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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 7 May-13 May 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 7 May-13 May 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
Avachinsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Chaiten Chile New
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Gamalama Halmahera (Indonesia) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Egon Flores Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kerinci Indonesia Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Avachinsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 53.256°N, 158.836°E  | Elevation 2717 m

Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Avachinsky rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and E on 10 May. [Note: KVERT did not detect ash on satellite imagery nor by direct observation.]

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Chaiten  | Chile  | 42.833°S, 72.646°W  | Elevation 1122 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, SIGMET reports, and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 7-13 May ash plumes from Chaitén were continuously present and during 7-9 May rose to altitudes of 6.1-10.1 km (20,000-33,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted E and NE.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 7 May, seismicity from Chaitén increased and a large explosion was registered. On 8 May small pyroclastic flows traveled E and contacted the Rayas River, possibly causing steam plumes. During a break in the cloud cover, the ash-and-gas plume, present since 2 May, was seen rising to an altitude of 15.1 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting NE. The W side of the plume was darker and denser. ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior) reported ashfall in multiple areas on 7, 8, and 10 May.

On 12 May, the plume rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. During an overflight conducted by SERNAGEOMIN, four more plumes of a similar altitude were generated by explosions and drifted NE. Several hectares of burned vegetation, likely from pyroclastic flows or lateral explosions, were noted on the N flank of the dome. Small pyroclastic flows may also have been responsible for completely burned forest to areas in the NE, and on the W and NW dome flanks. A lahar caused the banks of the Chaitén River to overflow about 200 m on each side, damaging about 40 houses and numerous cars that were partially or fully submerged. During an overflight on 13 May, evidence of pyroclastic flows on the N flank was observed. An ash-and-gas plume emitted from the lava dome drifted NE. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

Based on observations using the summit web camera, INGV-CT reported that a week of Strombolian activity from a depression on the E flank of the South East Crater at the summit of Etna ceased on 28 April. On 1 May, a seismic swarm was detected along the NE rift and degassing from the South East Crater and the North East Crater was noted. On 10 May, an eruption produced ash plumes that drifted N; observations were hindered due to cloud cover, but the ash cloud was detected on satellite imagery. Lava flows advanced about 6.4 km E and covered the W wall of the Valle del Bove. Ashfall was reported in multiple areas during 10-11 May.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Gamalama  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 0.8°N, 127.33°E  | Elevation 1715 m

CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Gamalama to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 11 May based on seismicity and visual observations during 10-11 May. On 10 May, white to gray plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (5,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Residents and tourists were not permitted within 2 km of the summit.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



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 on 8 May an eruption plume from Sakura-jima rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. The plume drifted E.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Batu Tara  | Komba Island (Indonesia)  | 7.791°S, 123.585°E  | Elevation 633 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that low-level plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and W during 11-13 May. On 12 and 13 May a thermal anomaly at the summit was noted.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

On 9 May, AVO reported that an increasing number of thermal anomalies at Cleveland were visible on satellite imagery during the previous two weeks. A small ash plume rose to an altitude of below 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. on 7 May. A ship N of Nikolski (75 km ENE) reported a dusting of ash around the same time. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Elevation 3850 m

Based on information from Mexico City MWO and observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that a puff of ash and gas drifted NW on 13 May.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Egon  | Flores Island (Indonesia)  | 8.676°S, 122.455°E  | Elevation 1661 m

CVGHM reported that plume altitudes and seismicity from Egon decreased during 25 April-10 May. On 12 May, small steam plumes were visible. The Alert Level was lowered from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was slightly above background levels on 3 and 7 May and at background levels the other days during 2-9 May; gas-and-ash explosions may have occurred on 3 and 7 May. Based on pilot observations, an ash plume rose to an altitude of about 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 6 May. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KEMSD and KVERT, pilot reports, observations of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and 3.4 km (11,000 ft) a.s.l. on 9 and 13 May, respectively.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Kerinci  | Indonesia  | 1.697°S, 101.264°E  | Elevation 3800 m

CVGHM reported that seismic and surface activity from Kerinci increased during 10-11 May. White plumes rose to altitudes of 4.3-4.5 km (14,100-14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. On 11 May, a gray plume was possibly spotted. 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)



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

Based on observations during helicopter overflights, visual observations from HVO and National Park Service (NPS) crews, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 7-13 May lava flowed SE through a lava tube system underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Incandescence was occasionally noted from the TEB vent area. During 10-13 May, spatter at the Waikupanaha ocean entry was propelled 20-30 m high and built a littoral cone.

During the reporting period, Kilauea summit earthquakes were located beneath the Halema'uma'u crater, N of the summit, along the S-flank faults, and along the SW and E rift zones. The eruption from the vent in Halema'uma'u Crater continued to produce white plumes with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. During most nights incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. Seismic tremor was elevated. During 11-12 May, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the tenth 'deflation-inflation' (DI) tilt event since the emergence of the new vent in Halema`uma`u Crater and the seventeenth so far in 2008.The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high and fluctuated between 590 and 1,100 tonnes per day during 6-12 May. The background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-12 May low-level plumes from Manam rose to an altitude 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

RVO reported that during 7-13 May ash-and-steam plumes from multiple places inside Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 2.2 km (7,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. Intermittent roaring and rumbling noises were reported. Incandescent tephra was occasionally visible at night. Based on observations of satellite imagery and reports from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that low-level ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE during 8-9 May. Low-level plumes drifted NE during 10-11 May.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



Volcano index photo  Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.757°N, 91.552°W  | Elevation 3745 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that ash puffs from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex drifted NW on 13 May.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 on 5 May and at background levels the other days during 2-9 May. Based on seismic interpretation, hot avalanches possibly descended the growing lava dome. Video footage and visual observations showed fumarolic activity from the lava dome during 5-6 and 8 May. Observations of satellite imagery revealed that a thermal anomaly was present in the crater during 5-8 May. 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 during 2-9 May the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on measurable parameters. A small pyroclastic flow descended the E flank on 5 May. Light ashfall was reported in the Old Town area about 9 km NW. Ash deposits were also evident in the Corkhill (NW) and St. Georges Hill (N) areas. Heavy rainfall generated lahars. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).

Based on information from MVO and observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW on 13 May.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

The IG reported that although visual observations were occasionally limited due to cloud cover during 7-13 May, ash and steam plumes from Tungurahua were spotted most days and rose to altitudes of 5-8 km (16,400-26,200 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in areas within 8 km to the SW, W, N, and NW on 6, 10, and 11 May. On 8 May, muddy waters were reported in areas SW and S and roaring noises were audible. On 11 May, incandescence at the summit was reported along with roaring noises and blocks that rolled 1 km down the flanks. After an explosion on 12 May, windows vibrated, roaring noises were again reported, and rockfalls occurred in an area 8 km S.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Ubinas  | Peru  | 16.355°S, 70.903°W  | Elevation 5672 m

Based on SIGMET reports and pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-7 km (18,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 9 and 12 May. Plumes drifted E and SE, respectively.

Source: Buenos Aires 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)