Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

















 Activity for the week of 18 February-24 February 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
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Sinabung Indonesia New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Asosan Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bardarbunga Iceland Ongoing
Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Fogo Cape Verde Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kuchinoerabujima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Ontakesan Honshu (Japan) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico 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 21 February the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory issued a notice reminding the public that a minor eruption was occurring at Ambrym from a new vent inside the caldera. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a new scale of 0-5). Hazardous areas were identified as being 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 noted that the eruption of Chikurachki that began on 16 February produced ash plumes during 16-18 February. Satellite images detected the ash plumes rising to altitudes of 7.5-8 km (24,600-26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifting about 280 km W and E. No activity was detected during 19-22 February; the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow. Chikurachki is not monitored with seismic instruments but is observed by ground-based means and satellite images.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-20 February explosions at Fuego produced dense ash plumes that rose 650-1,250 m above the crater and drifted 12-15 km W, S, and SE. Shock waves from some of the explosions rattled structures in nearby areas including Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW). Crater incandescence was visible at night and block avalanches that descended the Santa Teresa (W), Cenizas (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Las Lajas (SE) ravines. Ashfall was reported in Panimache and La Rochela. During 21-22 February explosions occurring at a rate of 5-7 per hour generated dense ash plumes that rose 550-850 m and drifted 10-15 km NE, W, and SW. Ash fell in Panimache I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, and Yepocapa (8 km NW). During 22-23 February explosions at a rate of 4-6 per hour were detected. Gray plumes rose 650-850 m and drifted 10-12 km. Explosions ejected tephra 100 m above the crater. Ashfall was again reported in nearby communities including Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía. Explosions continued to be detected during 23-24 February and incandescent material was ejected 100 m.

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



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

KVERT reported that moderate seismicity at Karymsky was detected during 13-20 February. Satellite images showed that the volcano was quiet or obscured by clouds. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

KVERT reported that during 13-20 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 5-8 km (16,400-26,200 ft) a.s.l.; ashfall was reported in Klyuchi Village (30 km NNE) during 13-16 February. A lava flow effused onto the E flank. Satellite images showed a daily, big, bright thermal anomaly over the volcano, and ash plumes drifted about 600 km mainly E, SE, and S. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

Based on satellite images and weather models, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 February an eruption from Sinabung generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 13.7 km (45,000 ft) a.s.l., drifted almost 540 km NW, and became detached. A lower-level eruption later that day produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Ongoing Activity


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

JMA reported that 10 explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m during 16-20 February. Incandescence from the crater was visible at night on 19 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 18-24 February plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-4.6 km (6,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

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



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 2014 continued during 16-20 February. Plumes rose 900 m above the crater and high-amplitude tremor continued to be detected. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



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

During 17-19 February, Icelandic Met Office reported continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure, though the overall intensity of the eruption continued to decrease. Only one active vent was present in the crater, and the lava level in that crater continued to sink. The eruption plume rose no more than 1 km above the ground and drifted NE, and the lava channel was crusted over beyond the uppermost 200-300 m. The lava tube continued to feed the N and NE parts of Holuhraun, inflating the lava field. The reduced effusion rate was no longer able to sustain active breakouts in an area 17-18 km ENE from the vent. A 24 February report noted that the rate of subsidence was less than 2 cm per day and lava flows decreased substantially. Seismic activity continued to decrease although it was still considered to be strong.

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 gas-and-steam emissions on 19 February and a thermal anomaly on 21 February. Cloud cover obscured views on other days during 16-23 February. 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, METAR and Colima Tower notices, pilot observations, and a webcam, the Washington VAAC reported that during 18-24 February multiple gas-and-ash plumes per day from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.3 km (18,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ash drifted as far as 350 km SE (on 19 February).

In a 24 February bulletin, the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil reported that the number and size of lava-block collapses at Colima remained low during the previous week. Lava flows showed no evidence of movement. Explosive activity was low to moderate and generated plumes that rose 2-3 km and drifted downwind. Ashfall in nearby areas was persistent. Residents were warned not go within 5 km of the volcano.

Sources: Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

The Observatório Vulcanológico de Cabo Verde (OVCV) reported that on 8 February the eruption at Fogo had ended; sulfur dioxide emissions were almost undetectable on 8 February and continued to remain so at least through 11 February. During that period, pahoehoe flows remained stagnant and only minor fumarolic activity was present at the edge of the new crater. In addition, since 7 February, temperatures of the fumaroles and of an area at the base of the cone had decreased significantly.

Source: University of Cabo Verde



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

During 19-24 February HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active 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, 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 northern 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. 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)



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

JMA reported that no eruptions occurred from Kuchinoerabujima during 16-20 January, although the level of activity remained elevated. White plumes rose 600 m above the crater. Low-level seismicity continued and tremor was absent. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery and wind data analyses, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 24 February ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 40 km W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

JMA reported that cloud cover mostly prevented visual observations of Ontakesan during 13-20 February; white plumes rose 50-200 m above the crater rim. 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 an overflight of Popocatépetl on 17 February volcanologists observed dome number 55, 150 in diameter, at the bottom of the inner crater (formed in July 2013) which was 100 m below the floor of the main crater. Each day during 18-24 February the seismic network recorded between 47 and 166 low-intensity events, accompanied by steam-and-gas emissions that visibly contained minor amounts of ash most days. Incandescence from the crater was noted some nights. On 18 February five explosions generated plumes that rose no more than 1 km and drifted NE. A series of small explosions detected during 0844-1300 was accompanied by periods of harmonic tremor. On 21 February there were 22 small explosions, some of which ejected tephra 200 m onto the NE flank. Another series of small explosions, detected from 2221 on 22 February to 0220 on 23 February, were again accompanied by periods of harmonic tremor. Steam, gas, and ash plumes drifted SW on 24 February. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

During 18-24 February IG reported moderate seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and tremor at Reventador; cloud cover often prevented visual observations. On 19 February observers confirmed the presence of a 1-km-long lava flow that had been advancing down the SW flank since 11 February. A diffuse steam plume with minor amounts of ash rose 1 km and drifted SW. On 21 February steam-and-ash emissions rose 600 m and drifted NW. Vapor plumes with minor amounts of ash rose 500 m and drifted SW on 24 February.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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

KVERT reported that during 13-20 February lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot block avalanches, and fumarolic activity. Strong explosions on 16 and 17 February generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 180 km NW. A thermal anomaly over the dome was detected daily. 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 February. Cloud cover often prevented webcam and satellite-image views of the volcano. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite images during 22-24 February. 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 13-20 February. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the volcano during 14-15 and 18 February. Ash clouds rose to altitudes of 3-3.5 km (10,000-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 200 km W during 15-16 February and SE during 17-19 February. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Weekly Reports Archive


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Fonualei Lascar Ruang Zhupanovsky
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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)