Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

















 Activity for the week of 18 March-24 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
Chirinkotan Kuril Islands (Russia) New
Fuego Guatemala New
Lewotobi Flores Island (Indonesia) New
Moyorodake [Medvezhia] Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia) New
Popocatepetl Mexico New
Sinarka Shiashkotan Island (Russia) New
Tongariro North Island (New Zealand) New
Turrialba Costa Rica New
Villarrica Chile New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) Ongoing
Talang Indonesia Ongoing
Zhupanovsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing


New Activity/Unrest


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

SVERT reported that during 19-21 March a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detected in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow on 20 March.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 21-23 March explosions at Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 750-950 m above the crater and drifted 10-12 km W and SW. Ash fell in nearby areas including Panimache I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW). Incandescent tephra was ejected 100 m high during 22-23 March.

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



Lewotobi  | Flores Island (Indonesia)  | 8.542°S, 122.775°E  | Elevation 1703 m

PVMBG reported that white plumes were observed rising 15-20 m above Lewotobi during periods of clear weather from 1 February to17 March. Seismicity increased significantly on 13 March, especially volcanic earthquakes and shallow volcanic earthquakes; harmonic tremor, Tornillo events, and tectonic events were also detected. On 17 March the Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were warned not to approach the craters within a 1-km radius.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



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

SVERT reported that satellite images showed a weak thermal anomaly over Kudryavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, on 18 March.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

CENAPRED reported that during 18-24 March the seismic network at Popocatépetl recorded 90-222 daily emissions and 1-13 explosions. Cloud cover often prevented observations of the crater, although ash plumes and nighttime crater incandescence were noted. At 0344 on 22 March an explosion ejected incandescent tephra onto the flanks and produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim and drifted NE. An ash plume rose 1 km and drifted SE on 23 March. An ash plume rose 1 km on 24 March. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

SVERT reported that satellite images showed steam-and-gas emissions from Sinarka on 16 March and a weak thermal anomaly on 21 March.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Tongariro  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 39.157°S, 175.632°E  | Elevation 1978 m

On 23 March GeoNet reported that during the previous two to three weeks an increase in the number and magnitude of earthquakes at Tongariro was detected by the seismographs around Ngauruhoe. The earthquakes were shallow, with depths less than 5 km. The report noted that although earthquakes are not unusual near Ngauruhoe, it had been some time since significant numbers or events above M 1 were recorded. The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to 1 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: New Zealand GeoNet Project



Turrialba  | Costa Rica  | 10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 18 March gas, vapor, and ash plumes rose from Turrialba's Cráter Oeste and seismicity remained high. Observers in Finca La Central (2 km SW) noted gas-and-steam emissions. On 19 March at 0806 and 1007 gas and water vapor emissions rose from the crater; the emissions at 1007 rose from Cráter Central and contained a small amount of ash. At 1400 the webcam recorded strong emissions of gas, vapor, and tephra from Cráter Oeste. A national park official heard two booming sounds at 1530. At around 1000 on 23 March a gas, vapor, and ash plume rose from Cráter Oeste, causing ashfall in areas E and SE of the crater including Cráter Central and el Mirador. In addition a dense and vigorous gas-and-vapor plume caused Parque Nacional Volcán Turrialba authorities to recommend masks for protection against gas inhalation.

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



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

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that at night on 17 March explosions at Villarrica ejected tephra onto the flanks and produced nighttime incandescence. Pulsating ash plumes rose 300 m and drifted E. Seismicity increased and was characterized by low-magnitude tremor. The Alert Level was raised to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the public was warned to stay outside of a 5-km radius around the crater and away from drainages. During 19-22 March pulsating plumes recorded by the webcam had a greater concentration of ash, and rose 100-500 m and drifted NE. Moderate levels of tremor were detected. Although cloud cover often prevented observations of the crater, incandescence was occasionally seen at night. During 22-24 March continued gas-and-ash emissions rose 400-500 m and drifted SW; the plumes were less dense, shorter, and contained less ash content. Incandescent material continued to be ejected from the crater, but with less frequency, and was deposited near the crater on the NE flank.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Ongoing Activity


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

Based on JMA notices, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano during 18-25 March; plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, E, and NE during 18-19 and 21-25 March. JMA reported that 19 explosions from Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m during 20-23 March. Incandescence from the crater was periodically visible at night, and inflation continued to be detected. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

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



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 faint stream-and-gas emissions on 16 March and a thermal anomaly during 17-20 March. Cloud cover obscured views on other days during 21-23 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, webcam images, and METAR notices, the Washington VAAC reported that during 18-24 March daily ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 4.9-8.2 km (16,000-27,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 40-150 km NNE, NE, ENE, and E.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that during 13-20 March moderate activity at Karymsky probably continued. Cloud-free satellite images showed no activity. 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 18-24 March HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active with several small and scattered breakouts within the flow-field margins, upslope of the leading front. The three main areas of breakouts were the 21 February breakout on the flank of Pu'u 'O'o, the 9 March breakout near the forested cone of Kahauale'a (burning trees were visible), and a relatively small breakout 5 km farther NE of Pu'u 'O'o. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor. A small lava pond was visible in the central Pu'u 'O'o vent; on 23 March a tiny lava flow erupted from the vent. 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 13-20 March the eruption at Klyuchevskoy continued but the energy of the explosions decreased significantly. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 5-5.5 km (16,400-18,000 ft) a.s.l. During 16-17 March satellite images showed a weak thermal anomaly over the volcano and ash plumes that drifted 90 km E. Ash plumes were again detected in images during 22-23 March. On 25 March the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

KVERT reported that during 13-20 March lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot block avalanches, and fumarolic activity. Strong explosions on 16 March generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 9 km (29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 200 km E; ashfall was reported in Ust-Kamchatsk Village, 85 km SE. A daily thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images. 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 over background levels during 18-24 March, indicating that low-level eruptive activity confined to the summit crater likely continued. Nothing significant was observed in mostly cloudy satellite and web camera images; slight steaming at the summit was visible during 22-23 March. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Talang  | Indonesia  | 0.978°S, 100.679°E  | Elevation 2597 m

PVMBG reported that during 1 January-18 March diffuse white plumes rose at most 200 m above Talang’s Gabuo, Utama, Selatan, and Kapundan Panjang craters. Seismicity was low, no deformation was detected, and water temperatures had not significantly changed. On 20 March the Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4). Visitors and tourists were warned to stay away from the craters.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



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

KVERT reported that a moderate explosive eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 13-20 March. A webcam recorded incandescence from the crater on 15 March. Satellite images detected ash plumes drifting 350 km NE and S at an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 12 and 15 March. A thermal anomaly was also detected during 14-17 March. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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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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Fonualei Lascar Ruang Zhupanovsky
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Fuego Lewotobi Sabancaya
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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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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)