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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 6 February-12 February 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 6 February-12 February 2008

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
Anatahan Mariana Islands (USA) New
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Kanlaon Philippines New
Llaima Chile New
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Arenal Costa Rica Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Ol Doinyo Lengai Tanzania Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
St. Helens United States Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

The USGS reported that seismic tremor levels at Anatahan were relatively low during 8-13 February, except for short-lived increases during 8-9 and 12-13 February. On 9 February, a diffuse steam plume that possibly contained ash was observed on satellite imagery and drifted W. The Washington VAAC reported that more steam plumes possibly containing some ash were visible on satellite imagery on 11, 12, and 13 February and drifted NW and SE. On 13 February, vog (volcanic fog) was also observed N and W of Saipan. Emissions of sulfur dioxide were detected by the satellite-based Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Sources: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that diffuse ash plume from Cleveland was observed on satellite imagery drifting 12 km SE at an altitude below 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. during a break in cloud cover on 8 February. Later that day AVO received pilot reports of an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and observed the plume on satellite imagery drifting NW. Due to the increased activity, the Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange. No precursory or current seismic information is available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network. During 10-11 February, a thermal anomaly was possibly visible on satellite imagery. The Volcanic Alert Level was lowered back to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow on 12 February.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Kanlaon  | Philippines  | 10.412°N, 123.132°E  | Elevation 2435 m

PHIVOLCS reported that during 7-10 February the seismic network for Kanlaon detected a significant rise in earthquakes. On 10 February the Alert Level was raised from 0 to 1 (out of 5). Cloud cover prohibited visual observations of the summit. The public was strongly advised not to enter the 4-km Permanent Danger Zone.

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



Volcano index photo  Llaima  | Chile  | 38.692°S, 71.729°W  | Elevation 3125 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported intense Strombolian activity in the main crater of Llaima and explosions that propelled material 500 m in the air on 6 February. Ash-and-gas plumes from the activity rose to altitudes of 5.1-5.6 km (16,700-18,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE more than 30 km. Multiple lava flows traveled 0.7-1.5 km W and N and generated steam plumes due to their interaction with a glacier. Activity declined later that day. During breaks in cloud cover, ash plumes were observed at altitudes of 4.1-9.1 km (13,500-29,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. During 7-8 February, explosions from two different areas in the main crater produced brown and gray ash-and-gas plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.1-6.2 km (13,500-20,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 20 km NW. Incandescent blocks from lava-flow fronts rolled down the flank.

According to a news article on 7 and 12 February, people from two communities were evacuated, but were allowed to return to their homes during the daytime.

The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes at altitudes of 1.2-3.6 km (4,000-11,800 ft) a.s.l. were visible on satellite imagery during 10-12 February.

Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), El Mostrador, Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), 123.cl



Volcano index photo  Shishaldin  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 54.756°N, 163.97°W  | Elevation 2857 m

Based on pilot reports, the Anchorage VAAC reported that a small ash plume from Shishaldin rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 12 February. Ash was not observed on satellite imagery. [Note: AVO received no other reports of an ash plume and did not detect ash on satellite imagery.]

Source: Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

On 6 February, IG reported that pyroclastic flows from Tungurahua descended multiple NW and W drainages and tephra fall 3 cm in diameter was reported in areas to the SW. Based on information from the IG and satellite imagery evaluation, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to estimated altitudes of 7.3-14.3 km (24,000-47,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and NW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind and to the SW and W, including Riobamba (30 km S). Precursory seismicity saturated local stations and presented similar patterns seen prior to intense episodes in July and August 2006. According to news articles, several hundred to 2,000 people were evacuated.

On 7 February, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 7-10 km (23,000-32,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted mainly NW. Ash and tephra fell in areas to the SW and W. Strong roaring noises, explosions, and "cannon shots" were heard and windows vibrated, as far away as the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, about 13 km NW. Incandescent material was propelled from the summit and fell on the flanks at about 3.5 km elevation, below the crater. Pyroclastic flows were detected in the Chontapamba ravine to the W and in the Juive and Mandur drainages to the NW. According to news articles, residents were evacuated again, hours after being allowed to return home.

During 8-11 February, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6-10 km (19,700-32,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted mainly W and E (on 10 February, only). Ashfall was reported from areas to the NW, W, and SW and was 3-4 mm thick in Choglontus to the SW on 8 February. Incandescence at the summit was also observed on 8 February. Ground vibrations were reported all four days. On 11 February, Strombolian activity was seen at the summit and material that was propelled out rolled 1.2 km down the flanks.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Reuters, Reuters



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Sakura-jima on 6 February produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.1 km (4,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ash was not detected on satellite imagery.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Arenal  | Costa Rica  | 10.463°N, 84.703°W  | Elevation 1670 m

In January, activity originating from Arenal's Crater C consisted of gas emissions, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional avalanches from lava-flow fronts that traveled down the S flanks. Blocks from the lava-flow fronts periodically reached vegetation and started small fires. Volcanic activity was at relatively low levels and few eruptions occurred. Acid rain and small amounts of ejected pyroclastic material affected the NE and SE flanks. Eruptions produced ash plumes that rose about 2.2 km (7,100 ft) a.s.l. Small avalanches of volcanic material traveled down several ravines. Crater D showed only fumarolic activity.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

Based on field observations, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 6-12 February activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the perched lava channel, the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield, and satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows issued from the tops and flanks of the shields. Lava in the original perched lava channel, formed from the 21 July fissure eruption, overflowed the NW and reached a forested area on 8 February; smoke was seen through the web camera. Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during 6-8 February. A few earthquakes were located beneath the summit, the adjacent flank of Mauna Loa, and along the S-flank faults.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Ol Doinyo Lengai  | Tanzania  | 2.764°S, 35.914°E  | Elevation 2962 m

According to Frederick Belton's Ol Doinyo Lengai website, a local camp manager reported to a visitor, that several large explosive eruptions accompanied by "bangs" on 1 February. The manager noted that ash plumes were originating from a location in the crater that was further N than previous locations. The visitor saw ash plumes on 3 February that rose to altitudes of 3.2-3.3 km (10,500-10,800 ft) a.s.l. The next day, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,100 ft) a.s.l. Eruptions also occurred on 6 February.

Source: Ol Doinyo Lengai (Fred Belton)



Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 6-12 February. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. On 8 February, ash emissions were occasionally accompanied by explosions and propelled incandescent fragments that landed in the vicinity of the crater. Two explosive events on 11 February resulted in ashfall in the town of Huejotzingo, Puebla.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

RVO reported that ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.2-1.7 km (3,900-5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, SW, S, SE, and E during 6-11 February. Ashfall was reported everyday in areas downwind, including Matupit, Kokopo, and Rabaul Town, and surrounding areas. During 6-7 February, incandescence at the summit was noted and incandescent material was propelled from a vent on the inner E wall of the crater.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was slightly above background levels during 1-8 February. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,200 ft) a.s.l. daily. Strong fumarolic activity was noted on 5 and 6 February. According to observations of satellite imagery, a thermal anomaly was present in the crater on 1, 3, and 6 February. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

MVO reported that that during 5-12 February the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on limited observations (due to inclement weather) during overflights. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity continued. Fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks continued. Active fumaroles were also noted in the Galway's area to the S of the dome. Clouds obscured views to the W in the Gages Wall area. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

Data from deformation-monitoring instruments indicated that during 6-12 February lava-dome growth at Mount St. Helens continued. Seismicity persisted at low levels, punctuated by M 1.5-2.5, and occasionally larger, earthquakes. Clouds and snow cover frequently inhibited visual observations.

Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)



Volcano index photo  Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Suwanose-jima rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. on 7 February and drifted E. Explosions were also noted on 8, 9, and 13 February, but altitude and direction of possible plumes were not reported.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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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

Criteria

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.


Disclaimers

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.

5. USGS Disclaimer Statement for this Website:

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.

Some of the documents on this server may contain live references (or pointers) to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that USGS does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of these outside materials.

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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)