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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 31 December-6 January 2003.


















 Activity for the week of 31 December-6 January 2003

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
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Stromboli Aeolian Islands (Italy) New
Veniaminof United States New

Etna Sicily (Italy) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Witori New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

The Concern Color Code at Bezymianny was reduced from Yellow to Green on 3 January. Seismicity was not recorded during 28 December to 3 January. A weak thermal anomaly was seen on satellite imagery, which may be indicative of viscous lava on the lava dome.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

Seismicity was slightly above background levels at Kliuchevskoi during 26 December to 3 January, with 3-11 earthquakes occurring per day. On 5 January a faint thermal anomaly, and probable mud flow down the volcano's SSE slope were visible on satellite imagery. According to KVERT, the thermal anomaly and mud flow indicate that a lava flow may have begun to travel down the SSE slope. During 4-6 January, seismicity was slightly above background levels. The Concern Color Code was raised on 6 January from Yellow to Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Stromboli  | Aeolian Islands (Italy)  | 38.789°N, 15.213°E  | Elevation 924 m

INGV-CT reported that an effusive eruption began at Stromboli's summit at the base of the NE crater (Crater 1) on 28 December and ended the following day. A survey performed on 29 December, with a thermal camera on a Civil Protection helicopter, revealed that three lava flows had spread in the eastern Sciara del Fuoco (a horseshoe-shaped scarp). The lava flows reached the sea within 30 minutes, and spanned a width of 300 m along the coast.

On 30 December at 1315 and 1322 two landslides suddenly formed along the Sciara del Fuoco. As they traveled down the volcano's flank they produced wet, fine ashfall (less than 0.1 mm in size) on the island's SE side. The first landslide had a volume of about 600,000 m3, the second about 5,000,000 m3, and they both reached the sea. Upon contact with the sea the landslides produced two tsunamis with waves that were several meters high. The tsunamis injured few people, and damaged buildings and boats in the villages of Stromboli and Ginostra. Large waves were reported as far away as the town of Milazzo, on Sicily's N coast, 60 km S of Stromboli.

INGV-CT noted that no explosive activity occurred after the start of the 28 December effusive eruption at Stromboli. In addition, no earthquakes were recorded by their seismic network except for two that were associated with the landslides. On 1 January, a thin lava flow was expanding along the Sciara del Fuoco. As of 6 January effusive activity was ongoing at Stromboli. Lava was being emitted from two vents located at 500 m and 300 m elevation in the middle of the Sciara del Fuoco. The two narrow lava flows merged together before reaching the sea. Occasional small landslides occurred from the unstable walls of the Sciara del Fuoco, covering the lava flows with thin talus. News about the eruption at Stromboli, thermal images of the 28 December flow, and photos and video of the collapse event are available on the INGV-CT website.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Veniaminof  | United States  | 56.17°N, 159.38°W  | Elevation 2507 m

Periods of nearly constant seismicity at Veniaminof since 31 December led AVO to raise the Concern Color Code from Green to Yellow on 6 January. Seismicity had been increasing since mid-December. No thermal anomalies were detected on satellite imagery. AVO stated that there were no indications of an imminent eruption, although low-level steaming and minor ash emission may occur.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Ongoing Activity


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

According to the Etna Volcan Sicilian website Strombolian activity continued at the crater at 2,750 m elevation during 31 December to 4 January. Explosive activity was accompanied by weak, sporadic ash emission. During 3-4 January the level of activity at the crater seemed to be lower than during the previous days. Lava was emitted from a fissure at the base of the 2,750-m crater that split into two arms, with both traveling S.

Sources: Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

During 31 December to 5 January, lava continued to enter the sea at several entry points along three deltas, though by the end of the report week only two were active. Surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat and upslope on Pulama pali. Generally, seismicity continued at background levels at Kilauea. The long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continued at low levels. No significant deformation was recorded.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

Based on information from the México City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that a thin plume was visible on satellite imagery on 1 January at 1245. According to the MWO, the plume was at a height of ~7.3 km a.s.l.

Sources: Associated Press, Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), News 8 Austin



Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

Activity at Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone continued through 2 January, with eruptions occurring from three vents at different times. The eruptions were characterized by slow convoluted ash plumes rising several to thousands of meters above the summit. Seismicity was at low-to-moderate levels. No significant short-term deformation was recorded, following a very slow inflationary trend during the previous month.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center



Volcano index photo  Semeru  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.108°S, 112.922°E  | Elevation 3657 m

Volcanic and seismic activity were relatively high at Semeru during 17-30 December. During the report period the most notable seismically recorded events were 1,085 explosions, 49 lava avalanches, 6 pyroclastic flows, and 3 floods/lahars. Explosions sent ash plumes to 400 m above Jonggring Seloko crater. On 25 December a pyroclastic flow traveled 2.5 km into the Besuk Kembar River. On 29 December during 1700-2015, a lahar traveled along the Besuk Kembar River relatively close to Supit village. Early that morning the residents of Supit were evacuated. On 30 December pyroclastic flows traveled 2 km toward the Besuk Kembar River at 0720, and at 1000 one traveled 4 km toward Supit village. The Alert Level at Semeru remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

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



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

During 27 December to 3 January, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. Seismic data indicated that 25 ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 2 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. On 28 December a small amount of ash was visible on the volcano's snow-covered flanks. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

Activity at Soufrière Hills was at high-to-very-high levels during most of 27 December to 3 January, but decreased during 3 January. Activity escalated to very high levels on the night of the 27th. For the first 5 days of the report period continuous rockfalls and numerous pyroclastic flows spalled off the active extruded lobe on the NNE side of the lava dome. Most of the pyroclastic flows occurred in White's Ghaut and the Tar River Valley, and to a lesser extent in Tuitt's Ghaut. Small flows and rockfalls also spilled off the N and NW flanks of the dome onto Farrell's Plain and into Tyre's Ghaut. Activity decreased considerably on the night of 2 January to moderate levels on the 3rd, with rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows confined to the NNE and to a lesser extent the N flanks of the dome. The large spine that grew on the summit at the end of the previous week was observed on several days at the beginning of the current reporting period, but was not present when the summit was next seen on 2 January.

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

Based on information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that an explosion occurred at Tungurahua on 30 December at 1136. The resultant plume rose to ~9.5 km a.s.l. After the explosion until at least 5 January, incandescence in the crater became more intense, suggesting the presence of lava. The absence of Strombolian activity suggested that the magma was very degassed. As of 5 January, seismicity had been low for a week.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Witori  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.576°S, 150.516°E  | Elevation 724 m

As of 2 January lava continued to flow from Pago's northwestern-most vent. In addition, variable amounts of white vapor were released from most vents along the fissure system. Weak incandescence was visible on the night of 28 December. Seismicity continued at low levels as it has since early October 2002 when the seismic network was installed. No significant ground deformation had been recorded in a month, in contrast to the period between the start of the eruption (early August) and early November when complex and significant movement was recorded.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center



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Bezymianny Iliwerung Nabro Stromboli
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Dieng Volcanic Complex Korovin Ranakah Unknown Source
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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) - 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)