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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 23 February-1 March 2005.

 Activity for the week of 23 February-1 March 2005

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
Korovin Andreanof Islands (USA) New
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) New

Anatahan Mariana Islands (USA) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Egon Flores Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Soufriere St. Vincent St. Vincent Ongoing
St. Helens United States Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Veniaminof United States Ongoing

New Activity / Unrest

Volcano index photo  Korovin  | Andreanof Islands (USA)  | 52.381°N, 174.166°W  | Elevation 1518 m

On 24 February AVO raised the Concern Color Code at Korovin volcano from Green to Yellow after receiving a report that ash and steam were emitted from Korovin on 23 February around 1900. According to residents of Atka village near the volcano, the initial ash burst rose to a height of ~ 2.4 km a.s.l. and drifted E. It was followed by several smaller ash-and-steam bursts. No ashfall was reported in Atka village, nor were there reports of accompanying volcanic odors, earthquakes, or larger volcanic explosions. Satellite images of the volcano did not clearly show the presence of ash or any thermal anomalies. On the morning of 24 February the volcano was steaming. AVO warned that low-level steam-and-ash emissions may continue and could pose a hazard to people and low- to medium-flying aircraft in the vicinity of the volcano. They further warned that if the eruption continues and begins to intensify, light ash fall could occur on parts of Atka Island, including the village of Atka.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

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

Based on interpretations of seismic data, a large eruption occurred at Shiveluch from 1825 on 27 February to 0100 on 28 February, leading KVERT to raise the Concern Color Code from Orange to Red (the highest level). Meteorological clouds obscured the volcano during the eruption. A large thermal anomaly visible near the lava dome on satellite imagery at 0456 on 28 February was probably the signal from a large pyroclastic flow on the volcano's SW flank. At this time a 45-km-long ash cloud was visible on satellite imagery trending NW of the volcano. At 0900 on the 28th, ash deposits were noted in the town of Klyuchi, ~46 km from the volcano. Satellite imagery from 1205 on 28 February showed ash deposits W of Shiveluch covering an area of 24,800 square kilometers. Later that day, an ash cloud extending more than 360 km was centered over the western half of Kamchatka. On 1 March the Concern Color Code was reduced to Orange. Prior to the eruption, during 18-26 February, seismicity was above background levels and ash-and-gas plumes were seen on video rising to ~3 km above the lava dome.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Ongoing Activity

Volcano index photo  Anatahan  | Mariana Islands (USA)  | 16.35°N, 145.67°E  | Elevation 790 m

Seismic and acoustic records from Anatahan during 17-28 February showed that a very low level of activity continued at the volcano. Amplitudes recorded during 23-28 February were near levels recorded prior to the onset of the 5 January eruption. NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imagery taken on 28 February showed a faint plume of vog (fog composed of volcanic gas) and steam trending W of Anatahan. The 2003 crater floor was almost entirely covered by fresh lava to a diameter of about one kilometer.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program

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

During 23-28 February, several small explosions at Colima produced ash plumes that rose to low levels; plumes drifted predominately W.

Source: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima

Volcano index photo  Egon  | Flores Island (Indonesia)  | 8.676°S, 122.455°E  | Elevation 1661 m

During 25-27 February, ash plumes from Egon rose to low levels above the volcano and seismicity was dominated by shallow volcanic earthquakes. Egon remained at Alert Level 4, the highest hazard status.

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

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

Lava avalanches continued at Karangetang during 25-27 February, traveling 500-1,200 m down the drainages of Kali Beha, Kali Kahetang, Kali Batuawan, and Kali Nanitu. Seismicity was dominated by avalanche earthquakes. Karangetang 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  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 23-26 February, lava from Kilauea entered the sea at three ocean entries that were located along 4.7 km of the island's SE coast. Lava may have stopped flowing into the sea at the westernmost entry, West Highcastle, on the 26th. The number of surface lava flows diminished in comparison to the previous week. Small earthquakes occurred at Kilauea's summit, and no tremor was recorded. Tremor remained at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. As of 28 February, deflation had occurred at Pu`u `O`o for more than a week, and at the summit since 24 February.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

The summit of Manam was obscured by clouds during 22-24 February, impeding observations. Seismicity was low, with small low-frequency earthquakes and without volcanic tremor. The Alert Level at Manam remained at 2.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)

Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

Contrary to reports that volcanic activity had ceased at Piton de la Fournaise on 19 February, the eruption continued through at least 25 February. After a period of low activity around the 19th, eruption tremor increased to high levels again on 21 February. Two eruption sites were active: the principal vent at 1,600-m elevation above the Plaine des Osmondes, and a vent at about 1,200-m elevation in the Plaine des Osmondes. The principal vent released a volcanic plume and several pahoehoe lava flows, but no lava fountains were visible. The second vent also released a very fluid pahoehoe lava flow. The lava flows covered a large area within the Plaine des Osmondes, and smaller lava flows traveled to about 600-m elevation in the Grand Brûlé.

On 24 February, shallow seismicity began beneath Dolomieu crater. It increased over time and by the 26th several hundreds of seismic events up to M 3 occurred. According to OVPDLF, these events may have indicated the possibility of a new pit crater forming within Dolomieu crater. On the 24th, visible signs of volcanic activity stopped within the Plaine des Osmondes, while eruption tremor slowly increased.

On the evening of 25 February, a lava flow from Plaine des Osmondes traveled down the Grandes Pentes, cutting the national road on its way to the sea. The lava flow covered a distance of ~5 km in about 2 hours. At the same time, seismicity on the North East rift zone above "Bois Blanc" appeared and a new vent opened within the "Trou de Sable" on the northern border of the "enclose" at 450-m elevation. This lava flow stopped about 100 m from the national road.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)

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

RVO reported that Rabaul caldera's active vent at Tavurvur cone continued to erupt during 22-24 February. Ash clouds rose several hundred meters before drifting SE. Most ash fell offshore, but there were reports of fine ash reaching Tokua airport, ~45 km SW of Rabual Town. RVO stated that based on past eruptive episodes from Tavurvur between 1995 and 2004 the current episode will most likely continue indefinitely. Also, the eruption will fluctuate but is not expected to reach levels that will pose a threat to life in Rabaul Town and surrounding villages. People were discouraged from venturing within 1 km of the eruptive vent. According to a news report, several flights to and from Tokua airport were cancelled due to ashfall in the area. Many flights have been cancelled since the eruption commenced in late January 2005.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)

Volcano index photo  Soufriere St. Vincent  | St. Vincent  | 13.33°N, 61.18°W  | Elevation 1220 m

According to a news article, residents of the island of St.Vincent reported smelling sulfur in towns as far S as Kingstown. This sparked fears among the population that volcanic activity had increased at Soufriere St. Vincent. Staff from the Soufriere Monitoring Unit of the Seismic Research Unit visited the volcano and reported that there was no increase in volcanic activity according to monitoring-station data and observations. The increased scent of sulfur in towns was attributed to a southward shift in wind direction towards the towns, rather than the usual E direction. Accordingly, the Alert Level remained low at Soufriere St. Vincent.

Source: Caribbean Net News

Volcano index photo  St. Helens  | United States  | 46.2°N, 122.18°W  | Elevation 2549 m

During 23 February to 1 March, growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of St. Helens continued, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. Seismic data indicated that parts of the growing lava dome continued to crumble, forming rockfalls and generating small ash clouds that drifted out of the crater. Photographs taken on 28 February showed that the W and E margins of the new lava dome were crumbling and that the smooth whaleback form of the lava dome was disintegrating. According to CVO, this process also occurred in December 2004 and in that case several weeks later lava-dome extrusion again manifested a whaleback form. GPS measurements on the bulging E arm of the glacier within St. Helens' crater showed that rapid northward movement of 1.2 m per day continued. St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation code Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)

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

Volcanic and seismic activity were at relatively low levels at Tungurahua during 23-28 February. Low-energy gas, steam, and ash plumes were emitted. In addition, long-period earthquakes and episodes of tremor were recorded. During the report period ashfall was reported in towns near the volcano, including Puela (SW of the volcano), San Juan de Pillate, Cusua, and Quero. On 23 February the daily sulfur-dioxide flux was 1,200 tons. On 27 and 28 February, rains generated lahars in the W zone of the volcano into the gorges of Cusua and Bilbao.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)

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

Seismic activity decreased substantially at Veniaminof during 18-25 February in comparison to previous weeks, leading AVO to decrease the Concern Color Code from Orange to Yellow. Periods of volcanic tremor diminished, and no discrete events associated with ash bursts had occurred for several days. Only minor steam emissions were seen. AVO received no reports of ash emissions from pilots or ground observers. AVO concluded that given the decline in seismicity, it appeared that the most recent episode of Strombolian eruptive activity at Veniaminof had ended.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

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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)