Activity for the week of 20 February-26 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| 16.507°S, 168.346°E
| Elevation 1413 m
Based on a pilot report, the Wellington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Lopevi rose to an altitude of below 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 24 February. [Correction: The Wellington VAAC described a gray plume, not an ash plume.]
Source: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
AVO reported that on 22 February several minor ash bursts from Veniaminof were recorded by the seismic network and observed on web camera footage. The bursts rose to an altitude of below 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. but fallout was confined to the crater. Sporadic increases in seismic activity were noted since 11 February, including tremor episodes that lasted 1-2 minutes and occurred several times per hour. The Aviation color code was raised to Yellow and the Alert Level was raised to Advisory. Steam plumes emitted from the intra-caldera cinder cone were seen on video footage during 23-25 February and seismic levels were elevated during 23-26 February.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that emissions of sulfur dioxide from Anatahan were detected by the satellite-based Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) during 20-25 February. Seismicity was elevated during 20-26 February, though levels varied greatly during 23-25 February. The Washington VAAC reported that plumes possibly containing some ash were visible on satellite imagery drifting WSW, SW, E, W, and SE during 20 and 23-24 February. A Volcanic Haze Advisory was issued by the Emergency Management Office (EMO) on 25 February for Tinian, Saipan, and Rota because of elevated sulfur dioxide levels. This advisory was cancelled on 26 February. 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), Saipan Tribune
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that a low-level ash plume from Cleveland was visible on satellite imagery and drifted about 300 km SE on 22 February. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 1.697°S, 101.264°E
| Elevation 3800 m
CVGHM reported that white plumes from Kerinci rose to altitudes of 4.1-4.3 km (13,500-14,100 ft) a.s.l. during 14-18 February. The Alert Status remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and visitors were advised not to enter an area within 1 km of the summit.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 20-26 February activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the E and SE. A lava flow from the shields traveled E towards Kalalua. A pahoehoe lava flow from the SE rootless shield was observed 250 m S of the northern boundary of the Royal Gardens subdivision during an overflight on 20 February. During 25-26 February, lava flows advanced through the subdivision. Diffuse incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater through the fume during 20-22 February. Earthquakes were located E of and beneath Halema'uma'u crater, along the S-flank faults, beneath the summit, N of the summit, and along the SW rift zones.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that weak steam plumes were observed from Llaima's main crater on 20 February. The 'a'a lava flow that traveled 2.5 km during 2-13 February varied in width between 30-40 m and was 10 m thick. On 21 February small ash plumes rose from the E and SE flanks. Pyroclastic flows descended the E flank and possibly down the W flank. Sulfur dioxide plumes that rose from two craters within the main crater were visible during an overflight. On 22 February, a seismic signal pattern similar to that observed during a previous pyroclastic flow was noted. Ash-and-gas plumes rose from the E flank. On 23 February, an ash-and-gas plume rose from the SE flank.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
The Toulouse VAAC reported that a plume from Ol Doinyo Lengai was observed by pilots on 21 February and rose to an altitude of 18.3 km (60,000 ft) a.s.l. Based on a Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) report, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 14 km (46,000 ft) a.s.l. on 24 February.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 20-26 February. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. Explosions on 21 and 22 February resulted in ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 7.4 km (24,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Incandescent fragments were ejected from the crater and fell on the flanks. On 22 February, the ejected fragments fell on the SE flank.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 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 1.7-2.7 km (5,600-8,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, S, and SW during 20-27 February. Roaring noises were occasionally heard. Ashfall was reported in areas mainly downwind, including Kokopo Town (SE), Takubar (SW), and Tokua (SE), during 21-25 February. Incandescence at the summit was noted during 22-24 February. On 25 February an explosion showered the flanks with lava fragments. On 26 February a large explosion was accompanied by a thick billowing ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. The flanks were again showered with lava fragments. Ashfall was reported in Kokopo and surrounding areas.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 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 15-22 February. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes possibly rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 17 and 20 February. During the reporting period strong fumarolic activity was seen daily on video footage and a thermal anomaly was present in the crater on satellite imagery. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that that during 20-26 February the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on limited visual observations during an over flight on 21 February and from ground locations. The E talus slope continued to erode, with both fresh and older material accumulating in the Tar River Valley. Active fumaroles around the lava dome were observed during the overflight. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity continued. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
On 21 February, CVO lowered the Alert Level for Mount St. Helens from Watch to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code from Orange to Yellow. Comparison of photographs taken by remote cameras during late January to mid-February 2008 showed no evidence of extrusion. In addition, very few earthquakes were recorded since late January, gas emissions were barely detectable, and daily ground-tilt events stopped.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that although visual observations were very limited due to storm cloud cover, gas-and-steam and ash-and-steam plumes from Tungurahua were spotted and rose to altitudes of 5.5-7 km (18,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. during 20-26 February. Ash plumes drifted mainly W and SW and ashfall was reported in areas downwind on 19, 23, and 26 February. Lahars or mudflows affected roads in the Pampas sector to the S on 19, 20, and 25 February.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-8.5 km (18,000-28,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE on 23 February.
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.
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