Activity for the week of 12 February-18 February 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.358°N, 124.792°E
| Elevation 1580 m
On 10 February at 2219 an ash explosion occurred at Lokon-Empung, but the height of the resultant ash cloud could not be determined due to heavy rain. On 12 February, mainly during 0100-1000, there was a significant increase in volcanic earthquakes. At 1048 an explosion occurred, followed by seismic data indicating a larger explosion at 1102. On 12 February during 0800-1100 the Alert Level was raised from 3 to 4 (the highest level). Tremor was continuously recorded during 1255 on the 12th to 0046 the following day. According to the Darwin VAAC, an explosion occurred on 19 February at 0403 that produced a plume to 500 m above the summit.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
Beginning around 10 February volcanic activity increased at Nyiragongo. Fine ash covered cars in the city of Goma and at 1142 a long-period earthquake occurred for more than 2 minutes that was followed by several small events and an increase in tremor amplitude. Residents near the volcano noticed an increase in plume height, a change in plume color from white to black, and a sustained rain of ash and Pele's hair. As of the 14th, Pele's hair continued to fall in Goma and an ash plume was visible rising at least 5 km above the crater. At this time seismicity was probably lower than the previous week. GVO stated that the Pele's hair that fell in Goma was produced by lava fountaining inside Nyiragongo's crater. Residents in Goma and surrounding villages experienced a water shortage due to the contamination of rain water, which is their only source of water.
According to the MODIS Thermal Alerts website, thermal alerts have been visible at Nyiragongo every month since June 2002. Two alert pixels were visible at the volcano on 13 February.
Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), The Open University Volcano Dynamics Group
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
According to the Italy's Volcanoes website, on 12 February a series of ten earthquakes occurred on Etna's NE flank in the same area that was affected by vigorous seismicity and ground deformation before and during the initial phase of the 27 October 2002 to 28 January 2003 eruption. The largest earthquake occurred on 13 February at 0632, with a magnitude of 3.8 and a focal depth of 1.65 km.
Source: Italy's Volcanoes
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 12-19 February at Kilauea, lava continued to flow into the sea at the West Highcastle entry. Lava flowed through lava tubes down Pulama pali and Paliuli as it traveled to the sea. Surface lava flows continued to travel through vegetation, igniting fires and causing methane explosions. Rangers' office huts, restrooms, and signs were moved out of the path of the lava flow, which reached the Chain of Craters Road on 19 February at 1005. Generally, seismicity remained at normal levels, with the long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continuing at low-to-moderate levels. Small periods of inflation and deformation, which were consistent in magnitude and patterns, were recorded at Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o tiltmeters during the report period.
Sources: Honolulu Advertiser, US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
Seismicity was slightly above background levels during 7-14 February at Kliuchevskoi, with 17-30 earthquakes occurring each day at depths of ~30 km. Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor was registered during the report week, and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1.5 km above the crater. The Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
A moderate explosion at Popocatépetl on 14 February at 0534 ejected incandescent fragments as far away as 3 km around the crater. Also, a dense ash column rose 5 km above the volcano and drifted NE. The ejected fragments caused some fires in pasture land. This eruption was related to the partial destruction of the lava dome. After the eruption, activity returned to low-to-moderate emissions of steam, gas, and ash.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
Based on information from INSIVUMEH, the Washington VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Santa María during the evening of 16 February and the following morning. The explosions from Santiaguito lava dome produced ash plumes that rose to 600 m above the summit. An ash plume was visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 7-14 February, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch and many shallow earthquakes were recorded. Seismic data indicated that 10 ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 1 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. Volcanic spasmodic tremor occurred and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1 km above the crater. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
Activity at Soufrière Hills was at moderate levels during 7-14 February. Lava-dome growth was focused towards the NNE and produced pyroclastic flows and rockfalls in Tuitt's Ghaut, White's Ghaut, and along the N side of the Tar River Valley. Rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows also occurred off the N flank of the dome onto the area of Riley's Estate. The Washington VAAC stated that several low-level ash plumes were visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Seismic and volcanic activity remained at low-to-moderate levels at Tungurahua during 7-14 February, with emissions of steam, gas, and ash producing low-level plumes. Based on information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that an emission occurred on 12 February at 1657 that rose to low levels and drifted W. No ash was visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
The elevated seismicity that began at Veniaminof in mid-December 2002 continued through 7-14 February. Discrete seismic events occurred at rates up to 1 event per minute. AVO stated that at this level of seismic unrest, low-level steaming, and minor ash emissions may occur at any time. No elevated surface temperatures, ash emissions, or ash deposits were noted on satellite images. The Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
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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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.