Activity for the week of 14 March-20 March 2007
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
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
USGS reported that seismicity from Anatahan increased on 24 February and remained elevated through 17 March, occasionally punctuated by higher levels of tremor and increased gas emissions. On 13 March, seismic activity increased significantly; a gas plume that was visible on MODIS satellite imagery suggested increased emissions. The next day the Volcanic Alert Level was increased from Normal to Advisory. On 20 March, low levels of tremor were recorded.
Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Based on satellite imagery and CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-16 and 19-20 March emissions from Batu Tara produced diffuse plumes that drifted NE, SE, and E. Plumes rose to 1.2 km (3,900 ft) a.s.l. on 19 and 20 March.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that incandescent material from Fuego was ejected 200 m above the summit on 15 March. The activity was accompanied by rumbling noises and shockwaves that vibrated windows several kilometers away. Two lava flows were observed; one traveled about 1,500 m W toward the Taniluyá River valley. An ash plume drifted S and SW. On 16 March, Strombolian activity propelled material 300 m above the summit and shockwaves were felt as far as 15 km away. The lava flows from 15 March advanced and three more flows were observed in different ravines on 16 March. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.4 km (17,799 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SW, and E. Two pyroclastic flows traveled about 800 m; one NW and another W and SW.
Based on pilot reports, INSIVUMEH reports, and satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes reached altitudes of 4.1-6.1 km (13,500-20,000 ft) a.s.l. during 15-16 March. A hotspot was visible on satellite imagery both days.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Java (Indonesia)
| 7.54°S, 110.446°E
| Elevation 2910 m
Based on pilot reports, the Darwin VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Merapi reached an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE on 19 March.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| North Island (New Zealand)
| 39.28°S, 175.57°E
| Elevation 2797 m
According to news articles, a "moderate" lahar from Ruapehu's crater lake traveled E down the Whangaehu River valley on 18 March and reached the sea 140 km away after a soft rock-and-ash dam was breached. The section of dam that failed was about 40 m long and 7 m high. There were no reports of injuries or major damage to infrastructure and only some flooding to farmlands at the base of the volcano. The volume of water and debris was estimated at 1.3 million cubic meters. On 19 March, IGNS confirmed a 6-m drop in the crater lake level and reported an increase in seismicity following the lahar.
Sources: GeoNet, Associated Press, Stuff, New Zealand Herald
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
INGV-CT reported that the eruption at Stromboli that started on 27 February continued during 15 March. On 9 March, the vent at 400 m elevation that fed the lava flows closed and another vent opened on the N flank of the NE Crater at 550 m elevation. It remained active for less than 24 hours. After it closed, the 400-m vent re-opened and lava again flowed to the sea. On 15 March, a major explosion occurred during an effusive flank eruption.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| 0.979°S, 100.681°E
| Elevation 2575 m
Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 and 20 March ash plumes from Talang rose 3.4-3.9 km (11,000-12,800 ft) a.s.l. CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that during 14-20 March, explosions from Tungurahua were accompanied by noises that resembled "cannon shots." On 16, 18, and 20 March, explosions rattled windows at the observatory in Guadalupe, about 11 km N. Incandescent material was ejected 100-200 m above the summit on 14, 16, and 20 March and rolled 500-800 m down the flanks on 16,18, and 20 March. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6.5-12 km (21,300-39,400 ft) a.s.l. during the reporting period and drifted mainly NW and W. Ashfall was reported as far as Cotaló (13 km NW) on 16 March and from other areas S, W, and NW during 14-20 March. Rainfall contributed to lahars in valleys W and NW on 15 and 16 March.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an ash plume from Sakura-jima reached an altitude greater than 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. on 20 March.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 12.769°N, 124.056°E
| Elevation 1535 m
Based on news articles, ash fell on the SW slopes and villages near Bulusan on 15 March. According to the interpretation of a resident volcanologist, the ashfall was not caused by explosions, instead voluminous steaming during 12-15 March "agitated the ash deposits on the crater wall."
Source: The Philippine Star
| Paramushir Island (Russia)
| 50.324°N, 155.461°E
| Elevation 1781 m
AVO reported that a sulfur dioxide cloud from Chikurachki was seen on satellite imagery on 16 March extending 580 km NW. The altitude of the cloud was unknown.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 14-19 March, lava from Kilauea continued to flow across lava deltas into the ocean at the East Lae'apuki and Kamokuna entries. Incandescence was intermittently visible from several breakouts on the pali and from several vents in Pu'u 'O'o's crater. On 14 March, 'a'a flows from the Campout flow were seen on the pali. Tremor at Kilauea's summit continued at low levels.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
RVO reported that Manam's Main Crater emitted gray ash plumes during 11-19 March. The plumes rose to altitudes of 2.3 km (7,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Incandescence was visible the evenings of 11, 12, 16, and 18 March. Vapor clouds and occasional diffuse ash clouds were emitted from South Crater during 11-20 March.
According to a news article, four people were killed and one injured from an "ash-and-mud" avalanche in a valley on the northern part of the island. RVO received the report on 15 March, but had not yet confirmed whether it was a mudflow.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Reuters
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 13-21 March, Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone emitted ash plumes that rose to 1.1-3.7 km (3,600-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, S, and W. Loud roaring noises occasionally accompanied emissions. During 16-21 March, multiple explosions occurred, some of which produced shockwaves. Summit incandescence was observed at night and lava fragments were projected onto the flanks. Ashfall was reported from areas downwind during the reporting period.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 2.005°S, 78.341°W
| Elevation 5286 m
Based on pilot reports and satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Sangay on 17 March rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. A hotspot was visible on satellite imagery. A pilot reported an ash plume on 20 March to an unreported altitude.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 9-16 March, lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills continued and was concentrated on the NE side. Intermittent pyroclastic flows, possibly originating from the large blocky spine on the edge of the E lobe, traveled E down the Tar River Valley and produced large ash plumes. One of the plumes on 12 March rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. On 13 March, a steam-rich plume rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. By 14 March, the spine was completely shed. On 15 March, heavy rains caused mudflow activity in several drainages. Pyroclastic flows were observed NW in Tyre's Ghaut and ashfall was reported from the Salem /Old Towne areas. On 16 March, pyroclastic flows were observed in Tyre's Ghaut and in the Tar River Valley. A resultant ash plume drifted WNW. Based on satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that diffuse ash plumes drifted NW during 17-18 March.
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 14-20 March, lava-dome growth and lava-spine extrusion at Mount St. Helens continued. Seismicity persisted at low levels, punctuated by M 1.5-2.5 and occasionally larger earthquakes. Inclement weather occasionally inhibited visual observations.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported an explosion from Suwanose-jima on 17 March. Ash was not seen on satellite imagery.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash cloud from Ubinas rose to 5.5-6.4 km (18,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. on 14 March and drifted SW.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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.
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.
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