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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 24 September-30 September 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 24 September-30 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
Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker New Britain (Papua New Guinea) New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Sangay Ecuador New

Akan Hokkaido (Japan) Ongoing
Arenal Costa Rica Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Turrialba Costa Rica Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.416°S, 150.027°E  | Elevation 564 m

RVO reported that ash emissions from Garbuna started on 23 September and continued through 1 October. Ash plumes rose to an approximate altitude of 1.6 km (5,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

OVPDLF reported that during 24-30 September, lava flows from Piton de la Fournaise continued to pond at the bottom of Dolomieu crater. The lava flows issued from a fissure about halfway up the W wall of the crater. Based on air photos acquired on 25 September, the lava flow was an estimated 180 m long by 100 m wide and about 30 m deep. The erupted volume was about 300,000 cubic meters. On 26 September, lava fountaining from the fissure was no longer visible, but bubbling lava in the cone was noted.

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



Volcano index photo  Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, information from the Guayaquil MWO, and pilot reports, the Washington VAAC reported that a minor ash plume rose from Sangay on 24 September and drifted WNW.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Akan  | Hokkaido (Japan)  | 43.384°N, 144.013°E  | Elevation 1499 m

Seismic tremor from the Akan volcanic complex that lasted for four minutes on 29 September prompted JMA to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (using a 1-5 scale). The number of earthquakes had increased since 26 September. A white plume rose less than 100 m above the Me-Akan volcano group. [Correction: The numbered Alert Level system was not applied to Akan. Instead, a near-crater warning was issued.]

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Arenal  | Costa Rica  | 10.463°N, 84.703°W  | Elevation 1670 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that changes in morphology and the health of vegetation at Arenal were documented during approximately 14-20 September. Fine ashfall produced at the summit by an active lava flow impacted and burned vegetation along the upper and lower E and NE flanks. The impact on the vegetation was more severe near the summit. By mid September, additional material moving down the SW flank had filled the 6 June collapse scar and built an 800-m-high levee. Occasional incandescent blocks roll down the top of the levee. Material accumulated on both sides of the levee and at the distal end, creating a 200-m-wide fan. A mass of material also accumulated at the SW edge of the summit, causing blocks to occasionally roll down the N flank.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



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

Based on web camera views and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 25-30 September continuous ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.7 km (7,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, ESE, and SE. A thermal anomaly over the lava dome was detected by satellite imagery during 25-27 September. On 26 September, SERNAGEOMIN reported that Chaitén continued to produce two gas-and-ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.6-3.1 km (8,500-10,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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



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 24 September a low-level ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

Based on information from the Tegucigalpa MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 18 September a possible ash plume from Fuego rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSW. INSIVUMEH reported on 24 September that a lava flow traveled 300 m W towards the Seca ravine. Avalanches were generated from the lava flow front. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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 above background levels during 19-26 September. Possible daily explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,500 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater on 18 and 23 September. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that eruptions generated plumes to altitudes of 3-3.4 km (10,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. on 24 and 28 September.

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 24-30 September, lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the ocean entry. Explosions at the ocean entry were noted on 25 and 27 September.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera, along the SW rift zone, and along the S-flank faults. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, 40-100 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 tephra content that drifted mainly SW. Weak night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume. The plume was occasionally tinged brown in association with small local earthquakes. During an overflight on 26 September, HVO geologists estimated that the surface of the lava pond was about 120-140 m below the crater floor, about 20-40 m lower than the previous pond surface observed on 5 September.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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 15-29 September. Plumes drifted in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including Rabaul town (3-5 km NW), Namanula Hill (3 km W), and Kokopo (20 km SE). Flights to Tokua airport (20 km SW) were canceled on 24 September due to ashfall. During 28-29 September, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.7-3.2 km (8,900-10,500 ft) a.s.l. Continuous incandescence at the summit was observed and roaring noises were heard.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

Based on information from the Tegucigalpa MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 18 September an ash plume from Caliente dome in Santa María's Santiaguito complex rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSW. INSIVUMEH reported on 24 September that explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.8 km (9,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Avalanches of material from the top of the lava dome descended the flank and lava flows traveled SW.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), 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 above background levels during 19-26 September. A large number of hot avalanches may have descended the lava dome and produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 3.6 km (11,800 ft) a.s.l. Fumaroles on the lava dome were active on 19 September. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. According to a news article, video cameras recorded an eruption that produced an ash plume on 26 September. The ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Itar-Tass News



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

MVO reported that during 20-26 September, the W side of the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued to grow. Rockfalls were detected by the seismic network. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



Volcano index photo  Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

Based on reports from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 25-26 and 28-29 September. Resultant plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SW.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Turrialba  | Costa Rica  | 10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that fieldwork on 23 September revealed severely impacted vegetation on Turrialba's flanks and inner caldera in areas only mildly affected during the previous three years of sustained degassing. Vegetation in the S and SE summit areas was severely burned and infrastructure was impacted during August and September. Along the flank, S of the W crater, plants were burned down to the soil. Trees in lower-altitude areas were yellowed and seared due to extreme acidification. Pastures and areas along canyons and depressions were also affected. OVSICORI-UNA recommended that precautions should be taken when carrying out activities in the affected areas.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



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

Based on SIGMET reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 30 September ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-8.8 km (18,000-29,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE.

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
Cleveland Kelut Panarea Three Sisters
Colima Kerinci Papandayan Tinakula
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Concepcion Kharimkotan Pavlof Tokachidake
Copahue Kick 'em Jenny Peuet Sague Tolbachik
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Cumbal Kirishimayama Poas Tungurahua
Dabbahu Kizimen Popocatepetl Turrialba
Dempo Klyuchevskoy Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Ubinas
Descabezado Grande Kolokol Group Rabaul Ulawun
Dieng Volcanic Complex Korovin Ranakah Unknown Source
Dukono Koryaksky Raoul Island Unnamed
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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.

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)