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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 29 May-4 June 2002.

 Activity for the week of 29 May-4 June 2002

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
Colima Mexico New
Great Sitkin Andreanof Islands (USA) New
Kikai Japan New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Pacaya Guatemala New
Raung Eastern Java (Indonesia) New
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) New

Etna Sicily (Italy) Ongoing
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Lokon-Empung Sulawesi (Indonesia) Ongoing
Merapi Central Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
San Cristobal Nicaragua Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing

New Activity / Unrest

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

During 28-31 May, volcanic tremor, small explosions, and lava avalanches continued to occur at Colima. On 29 May infrared images revealed that 70 landslides occurred in 11 hours and there were six emissions that included incandescent material. According to the Universidad de Colima, by 3 June activity was relatively low at Colima, similar to levels observed before 10 May. By this time activity consisted mainly of slow lava emission towards the W and SW and an average of 136 landslides per day was reported. By 3 June the level of tremor had remained the same for ~48 hours and no explosive events had occurred. During the report period, incandescent lava avalanches traveled down the volcano's S, SW, and W flanks and no significant deformation was detected at the volcano. Based on information from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that a pilot observed ash between 2.7 and 4 km a.s.l. near Colima's summit on 2 June at 1318. No ash was visible on satellite imagery in clear conditions. Due to the decreased level of activity, authorities considered ending the preventative evacuation of residents in towns on the volcano's SW and SE flanks, but had not done so as of 3 June.

Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Great Sitkin  | Andreanof Islands (USA)  | 52.076°N, 176.13°W  | Elevation 1740 m

On 27 and 28 May, AVO recorded anomalous seismicity at Great Sitkin. The seismicity consisted of two periods of seismic tremor on 27 May (lasting for 20 and 55 minutes) and two earthquake swarms on 28 May (beginning at 0406 and 1328). The earthquake swarms each began with a relatively large event (ML (local magnitude) 2.2 and ML 4.3) followed by tens to hundreds of smaller aftershocks, most located 5-6 km SE of the crater at depths of 0-5 km. Both the tremor and the earthquake swarms represent significant changes from what is considered to be normal, "background" seismicity at Great Sitkin. However, aftershocks declined significantly overnight, and no tremor episodes were detected after the 27th. There were neither signs of surface volcanic activity on satellite imagery nor ground-level reports of anomalous activity. Great Sitkin remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Kikai  | Japan  | 30.793°N, 130.305°E  | Elevation 704 m

The Air Force Weather Agency reported that plumes were visible on satellite imagery emanating from Kikai during 24-28 May. The thin plumes drifted to the S on the 24th, SE on the 25th and 26th, S on the 27th, and E on the 28th. The plumes were estimated to be lower than 3 km a.s.l. Ash was seen from the island of Yaku-shima on 26 May during 1600-1800. After 29 May the area was covered with meteorological clouds, preventing satellite observations.

Source: US Air Force Weather Agency

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

An increase in volcanic tremor at Kliuchevskoi led KVERT to raise the Concern Color Code from Green ("volcano is in quiet, "dormant" state") to Yellow ("volcano is restless") on 31 May. During most of the report week (24-31 May) seismicity was near background levels. Weak shallow earthquakes, other earthquakes ~30 km under the volcano, and episodes of weak spasmodic tremor were registered. On 24 and 27 May gas-and-steam plumes rose 100 m above the crater. Spasmodic volcanic tremor began to increase on 30 May at 0810, declined at 1000, and began to increase again around 2200. Tremor was still recorded on 31 May. No thermal anomalies or plumes were observed on satellite imagery.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

The Washington VAAC received a report from Guatemala City indicating that Pacaya was active on 30 May. Satellite imagery showed possible low-level ash near the volcano's summit.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Raung  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.119°S, 114.056°E  | Elevation 3260 m

A pilot reported observing an ash plume that was emitted from Raung on 2 June at 1625. The plume rose to a height of ~4.5 km a.s.l. and drifted to the S. According to the Darwin VAAC, ash was not visible on satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

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

Due to an increase in volcanic and seismic activity at Shiveluch, KVERT raised the Concern Color Code from Yellow ("volcano is restless") to Orange ("volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time"). On 1 June at 1616 a short-lived explosive eruption produced an ash-and-gas plume to a height of 3 km above the lava dome. The plume was visible from Klyuchi town, 46 km from Shiveluch. Two ~3-minute-long shallow seismic events were recorded at 1615 and 1626. Prior to the eruption, on 31 May at 1530, a ML (local magnitude) 3.1 earthquake occurred. On 1 June continuous volcanic tremor occurred for about an hour. Small gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1.3 km above the dome. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery on 31 May and 1 June.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Ongoing Activity

Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

During late May, volcanic and seismic activity were low at Etna. Volcanism consisted of gas emissions from Northeast, Voragine, and Bocca Nuova craters. Also, several small new fumaroles formed on the lower SE flank of Southeast Crater during about 26 May to 2 June. According to Italy's Volcanoes website, a visit to the summit craters on 30 May revealed that few changes had occurred there since the previous visit on 28 January.

Sources: Italy's Volcanoes, Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière)

Volcano index photo  Karangetang  | Siau Island (Indonesia)  | 2.781°N, 125.407°E  | Elevation 1797 m

During 22 April-26 May, small steam plumes rose 50-500 m above Karangetang's main crater and 10- to 25-m-high "red reflections" were visible above the crater at night. An ash explosion on 12 May at 1116 rose 750 m above the crater and drifted E over the sea. The eruption was followed by lava avalanches that traveled S down the Batu Awang river, and E down the Kahetang river to a maximum run-out distance of ~500 m. Another explosion occurred on 26 May at 1747; it produced an ash cloud to a height of 300 m above the crater that drifted to the W. Karangetang remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

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

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

During 24-31 May, seismicity was above background levels at Karymsky, with ~10 earthquakes occurring per hour. The character of seismicity suggested that weak ash-and-gas explosions and gas blow-outs had probably occurred. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Yellow ("volcano is restless").

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

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

Three main surface lava flows were visible at Kilauea during 29 May-2 June. The front of one flow was ~1.8 km from the coast. As of 2 June fires continued to burn that were ignited by a lava flow that began on 12 May. On 29 May the front of the fire was 800 m from Chain of Craters road, which was closed on 1 June after 1,530 acres burned overnight. By 1 June at 0700, when the fire was 15 days old, a total of 2,588 acres had burned downwind of the lava flow. Generally, seismicity across the volcano was at background levels. Volcanic tremor at Kilauea's summit was low, broken occasionally by short-lived long-period earthquakes. Pu`u `O`o had weak-to-moderate tremor. There were no signs of significant deformation at the volcano.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Volcano index photo  Lokon-Empung  | Sulawesi (Indonesia)  | 1.358°N, 124.792°E  | Elevation 1580 m

Seismicity at Lokon-Empung during 22 April-26 May remained above background levels. Several deep and shallow volcanic, tectonic, and small explosion earthquakes occurred. Thin, white plumes rose 50-250 m above the crater rim. Lokon-Empung remained at Alert Level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

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

Volcano index photo  Merapi  | Central Java (Indonesia)  | 7.54°S, 110.446°E  | Elevation 2910 m

During 22 April-26 May incandescent lava avalanches flowed down Merapi's flanks, predominately SW to the upstream portions of the Sat, Lamat, and Senowo rivers. They reached a maximum run-out distance of ~2.75 km. Merapi remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

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

Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

During 29 May-4 June, seismic and volcanic activity were relatively low at Popocatépetl. Activity mainly consisted of small steam-and-gas emissions.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)

Volcano index photo  San Cristobal  | Nicaragua  | 12.702°N, 87.004°W  | Elevation 1745 m

Volcanic tremor began to increase at San Cristóbal on 28 May, reaching a peak around noon the next day. The summit of the volcano was not visible, but satellite imagery from the Centro de Vigilancia de Ceniza Volcánica revealed that ash was emitted from the volcano. After the 29th, the amount of tremor decreased. Incandescence was visible at the crater rim on 1 June. By 3 June tremor was still relatively high.

Sources: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), La Prensa (Nicaragua)

Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

During 24-31 May, the level of volcanism at Soufrière Hills decreased in comparison to the previous week. The summit region of the active lava dome was broad and blocky in appearance. Lava-dome growth appeared to have become concentrated on the SE, leading to rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows down the flank. There was little activity on the NE flank of the dome.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

According to IRD, during 27 May-3 June nearly continuous gas, vapor, and ash emissions at Tungurahua sent plumes 1.5-2.5 km above the crater and deposited ash on the volcano's flanks. During the night of 29 May, low-intensity Strombolian activity was observed. After 30 May, more intense ash-rich emissions occurred. On the morning of 2 June a 0.5 mm uncompacted ash layer was deposited at the western base of the volcano. During the week, there was an abrupt increase in the number of daily explosions, which gradually decreased. Also, several explosions were observed sending ash plumes to 3-4 km above the crater and incandescent ballistic blocks as far as 2 km from the vent. According to IG, heavy rainfall generated a small lahar on 3 June that traveled NW. On the same day at 1321 a long-period earthquake was associated with an eruption that sent an ash cloud to a height of 2 km above the volcano. Ash fell to the NW.

Sources: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)

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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


The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:

- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.

Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.

It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.


1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.

2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.

3. Preliminary accounts sometimes contain exaggerations and "false alarms," and accordingly, this report may include some events ultimately found to be erroneous or misleading.

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) - now GNS Science

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 Volcanologico 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 (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

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)