Activity for the week of 15 October-21 October 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
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi was above background levels during 10-17 October. Fumarolic activity was noted during 10-11 and 13-16 October. Observers in Klyuchi, about 30 km to the NE, reported nighttime incandescence in the crater on 13 and 14 October. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 10-11 and 13-15 October. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.112°N, 124.737°E
| Elevation 1785 m
CVGHM reported that the Alert Level for Soputan was lowered from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 21 October. CVGHM reported additional information describing the eruption that prompted the Alert Level increase on 6 October. Gray plumes rose to an altitude of 2.8 km (9,200 ft) a.s.l. and were accompanied by Strombolian activity that ejected incandescent material 50-150 m above the crater. On 7 October, white plumes rose to altitudes of 2.3-3.3 km (7,500-10,800 ft) a.s.l. Incandescent material was again ejected 50-150 m from the crater. Incandescent rockfalls traveled 500 m W. The next day, plumes rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Hokkaido (Japan)
| 43.384°N, 144.013°E
| Elevation 1499 m
On 17 October, JMA lowered the Alert level for Me-Akan (also called Meakan-dake, which means Meakan Peak) of the Akan volcanic complex from near-crater warning to normal. Seismic tremor was no longer detected after 30 September, and seismicity had remained low after 3 October.
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-20 October ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 42.833°S, 72.646°W
| Elevation 1122 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 14-20 October a gas-and-ash plume from Chaitén rose to an altitude of 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. The lava dome continued to grow, especially the E side. The Volcanic Alert level remained at Red. Based on web camera views, information from the Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR), analysis of satellite imagery, and SIGMET reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 14-18 and 21 October continuous ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes of 2.1-4 km (7,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and ESE.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
On 21 October, INGEOMINAS reported that during the previous week pulsating white plumes occasionally tinged gray rose from Galeras to altitudes of 4.6-7.4 km (15,100-24,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. On 20 October, a M 2.3 earthquake located 600 m SSW of the main crater occurred at a depth of less than 1 km.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels during 10-17 October. Possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery on 13 October revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater and an ash plume about 5 km wide that drifted 32 km NNE. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
HVO reported that during 15-21 October lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Multiple surface lava flows on the pali were noted; on 16 October a channelized 'a'a flow was active in the Royal Gardens subdivision and a pahoehoe flow was seen on the W side of the active flow field. Lava destroyed one of two remaining intermittently occupied structures in the subdivision. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was 1,000 tonnes per day on 17 October, half of the background rate of the 2005-2007 average. Explosions at the ocean entry were reported on 19 October.
During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera, and along the S-flank faults. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater earthquakes ranged from 40 per day to more than 100 (background is about 40), but were too small to be located more precisely. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume, which was occasionally tinged brown in association with small local earthquakes or vent rim collapses, that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume. Two vent explosions occurred on 14 October. The first was initiated by the collapse of a thin piece of the vent rim. The second explosion ejected molten spatter that fell within 100 m of the vent and produced an eruption plume that rose 2 km above the caldera rim. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 600 and 900 tonnes per day on 16 and 17 October, respectively. The 2003-2007 rate average was 140 tonnes per day.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported a diffuse sulfur plume from Nyiragongo on 17 October. The plume may have contained some ash.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Piton de la Fournaise
| Reunion Island (France)
| 21.244°S, 55.708°E
| Elevation 2632 m
OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 20 October was located beneath the summit at an elevation of 700 m a.s.l. The crisis was accompanied by weak deformation.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl during 15-21 October. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash on 20 and 21 October.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 12-20 October ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 0.9-2.7 km (3,000-8,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NW, S, and SE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. During 20-21 October, large explosions occurred and ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.7-3.7 km (5,600-12,100 ft) a.s.l. A significant amount of ash fell in the area of Rabaul town (3-5 km NW). Continuous incandescence from the vent was observed and loud roaring noises were reported.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels during 10-17 October. Based on interpretations of seismic data, a large number of hot avalanches descended the lava dome and produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. Significant hot avalanches were seen on 13 October. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 10-11 and 13-14 October, and steam-and-ash plumes with a small amount of ash that drifted 30 km NE on 14 October. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera during 10-13 and 16-17 October. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on information from KEMSD and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 18-20 October eruption plumes rose to altitudes of 4.9-6.7 km (16,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 10-17 October, the activity level at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was low and consisted mainly of mudflows. Mudflows were particularly numerous during 15-16 October due to the passage of hurricane Omar to the N. Erosion of the talus slope on the E side of the lava dome also significantly increased and as a result, a large gap in the talus was created that exposed the core of the dome. During an overflight on 17 October, the lava dome was seen vigorous steaming and thermal imagery revealed that the hottest temperatures were associated with the new Gages vent formed in August. The Hazard Level remained at 3.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from MVO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 20 October a pyroclastic flow or a rockfall generated a plume that drifted about 45 km W and was detaching from the island.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Suwanose-jima during 16 and 18-20 October produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.4 km (4,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
The IG reported that multiple lahars and mudflows descended drainages around Tungurahua on 14 October. A majority of the lahars traveled down drainages in the Pampas sector to the S, carrying blocks an average of 30-40 cm in diameter and up to 2 m in diameter. Other lahars and small mudflows descended drainages to the NW and W. On 19 October a small lahar descended the Bilbao drainage to the W.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on SIGMET notices and pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 15, 18, 20, and 21 October ash plumes were continuously emitted from Ubinas and rose to altitudes of 4.9-7 km (16,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted SE and NW.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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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