Activity for the week of 10 November-16 November 2004
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
| Honshu (Japan)
| 36.406°N, 138.523°E
| Elevation 2568 m
According to news reports, Asama volcano erupted with a loud explosion 14 November at 2059. The Japan Meteorological Agency rated the eruption as mid-sized, 3 on a scale of 5 in terms of power of the explosion. The agency issued a warning of falling ash in areas downwind of the volcano, although no ash plume was observed due to cloudy weather conditions. Following the explosion, falling rocks were observed over a large area on the slopes of the volcano. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The Tokyo VAAC issued a volcanic ash advisory following the eruption.
Sources: Associated Press, Kyodo News, Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
Rabaul Volcanological Observatory reported a Strombolian eruption at Manam volcano that began 10 November at 2200 and lasted until 11 November at 1915. There was some fluctuation in intensity during the course of the eruption. The ash column from the eruption was estimated to have risen ~5-6 km above the crater, and perhaps rose as high as ~9 km above the crater at around 1732 according to an Air Niugini pilot account. The ash activity was accompanied by continuous weak to moderate roaring and rumbling noises and frequent loud explosions. Light ash and scoria fall was reported between Kolang 1 and Kuluguma villages. A moderate amount of ash fell during 11 November between Boakure 1 and Baliau villages.
During 10-16 November, the Darwin VAAC issued numerous volcanic ash advisories concerning plumes emitted from Manam that were visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
During 10-15 November, block-lava flows continued to travel down Colima's N, W, NW, and S flanks as they have since 30 September. Several explosions occurred daily during the report period. Block-and-ash flows spilling from the fronts of the advancing lava flows on the W flank remained within ~2 km of the summit.
According to the Washington VAAC, satellite imagery from 1615 on 10 November indicated a plume moving N from Colima to a height of ~5 km a.s.l. The plume, consisting mostly of steam and a little ash, was emitted around 1610; by 1745 it had drifted ~45 km N.
Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
During 10-15 November, avalanches of incandescent volcanic material continued towards the major ravines on the volcano's flanks. Avalanches occurred from the fronts of the lava flows. Sounds like that of a locomotive or airplane turbine were heard emanating from the active crater. Small explosions expelled incandescent lava to heights of 75-100 m above the crater. Steam plumes from fumarolic activity reach heights of ~500-600 m above the crater, extending ~4-7 km to the S and SW.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Lava from Kilauea's PKK flow continued to enter the sea during 10-16 November at a newly formed lava delta at the eastern Lae`apuki entry area. On 16 November the delta grew along a wide front, mostly near and W of the most seaward point. A new arm of the delta-feeding flow had formed ~100 m farther E. Two vigorously active tips of this new arm were within 180 m of the sea cliff just E of the new delta, and at their current rate of advance they could enter the sea within a day. All vents in the crater of Pu`u `O`o were incandescent during this period. Seismicity was weak at Kilauea's summit, with essentially no tremor recorded. Tremor was at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. No significant deformation occurred.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| North Island (New Zealand)
| 39.28°S, 175.57°E
| Elevation 2797 m
Elevated levels of volcanic tremor continue at Ruapehu and may signal the start of another Crater Lake heating cycle. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (some signs of volcano unrest).
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
During 10-15 November, weak-to-moderate explosions occurred at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex, causing the collapse of a small sector of the SW edge of the Caliente dome. A pyroclastic flow from that area was noted on 12 November. On 14 November at 2012, a tectonic earthquake caused a lava-flow collapse SW of the Caliente dome, triggering a pyroclastic flow that descended to the head of San Isidro ravine, an area of abundant accumulation of pyroclastic material and a known area for lahar initiation.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
Seismicity was above background levels at Shiveluch during 5-12 November, with weak shallow earthquakes occurring beneath the active lava dome. Based on interpretations of seismic data, possible ash-and-gas explosions up to 6.5-7 km a.s.l. were registered on 5, 7, 9, and 11 November. During the week gas-dominated plumes rose to ~4 km a.s.l. and those bearing ash rose to 3.5-6 km. Possible minor ash-and-gas explosions and hot avalanches also occurred. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 8-15 November, volcanic and seismic activity at Soufrière Hills remained elevated. The seismic network recorded one rockfall and nine hybrid earthquakes. Weather conditions limited measurements of sulfur dioxide emissions during 8-15 November. Reliable data were only available for two days when the plume blew over the sensors, yielding SO2-flux estimates of 141 and 501 metric tons per day. Circumstances prevented visual status reports on the crater.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| United States
| 61.299°N, 152.251°W
| Elevation 3374 m
Elevated levels of seismicity continued to be recorded at Spurr during 5-12 November. A period of slightly increased seismicity occurred between 6-8 November when as many as three shallow earthquakes per hour were recorded. Since then, the level of seismicity had declined to an average of six earthquakes per day. No unusual activity was observed in satellite or web camera images. Spurr remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of St. Helens continued and was accompanied by intermittent emissions of steam and ash. When weather permitted during the report period, a plume was observed rising passively and drifting out of the crater. The plume occasionally contained minor ash, which fell on both the crater and flanks, darkening the snow.
Seismicity remained low compared to that observed early in this episode of unrest, consistent with continued slow uplift of the crater floor and surface extrusion of lava. Overnight on 16 November, three earthquakes in the M 2.5-2.8 range shook the crater floor, behavior considered typical during an episode of dome growth. The overall low rates of seismicity and gas emission suggested that the lava reaching the surface was gas-poor and unlikely to generate highly explosive eruptions in the near term.
Recent extrusion-rate estimates of ~4 cubic meters per second were slightly lower than those in mid-October. These rates, which are based on the volume of deformed crater floor and the amount of airborne sulfur dioxide measured during gas-monitoring flights, have uncertainties associated with their calculation. Volcanoes like St. Helens are expected to undergo slight variations in their extrusion rates during eruptive cycles. This change is small and does not indicate a notable change in the eruptive process.
Good viewing conditions on 10 November revealed continued growth of the lava dome. Current estimates are that the welt, the broad area of deformation, is about 600 m in diameter. The new lava dome, which occupies the central and western parts of the welt, is about 400 by 180 m. The highest point on the new lava dome is about 250 m above the former surface of the glacier that occupied that point in mid-September. Maximum surface temperatures on the new dome remain at about 700 degrees Celsius. GPS instruments on the welt show rates of movement of up to several meters per day, while GPS instruments on the 1980-86 lava dome show movements of up to 1-2 cm per day northward, away from the growing welt and new dome.
St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Volcanic and seismic activity at Tungurahua during the report period were at relatively low levels, characterized by several long-period earthquakes and small to moderate explosions. Emissions mainly consisted of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash. On 15 November, incandescence was observed in the crater of the volcano and explosions generated steam columns with moderate ash content that rose ~2 km above the crater and drifted S.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
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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