Activity for the week of 9 July-15 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| Andaman Islands (India)
| 12.278°N, 93.858°E
| Elevation 354 m
Thermal anomalies detected by MODIS satellite instruments have occurred at Barren Island from 12 May 2008 through 7 July. Prior to May anomalies had not been recorded since early October 2007. The Indian Coast Guard also reported red glow at night from the central summit area during the second half of June 2008.
Sources: D. Chandrasekharam, Dept. Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 55.972°N, 160.595°E
| Elevation 2882 m
Increased seismicity at Bezymianny was reported by KVERT on 12 July 2008, when the Level of Concern Color Code was raised to Orange. Intermittent volcanic tremor was recorded on 11 July, along with observations of hot avalanches and strong fumarolic activity. Weak thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.416°S, 150.027°E
| Elevation 564 m
Moderate to strong emissions of pale white to light gray ash clouds were observed from Garbuna on the morning of 13 July 2008. Summit activity was low between 1 and 12 July, when emissions consisted mainly of white vapor. The ash emissions on 13 July formed a column that rose about 1 km above the summit area. Seismic activity was generally very low during the corresponding period.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
A new eruptive phase at Llaima occurred on 10 July following two hours of precursory seismicity. At 1520 a vigorous Strombolian eruption ejected incandescent pyroclastic material from two vents in the main crater to heights of 500 m above the summit, throwing bombs to the E, NE, and S. Lava flows also moved towards the W and S flanks. Explosions were seen from Melipeuco, Cherquenco, El Salto, and El Manzano. Strong activity continued for almost three hours before decreasing. Medium to coarse ash fell in Melipeuco (up to 1.5 mm in diameter). Red glow was seen in the early hours of 11 July, and there was no eruptive column or gas emissions. Poor weather prevented observations the next day.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| Fox Islands (USA)
| 53.43°N, 168.13°W
| Elevation 1073 m
A strong explosive eruption at Okmok began abruptly at 1143 on 12 July after about an hour of rapidly escalating earthquake activity. Ash and gas from the initial explosions reached at least 15 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l on 12 July and drifted as a large cloud S and E above the North Pacific. Satellite tracking of the ash cloud by traditional techniques has been hampered by the high water content due to interaction of rising magma with very shallow groundwater and surficial water inside the caldera. Heavy ashfall occurred on the eastern portion of Umnak Island; a dusting of ash also occurred for several hours in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.
As of 15 July, based on AVO analysis of satellite data, ash is continuing to erupt from a composite cinder and spatter cone called Cone D in the eastern portion of the 6-mile wide caldera. Seismicity reached a peak at about 1400 on 12 July and has been gradually declining since. The volcano is currently at aviation color code RED and alert level WARNING. All areas immediately around the volcano are considered hazardous.
News media reported that residents of Umnak Island heard thundering noises the morning of 12 July and quickly realized an eruption had begun. After calling the US Coast Guard for assistance, they began to evacuate to Unalaska using a small helicopter. A fishing boat evacuated the remaining residents after heavy ashfall made further flights impossible.
Sources: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), Associated Press
| 12.702°N, 87.004°W
| Elevation 1745 m
A news article reported that San Cristóbal produced a series of small explosions on 11 July, sending a plume of gas and ash NW. The article also noted that INETER had detected a series of tremors in recent weeks.
Sources: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Reuters
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA and satellite data, the Tokyo VAAC reported ash plumes from Sakura-jima on 10 and 13 July that rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Intermittent ash plumes from Batu Tara continued to be reported by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) during 9-14 July 2008 based on satellite imagery. On 9 July the plume rose to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) altitude a.s.l. and drifted as far as 65 km WNW. A similar plume was seen during 14-15 July.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 42.833°S, 72.646°W
| Elevation 1122 m
SERNAGEOMIN reports through 12 July 2008 indicated that the eruption at Chaitén was continuing, although poor weather conditions made visual observations difficult. However, explosion plumes were seen on some occasions. Volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes continued, concentrated on the E and SE crater rim. Seismicity doubled during 10-12 July, and some VT events were greater than M 2.2.
Ash advisories issued by the Buenos Aires VAAC noted continuous emissions based on webcam observations during 9-11 July, but plumes could not be seen in satellite imagery.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During most of 9-15 July 2008 the Kilauea summit and Pu`u `O`o cone continued to deflate. Small amounts of ash and elevated amounts of sulfur dioxide gas continued to issue from the Halema`uma`u vent.
At the east rift eruption site, an unusually high amount of sulfur dioxide gas issued from Pu`u `O`o crater on 9 July. More lava than usual continued to erupt from the TEB vent area during 9-12 July and flowed into the tube system, feeding multiple short surface flows. Lava also resumed flowing into the ocean at Waikupanaha. Surface flows within the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision were seen on the morning of 13 July; they may have reached the coastal plain the next day. Strong incandescence was seen from within Pu`u `O`o crater from the 10th through the 15th.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
Eruptions continued from the Tavurvur cone at Rabul during 7-12 July 2008. Occasional thick gray ash clouds formed a continuous ash plume drifting NW, causing fine to moderate ashfall in Rabaul town and other villages. Occasional loud roaring noises were heard accompanying some of the emissions. Seismicity was at moderate levels, dominated by low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. The deflationary trend, identified from ground deformation measurements since July 2007, ceased between May and June 2008.
Advisories to aviators issued by the Darwin VAAC noted ash plumes to altitudes of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. extending 90 km downwind to the NW during 14-15 July.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Ongoing ash emissions reported by the Washington VAAC during 9-15 July were based on pilot reports and continuing seismicity. Meteorological clouds prevented satellite observations of the plume near the volcano.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Ash advisories issued by the Buenos Aires VAAC, based on SIGMET notices, indicated ash plumes on 9, 10, and 15 July rising to 5.5-5.8 km (18-19,000 ft) a.s.l. and moving E.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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
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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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.