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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 2 July-8 July 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 2 July-8 July 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
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) New
Llaima Chile New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Krakatau Indonesia Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing
Ulawun New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

Based on visual observations from HVO crews, video footage, pilot reports, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 2-8 July, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex. The TEB vent is located a little over 2 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o crater. During 2-6 July, lava flows reached the Waikupanaha ocean entry and created a steam plume from contact with the water. Incandescence was also seen from surface lava flows at multiple breakout points along the lava tube system. On 7 July, seismic tremor levels near the TEB vent abruptly doubled, corresponding to a substantial new breakout in the rootless shield area. The steam plume at the Waikupanaha ocean entry was also absent that day and the next. An overflight revealed that a lava fountain from one of the breakouts on rootless shield 3 (about 1 km SE of the TEB vent) was 12-15 m high and fed several lava flows. The lava fountain and a lava pond were active during 7-8 July and incandescence at shield 6 (about 2 km SE of the TEB vent) was noted.

At Pu'u 'O'o the sulfur dioxide emission rate fluctuated between 3,100 and 4,800 tonnes per day when measured during 4-6 July; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day. Incandescence from two distinct sources in the E and W ends of Pu'u 'O'o crater was observed on the web camera during 4-6 July. Diffuse incandescence was noted during 7-8 July.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were located beneath the summit area, along S-flank faults, along the E and SW rift zones, beneath Halema'uma'u crater, and beneath the area where the Koa'e fault system joins the upper E rift zone. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, another 20-100 small earthquakes per day also occurred but were too small to be located. The vent in the crater continued to produce a white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high, between 700 and 1,400 tonnes per day, during 2-7 July. The pre-2008 background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that although observations of Llaima were inhibited by cloud cover on 2 July, incandescence from the 1-km-long lava flow on the W flank was observed. An overflight revealed cooled blocks at the end of the lava flow and a second lava flow (on the SW flank) about 150 m S of the first. The lava flows issued from the base of a pyroclastic cone in the main crater. Observers to the W witnessed an explosion from the summit that ejected material 1 km high. The material landed on the SW flank and up to 3.5 km away on the SE flank. Vapor plumes from the main crater were seen on 3 July. An overflight on the same day revealed that the lava flow on the W flank had advanced and generated a small lahar.

On 4 July, SERNAGEOMIN characterized the eruptive style as weakly Strombolian. A small explosion from the pyroclastic cone in the main crater produced an ash plume that rose 250-400 m and drifted 50 km SE. During 4-5 July, observers reported sporadic explosions and incandescence at the summit. Fine ashfall was reported in areas nearby. On 6 July, seismicity decreased to low levels. An overflight on 7 July revealed that the lava emission rate had decreased for both flows. The lava flow on the W flank was about 1.6 km long and the flow on the SW flank was about 2 km long. Bluish gas was emitted from the main crater.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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 an explosion from Sakura-jima on 5 July. A resultant plume rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and 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 during 2-5 and 8-9 July low-level ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 27 June-4 July, visual observations of Chaitén were inhibited due to inclement weather. During 27-28 June, lahars descended multiple drainages and were especially notable in the Chaitén and Amarrillo rivers. On 30 June, an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (6,900 ft) a.s.l. was observed by means of a video camera in the city of Chaitén. A photograph of the new lava dome revealed that it completely covered the S side of the old lava dome. Lahar deposits were seen in the W part of the caldera and a drainage in the S caldera was blocked by rockfalls, causing small ponds to form. On 2 July, ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. originated from a previously active area on the S flank and from a new area farther W. The plumes drifted N and NE.

Based on web camera views, SIGMET reports, observations of satellite imagery, pilot reports, and information from the Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR), the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 2-3, 5, and 8 July ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-4 km (7,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE, E, and SE.

Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Fuego  | Guatemala  | 14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Elevation 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that on 4 July there were rumbling noises from Fuego and the seismic network detected multiple explosions. A lava flow traveled 100 m W towards the Santa Teresa ravine. A lahar carrying blocks descended the Ceniza ravine to the SW. On 7 and 8 July, explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-4.5 km (13,100-14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and SW. Incandescence at the summit was observed and constant avalanches of blocks from lava-flow fronts descended the W flank.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Krakatau  | Indonesia  | 6.102°S, 105.423°E  | Elevation 813 m

CVGHM reported that during 22 June-1 July, the number of seismic events from Anak Krakatau decreased significantly and booming noises were less frequently heard. During 1-3 July, ash emissions also declined. Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported that a low-level plume drifted NW on 2 July. On 3 July, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), 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 1-7 July, ash-and-steam plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes up to 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW. Ashfall was reported downwind in Rabaul town, Namanula Hill, Malaguna, and surrounding areas, and was heavy during 2-3 July. Incandescence at the summit was noted at night during 1-2 July; plumes blocked views of the summit during 3-7 July. During 4-7 July, roaring noises were reported. Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 8 July an ash plume rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

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



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

On 4 July, INSIVUMEH reported that an explosion from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. A lahar traveled S down the Nima I river, carrying tree limbs and blocks up to 50 cm in diameter. On 7 and 8 July, sounds resembling avalanches descending the flanks were reported; visual observations were hindered due to cloud cover.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Semeru  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.108°S, 112.922°E  | Elevation 3657 m

Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-9 July ash plumes from Semeru rose to altitudes of 4.9-7.6 km (16,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch possibly indicated ash explosions on 26 June and was slightly above background levels during 26 June-4 July. Moderate fumarolic activity was seen on 29 June, and 1 and 3 July. Observations of satellite imagery revealed a strong thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 27-29 June and 1-3 July. 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 no evidence of lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills during 28 June-4 July. Seismic activity remained low. The E talus slope continued to erode, producing minor rockfalls that descended into the Tar River Valley. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

IG reported that during 1-7 July, explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. Cloud cover inhibited visual observations during most days. On 1 July, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. During 4-6 July, explosions were heard. On 6 July, ashfall was reported in areas to the W and NW and incandescent blocks rolled 500 m down the flanks. On 7 July, explosions rattled windows in areas to the W, NW, and NE; ashfall was reported to the W.

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, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-5.8 km (18,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l. on 7 July and drifted NE.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Ulawun  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.05°S, 151.33°E  | Elevation 2334 m

RVO reported that white vapor plumes from Ulawun were emitted during 2-6 July. Seismicity was low to moderate; seismometers continued to recorded high-frequency earthquakes. The Alert status remained at "Stage 2," indicating that seismic levels remained above background. During 2-3 July occasional roaring noises were reported.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



Weekly Reports Archive

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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)