Activity for the week of 15 February-21 February 2006
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
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 13.257°N, 123.685°E
| Elevation 2462 m
A minor explosion at Mayon on 21 February at 0941 produced an ash plume that rose to ~500 m above the volcano's crater (or 9,700 ft a.s.l.) and drifted SW. Ash was deposited on the upper slopes of the volcano. The ash emission was accompanied by a small explosion-type earthquake, recorded only by seismographs around the volcano.
Prior to the explosion, an increase in seismicity was recorded at the volcano. Between 1545 on 20 February and 0520 on 21 February, there were 147 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes recorded, considerably above the five or fewer events per day that are normally recorded. Some minor rockfalls were indicated and probably resulted from detachment of lava blocks from the summit. Steaming was observed. No incandescence was visible at the crater due to clouds obscuring the volcano. Mayon remained at Alert Level 2, with a 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone in effect. PHIVOLCS expects similar ash explosions in the coming days as magma intrudes the summit area and releases volcanic gases.
Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
| 34.094°N, 139.526°E
| Elevation 775 m
According to a news report, a minor eruption at Miyake-jima on 17 February consisted of small ash emissions. Residents of the island were warned that there could be gas emissions and mudslides. The Geological Survey of Japan, AIST website reported that the sulfur-dioxide flux at Miyake-jima averaged about 2,000-5,000 tons per day in January.
Sources: Associated Press, Geological Survey of Japan
| 15.389°S, 167.835°E
| Elevation 1496 m
A news article reported on 16 February that the 5,000 people who evacuated their homes after increased activity began at Aoba on 27 November 2005 returned home after Department of Geology and Mines officials reduced the threat level from 2 to 1.
Source: Radio New Zealand
| United States
| 59.363°N, 153.43°W
| Elevation 1252 m
During 15-19 February, AVO seismometers at Augustine recorded occasional rockfalls and small pyroclastic-flow signals indicative of minor collapses of the volcano's lava dome. During the previous week, the number of these events declined, suggesting that the rate of lava effusion may have slowed. Clear satellite views of the volcano on 16 February showed a thermal anomaly in the summit crater area. On the 19th, the web camera showed a light dusting of ash on the ENE flank of the volcano. AVO stated that during the report period a plume composed of variable amounts of gas, steam, and small amounts of ash was probably being emitted intermittently from Augustine's summit. They warned that occasional very localized ash clouds and light ashfall will be produced by collapses from the lava dome. Augustine remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Sources: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
During 13-20 February, seismicity continued at Galeras, with an average of about 190 small earthquakes occurring per day. A flux of about 200 metric tons of sulfur dioxide was measured daily. Steam and gas rose to ~1.1 km above the volcano (or ~17,600 ft a.s.l.) on 19 February. Incandescence was visible at parts of the lava dome. The volume of the lava dome in the main crater was approximately 1.5 times larger than when it was first observed on 13 January. Galeras remained at Alert Level 3 ("changes in the behavior of volcanic activity have been noted").
Note: It was incorrectly reported in the 8-14 February Weekly Volcanic Activity Report that on 8 February pyroclastic-flow deposits were found at Galeras. Pyroclastic-fall deposits were observed.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| 0.171°S, 78.598°W
| Elevation 4784 m
IG reported that seismic activity at Guagua Pichincha during 6-12 February decreased in comparison to the previous week, confirming that a small increase in activity around 5 February was related to brief phreatic activity. No explosions occurred during the report period and low-level volcanic tremor was recorded.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
During 10-17 February, a large thermal anomaly was visible at Karymsky's crater and numerous ash plumes were visible on satellite imagery. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 16-20 February, no surface lava flows were visible on Kilauea's Pulama pali fault scarp, which had been the case since 8 February. Several streams of lava poured into the sea from the lava delta at the East Lae`apuki entry. Background volcanic tremor was at normal levels at Kilauea's summit, with shallow earthquakes continuing to occur beneath the summit area and the upper east rift zone. Volcanic tremor reached moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 30 January to 15 February, Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone continued to be relatively quiet. Variable amounts of gas were emitted from an active fumarole at the summit area on the upper part of the W flank. An average sulfur-dioxide flux of 200 metric tons per day was recorded and seismicity was at low levels. According to the Darwin VAAC, ash from Rabaul was visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~3.7 km (12,100 ft) a.s.l. on 17 February.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
Several explosions occurred at Santa Maria's Santiaguito lava-dome complex during 15-17 February, with ash plumes rising to ~1.5 km above the volcano (or 17,300 ft a.s.l.). Some explosions were accompanied by small pyroclastic flows that traveled SW and NE down Caliente dome. Avalanches of incandescent volcanic material spalled off of active lava-flow fronts.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during vigorous ash-and-steam venting at Soufrière Hills on 10 February, a small dark lobe of lava was observed on the western side of the lava dome in the crater. By early on 11 February this lobe had advanced rapidly towards the NE side of the dome and was visible as a steep-sided plateau of lava from inhabited areas around Salem. Photographs from fixed cameras showed continued changes to this lava lobe over the next few days, and the NE margin could be seen glowing at night and shedding rockfalls into the NE part of the crater. The initial growth rate of this lobe was well over 5 cubic meters per second, but the rate declined around 17 February. The new lava lobe began to fill the gap between the lava dome and the northern and western crater walls, raising the possibility that small rockfalls could spill over those areas in coming weeks.
The sulfur-dioxide flux averaged 568 metric tons per day. Data from Fourier Transform Infra Red spectrometry measurements indicated an increase in the hydrogen chloride/sulfur dioxide mass ratio in the gas plume from 2.0 in the last reporting period to an average of 2.5 on 13 February.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continued during 16-20 February, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. Gas measurements made on 15 February suggested that the volcanic-gas flux remained unchanged from recent measurements. Observations made on 17 February revealed that the northeastern active part of the new lava dome was developing a steeply inclined jagged spine. At its top, temperatures as high as 580 degrees Celsius were measured using a thermal sensor. 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
Activity began to increase slightly at Tungurahua around 15 February. Several moderate explosions occurred during 15-19 February, with ash plumes rising as high as 3 km above the volcano (or 26,300 ft a.s.l.) on 15 February. Small amounts of ashfall were reported NW of the volcano in Cotaló, Cusúa, Pondoa, Bilbao, and at the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) on the 18th. Rainfall generated a small mudflow SW of the volcano in the Quebrada Rea sector of Puela on 19 February.
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.
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.
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