Activity for the week of 2 October-8 October 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.
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
When weather conditions were favorable on 22 and 27 September, black ash was seen rising from Etna's Northeast Crater. On the 27th ash was also emitted from Bocca Nuova crater. On 1 October degassing was seen at Bocca Nuova every 5-10 minutes, lasting ~30 seconds. No ash was emitted. Poor weather conditions prevented observations at the other craters.
Source: Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 1-6 October at Kilauea, lava entered the sea at several points along two active lava deltas (Middle Highcastle and Wilipe`a). No surface flows were visible on the deltas; lava either entered the water via lava tubes or inflated the delta underneath the surface. Several surface flows were visible on the coastal flat, while no incandescence was seen on Paliuli and only a few glowing spots were visible on Pulama pali. On the 3rd, the swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor beneath Kilauea's caldera that was first active beginning in June, picked up strongly, with numerous long-period events persisting for about a day. Elsewhere there was no unusual seismicity. Around the time of increased seismicity, small periods of inflation and deflation occurred at Pu`u `O`o and Uwekahuna. Otherwise, tiltmeters recorded no unusual deformation.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 26 September to 4 October, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. Eleven earthquakes with magnitudes 2-2.7 occurred, as well as many smaller ones. During this interval, seismic data suggested there had been hot avalanches and 38 ash-and-gas explosions in which clouds reached 1-2.5 km above the lava dome. During 30 September to 2 October intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor was recorded. Video images on 26 September at 1406 and 1759 showed short-lived explosions of ash and gas rising ~2.5 and 0.5 km above the dome, respectively. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
Volcanic and seismic activity at Soufrière Hills increased significantly during 26 September to 4 October following the previous week's major switch in lava-dome extrusion direction. On the 27th a 4-hour-period of heightened activity occurred in the afternoon and evening, with small semi-continuous pyroclastic flows traveling down the N flanks and eastwards into the upper portions of Tuitts Ghaut and then into Whites Bottom Ghaut. A newly extruded lobe was visible on the 28th almost directly to the NW with a broad headwall over the N, NW, and W flanks. On the evening of the 29th there was another period of heightened activity on the northern flanks that lasted 1.5 hours, with pyroclastic flows just reaching the sea along Whites Bottom Ghaut. It was estimated that during this small event only 2-3 million m3 of the N edge of the active NW lobe was shed. Observations on 1 October revealed that re-growth of the collapsed area had occurred. A brief period of heavy rain on the 2nd triggered a moderate-sized mudflow down the Belham Valley. Analysis of seismic data suggested that pyroclastic-flow activity on the 2nd began at 13:10 and sustained dome collapse continued for 6 hours. Low-energy pyroclastic flows were observed reaching the sea on the Tar River's flanks throughout the collapse, and ash clouds were produced that drifted to the NW. Heavy ashfall occurred in the residential areas of Salem, Old Towne, and Olveston, with deposits up to 9 mm thick. Subsequent observations revealed that this collapse was confined to the volcano's eastern flanks, and that this was again a relatively small event (less than 5 million m3 of material was shed off of the eastern side of the dome complex).
According to the Washington VAAC, after daybreak on 3 October there were several reports of ashfall in Puerto Rico, and visible satellite imagery at 1115 confirmed that an ash cloud at a height of around 2.4 km a.s.l. covered most of the island. At 1615 the area of very thin ash was not visible on satellite imagery. By the next day, ash from the previous day's emissions had drifted W and around 0902 it was located over southern Puerto Rico nearest to the city of Ponce. A thin plume of ash also extended SSW of St. Croix island.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
A relatively large eruption at Tungurahua on 2 October at 0828 produced an ash cloud that rose to a maximum height of ~14.3 km a.s.l. By 1115 on the 2nd the high-level plume had detached from the volcano and there were two areas of ash visible in satellite imagery; one was at ~14.3 km a.s.l. and the other was at ~7.6 km a.s.l. By 1745 no ash was detected on satellite imagery, however, ash was reported SW of Tungurahua over the town of Riobamba at 1700. According to a news report, ashfall was reported in the region NW of the volcano around the towns of Ambato and Patate. IG reported that activity decreased on the morning of 3 October and visible satellite imagery did not reveal any ash in the vicinity of the volcano. The same day an ash cloud was produced to a height of ~7 km a.s.l. Orange Alert Level was in effect for the W side of the volcano, while a lower Yellow Alert Level was in effect in Baños at the northern base of the volcano.
Sources: EFE News Service, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.05°S, 151.33°E
| Elevation 2334 m
A low-level ash plume from Ulawun was visible on satellite imagery on 1 October. The plume drifted to the NE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
Veniaminof remained restless during 26 September to 4 October. Seismicity was lower than when it was first noted in early September, although it was still above background level. Visual observations of Veniaminof were intermittent and inconclusive. AVO received reports ranging from minor-steam and possible ash emissions, to no signs of activity. A satellite image recorded on 2 October suggested an apparent gray, diffuse deposit extending across the caldera from the historically active intracaldera cinder cone. This could reflect a small explosion, vigorous steam emission, or redistribution of material on the cone by strong winds. No thermal anomalies were observed on satellite imagery. AVO considered the activity at Veniaminof to be minor, but the exact nature of the unrest remained unknown. Due to the continuing seismicity and reports of unusual steaming, the Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.