, and W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 December an explosion at Suwanosejima produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Weekly Reports Archive


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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)