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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 27 August-2 September 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 27 August-2 September 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
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
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Llaima Chile Ongoing
Nevado del Huila Colombia Ongoing
Nyiragongo DR Congo Ongoing
Okmok Fox Islands (USA) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Taal Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

AVO reported that during 27 August-2 September seismic activity from Kasatochi detected by stations on Great Sitkin, approximately 40 km W, declined. Clouds prevented satellite image observations. 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

OVPDLF reported an increase of seismic activity beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise on 31 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 2 September, the Alert Level was lowered because seismicity had decreased.

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 during 22-29 August, observations suggested that the W side of the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued to grow. Lahars descended numerous river valleys during 25-27 August. Incandescence originating from a scar on lava dome created by the 28 July explosion, and then further expanded by a pyroclastic flow on 25 August, was observed on clear nights. Incandescence was also observed from an area N of the scar. Rockfalls descended the W side of the dome. The Hazard Level remained at 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 on 2 September a low-level ash plume from Batu Tara 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 clouds obscured camera views of Chaitén's eruption plume during most of 26-29 August. Glimpses utilizing the web camera revealed that continuous ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (4,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. They also reported that seismicity had increased slightly during the previous few days.

Based on web camera views and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 27-29 August ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 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 mostly prevented satellite image views of Chikurachki during 22-29 August. No ash plumes were observed during times of clearer weather. The level of seismicity was unknown because Chikurachki lacks dedicated seismic instruments. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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 2 September a low-level ash plume from Dukono drifted WNW.

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 during 21-23 August and above background levels during 24-27 August. Possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.2 km (10,500 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 24 and 26-28 August and that an ash plumes drifted SE on 27 August. 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 29 August and 2 September eruption plumes rose to an approximate altitude of 3 km (10,000 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 27 August-2 September, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex and reached the Waikupanaha ocean entry. On 31 August, students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo reported low-level explosive activity at Waikupanaha.

A high number of Kilauea's earthquakes were centered in various locations along the Koa'e fault system, beneath the summit, N of Kupaianaha, along the S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, more than 40 and up to 400 small earthquakes per day (background 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. Weak night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume, and rock impacts and muted rushing sounds were heard in the vicinity of the crater. During 26-27 August, multiple ash ejections were observed. On 27 August, the white plume was temporarily tinged brown and rose to a higher altitude following an explosive eruption (the fifth in 2008). Glass fragments and tephra up to 5 cm in diameter burned holes in a collection tarp placed near the overlook. Analysis of photos captured over the previous month showed that the vent had lengthened by almost 50 percent along the edge of the crater floor. On 29 August, the collection bin contained Pele's hair, Pele's tears, and a variety of other shapes of glass fragments.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

On 2 September, SERNAGEOMIN reported that clouds had prevented visual observations of Llaima during the previous few days. Explosions were heard during 25-28 August. On 28 August, seismic signals indicated that gas-and-ash plumes were possibly emitted from the pyroclastic cones in the main crater. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Yellow.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Nevado del Huila  | Colombia  | 2.93°N, 76.03°W  | Elevation 5364 m

INGEOMINAS reported that on 2 September a M 4.6 earthquake at Nevado del Huila was detected 2.2 km NE of Pico Central. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (on a 4-color scale where Yellow is the second lowest).

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Nyiragongo  | DR Congo  | 1.52°S, 29.25°E  | Elevation 3470 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported that an eruption of unstated character from Nyiragongo occurred before 0300 on 2 September. The activity was not confirmed by ground observations. Nyiragongo's frequently active lava lake is often detected on MODIS satellite thermal imagery.

Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

On 27 August, AVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level for Okmok to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow because seismicity had declined steadily during 20-27 August and ash plumes had not been observed since 19 August. On 28 August, a thermal anomaly and a steam plume were detected on satellite imagery. Cloud cover prevented observations on the other days.

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

RVO reported that ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone continued to be emitted during 29-31 August. The plumes drifted NW and caused ashfall in areas downwind. Continuous incandescence at the summit was observed and roaring noises were heard. Explosions also ejected incandescent lava fragments.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

Based on pilot observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that a low-level plume from Semeru was present on 28 August. A pilot reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW on 31 August.

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 was slightly above background levels during 22-29 August. Gas-and-steam plumes with a small amount of ash were generated from avalanches during 22 and 25-28 August. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and that steam-and-ash plumes drifted 80 km SE on 26 and 27 August. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Taal  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 14.002°N, 120.993°E  | Elevation 311 m

PHIVOLCS reported ongoing seismic unrest at Taal on 28 August. Ten earthquakes occurred; two at Intensity II were felt by residents in the Pira-Piraso village and were accompanied by rumbling sounds. The earthquakes were located NE of the island near the Daang Kastila area at estimated depths of 0.6-0.8 km. Surface observations indicated no change in the main crater lake area. PHIVOLCS warned that the main crater was off-limits to the general public. The Alert Level remained at 1 (scale is 0-5, 0 referring to No Alert status).

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



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

Based on SIGMET reports, analysis of satellite imagery, and pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 26-27 August and on 2 September continuous ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.1 km (18,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted N on 27 August and S on 2 September.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Weekly Reports Archive

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Chaiten Karkar Ontakesan Tandikat-Singgalang
Chiginagak Karthala Oraefajokull Tangkoko-Duasudara
Chikurachki Karymsky Osorno Tangkubanparahu
Chiles-Cerro Negro Kasatochi Pacaya Tara, Batu
Chillan, Nevados de Katla Pagan Telica
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Chirpoi Kelimutu Paluweh Tengger Caldera
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Dabbahu Kizimen Popocatepetl Turrialba
Dempo Klyuchevskoy Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Ubinas
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Dieng Volcanic Complex Korovin Ranakah Unknown Source
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Fernandina Lengai, Ol Doinyo Ruiz, Nevado del Zubair Group
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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.

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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)