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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 13 August-19 August 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 13 August-19 August 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
Asamayama Honshu (Japan) New
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Kasatochi Andreanof Islands (USA) New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New

Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Chikurachki Paramushir Island (Russia) Ongoing
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Krakatau Indonesia Ongoing
Llaima Chile Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Masaya Nicaragua Ongoing
Okmok Fox Islands (USA) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Asamayama  | Honshu (Japan)  | 36.406°N, 138.523°E  | Elevation 2568 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 August an eruption plume from Asama rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly detected over Bezymianny's lava dome was strong during 9-14 August. Seismic activity was slightly above background levels during 10-14 August, possibly indicating that hot avalanches occurred. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 19 August, an eruption plume rose to an altitude of 7.9 km (26,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

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



Volcano index photo  Kasatochi  | Andreanof Islands (USA)  | 52.177°N, 175.508°W  | Elevation 314 m

AVO reported that during 13-19 August seismic activity from Kasatochi was detected by stations on Great Sitkin, about 40 km W. Clouds prevented satellite image observations. On 17 August, the smell of sulfur was reported in the town of Adak. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

A small seismic crisis beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise lasted a little more than two and a half hours on 15 August. Deformation was also detected at the top of Dolomieu and, coupled with the increase in seismicity, prompted OVPDLF to raise the Alert level to 1. Public access to the summit was prohibited. On 18 August, the Alert Level was lowered because seismicity had decreased and deformation was no longer detected.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)



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

MVO reported that new lava extrusion from Soufrière Hills started from the W side of the lava dome sometime between the 28 July lava-dome collapse event and 8 August, when a new channel of fresh rockfall material was seen below Gages Wall. Cloud cover often prevented visual observations. During 8-15 August, seismicity and the rate of lava extrusion were generally low and sulfur dioxide emissions were elevated. On 14 August the W side of the dome was visible and the explosion crater that was generated on 28 July was almost completely filled with new lava. Lava spilled over the lower and W side of the crater and generated rockfalls below Gages Wall that were observed and heard from St. George's Hill. During 14-15 August, the scent of volcanic gases was noticeable at times in inhabited areas of Montserrat. The Hazard Level was 3.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



Ongoing Activity


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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-17 August ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that continuous emissions of gas-and-ash plumes from Chaitén were observed on 13 August, after three days of bad weather prevented visual observations. Plumes rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l., but later that day rose to greater altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. The increased activity did not correspond to any significant variation in seismicity. Plumes were emitted from two areas on the E and S flanks and were different colors; the area on the E flank produced steam plumes with minor ash content and the area on the S flank emitted darker ash plumes. The plumes drifted SW and caused ashfall in Chaitén town for several hours. The ash accumulation was 1.5 cm thick.

Based on web camera views, SIGMET reports, analysis of satellite imagery, and information from the Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR), the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 16 and 18-19 August ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.4-2.4 km (4,500-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SE.

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



Volcano index photo  Chikurachki  | Paramushir Island (Russia)  | 50.324°N, 155.461°E  | Elevation 1781 m

KVERT reported that clouds prevented satellite image views of Chikurachki during 8-15 August. The level of seismicity was unknown because Chikurachki lacks dedicated seismic instruments. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

AVO reported that cloud cover prevented satellite observations of Cleveland during 13-18 August. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

Although visual observations were intermittent due to cloud cover during 13-18 August, gray and white plumes from Colima were observed and rose to altitudes of 4-4.7 km (13,100-15,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, and N.

Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima



Volcano index photo  Dukono  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 1.693°N, 127.894°E  | Elevation 1229 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 August an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was at background levels on 9 and 13 August and slightly above background levels on the other days during 8-15 August. Based on interpretations of seismic data, possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. on 8, 10, 11, and 14 August. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater on 11 August; clouds inhibited views on other days. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 August an eruption plume rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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

HVO reported that during 13-19 August, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Incandescence was noted from the rootless shield complex during 13-15 August. Earthquakes were in various locations along the Koa'e fault system, S and W of the caldera, beneath the summit, along the S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, around 40 small earthquakes per day (background is 20-40) also occurred but were too small to be located more precisely. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. The plume was occasionally tinged brown. Night-time incandescence was intermintently seen at the base of the plume, and rock impacts and rushing sounds were heard in the vicinity of the crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

According to a news article, explosions and earthquakes from Anak Krakatau averaged 120 per day approximately during 11-17 August. Monitoring personnel observed active lava flows, ejecting rocks, and emissions of "smoke."

Source: EFE News Service



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

During 8-11 August, SERNAGEOMIN reported that fumarolic activity from the snow-free pyroclastic cones in Llaima's main crater was visible during periods of clear weather; resultant plumes drifted E. A 2-km long strip on the NE flank was black in color (snow-free) due to elevated temperatures. On 13 August, gas-and-ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Later that day, incandescence from the crater accompanied the gas-and-ash emissions.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that low-level ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW during 16-17 August.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Masaya  | Nicaragua  | 11.984°N, 86.161°W  | Elevation 635 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that a diffuse steam plume from Masaya drifted WSW on 12 August and a gas plume was detected on 18 August. Both plumes possibly contained ash.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Okmok  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 53.43°N, 168.13°W  | Elevation 1073 m

AVO reported that on 13 August low-level steam-and-ash plumes from Okmok were visible on satellite imagery drifting SE at altitudes of 3-4.6 km (10,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. During 14-17 August satellite observations were hindered due to cloud cover; seismic levels fluctuated possibly indicating that steam-and-ash emissions continued. During 18-19 August, ash plumes were seen on satellite imagery at altitudes of 3-4.6 km (5,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and reports from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-19 August, low-level plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW and NW. During 16-18 August, RVO reported ashfall in areas downwind. Occasionally incandescence at the summit was observed and roaring noises were heard. Explosions also ejected incandescent lava fragments.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), 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 8-15 August. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. Based on information from KEMSD and observations of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 15 August an eruption plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

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



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 on 18 August ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.4 km (18,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

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)