Activity for the week of 6 December-12 December 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
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
On 22 November INGEOMINAS reported that the Alert Level for Galeras was increased from 3 (changes in the behavior of volcanic activity have been noted) to 2 (probable eruption in days to weeks) on a scale of 4-1, due to seismic patterns previously indicative of eruptive episodes. Emissions of gas and steam were seen coming from the periphery of the main crater during aerial observations on 4, 5, 10, and 11 December.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 13.257°N, 123.685°E
| Elevation 2462 m
According to news articles, the National Disaster Coordinating Council in Manila estimated that 100,000 people still remained in shelters from typhoon Durian that struck on 30 November and triggered lahars down Mayon's flanks. An estimated 1,200 people are dead or missing. Media sources on 9 December reported that approximately 15,000 people from 12 villages were evacuated from areas around Mayon (in Albay province) in anticipation of more lahars following another typhoon. On 11 December, reports indicated that the second typhoon, Utor, had passed Albay without triggering lahars.
Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press, Associated Press
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 18.13°N, 145.8°E
| Elevation 570 m
During 4-5 December, residents 3 km SW of Pagan reported ashfall that accumulated in their camp at a rate of about 6.4 mm per day. They also described a plume from the summit that rose to an altitude of 640 m (2,100 ft) a.s.l. and a sulfur smell that occasionally wafted through their camp. Based on satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported a gas-and-ash plume that drifted mainly W on 5, 6, and 8 December. Satellite imagery showed no further activity through 11 December.
Sources: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, US Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
According to observations and video data, KVERT reported fumarolic activity from Shiveluch during 2-4 and 6-7 December. Based on satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported possible eruption plumes on 8 and 11 December that reached altitudes of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and NE, respectively. Satellite imagery and a pilot observation reported by the VAAC indicated ash plumes on 12 December to altitudes of 3-5.8 km (10,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported an eruption from Sakura-jima on 12 December. The resultant plume reached an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
Seismic activity at Anatahan was very low during the previous two weeks (late November through early December). Diffuse steam-and-gas plumes were occasionally visible on recent satellite images or during observation flights. On 7 December, the Volcanic Alert Level was lowered from Yellow to Green.
Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
Seismic data from Karymsky was not available during 1-8 December. Pilots from international airlines reported that on 2 December ash plumes rose to 6.9 km (22,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Plumes also drifted E on 5-6 December. A thermal anomaly in the crater was detected on 3 and 6-7 December. Plumes were visible on satellite imagery on 9 December, extending as far as 15 km W. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 6-12 December, lava from Kilauea continued to flow off of a lava delta into the ocean at the East Lae'apuki and East Ka'ili'ili entries. Incandescence on the pali was visible during the reporting period. A large breakout on Pulama pali on 5 December resulted in downed and burned trees. Incandescence was also intermittently visible from the East Pond and January vents, South Wall complex, and Drainhole vent in Pu'u 'O'o's crater.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
RVO reported that during 8-10 December, incandescence was observed from Manam's Main Crater. Bluish white vapor emissions during 6-9 December changed to a darker gray on 10 December. A resultant plume rose to 2.1-2.2 km (6,900-7,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 6-8 December Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone emitted thick white-to-gray plumes that rose to 1.2-3.2 km (3,900-10,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and NE. Ashfall was reported from areas downwind (NW) on 6 and 7 December. Roaring noises were heard during 7-10 December. On 11 December, the volcano was quiet and emitted only a diffuse plume that was also visible on satellite imagery. On 12 December, a loud explosion shook houses in Rabaul Town and a gray plume rose to 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. When the noise stopped on 10 December, the deformation monitoring equipment recorded an approximate 1-cm rapid uplift that subsided after the explosion on 12 December.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
Based on satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that explosions at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex produced ash plumes on 5, 7, and 10 December that drifted SW, NW, and W, respectively. INSIVUMEH reported constant incandescent avalanches on 8 December from the S and SE edge of Caliente dome and from the toe of the active lava flow on the SW flank. Ash plumes caused slight ashfall to the SW.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 1-8 December, the MVO reported that observations of Soufrière Hills were limited due to cloud cover. On 2 December, the lava dome was visible and growth was concentrated on the NE. Based on information from the MVO, satellite imagery, and pilot reports, the Washington VAAC reported a small explosion on 8 December. The resulting ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
Data from deformation-monitoring instruments showed that during 6-12 December the lava dome at Mount St. Helens continued to grow. Seismicity continued at low levels, punctuated by M 1.5-2.5 and occasionally larger earthquakes.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that during 6-12 December, emissions from Tungurahua produced steam plumes with little ash content that reached altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. On 6 December, plumes reached an altitude of 10 km (32,800 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in areas including Cotaló, about 13 km NW, Pillate, about 7 km to the W, and Puela, about 8 km SW. On 9 December, ashfall up to 1 mm thick was reported about 12 km N in Baños.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.05°S, 151.33°E
| Elevation 2334 m
Based on satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that diffuse plumes from Ulawun reached altitudes of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. on 9 December. Plumes on 11 December reached unreported altitudes.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
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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