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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 29 October-4 November 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 29 October-4 November 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
Chaiten Chile New
Colima Mexico New
Galeras Colombia New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Nevado del Huila Colombia New

Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Masaya Nicaragua Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

On 29 October, SERNAGEOMIN received reports of an increase in activity at Chaitén characterized by several explosions that darkened the plume and caused it to rise from about 1.6 km (5,200 ft) a.s.l to about 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. SERNAGEOMIN reported that variations in seismicity remained similar to patterns detected during the pervious weeks. A gas plume was continually emitted to an altitude of 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. during the previous week. ONEMI reported that during an overflight on 30 October, scientists observed a landslide that had originated from the active lava dome. The next day observers described a plume emitted from multiple areas that rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (6,900 ft) a.s.l. The white component of the plume (steam and gas) emitted mainly from the center and S parts of the lava dome. Vents on the N and NE area produced a gray plume. The Alert Level remained Red.

Based on observations of satellite imagery, Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR) notices, web camera views, SIGMET notices, and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 29-30 October and 1-3 November ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes 2.4-3.7 km (8,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and E. Thermal anomalies were present on 30 October and 2 November.

On 4 November, SERNAGEOMIN reported that a recent overflight confirmed the presence of a second new lava dome. The new dome grew in the NE part of the first dome that started to form in May 2008, and had a diameter of about 300 m and a height of about 150 m. Spines protruded from the top. Seismicity was concentrated underneath that area.

Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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

White plumes from Colima were observed rising to altitudes of 4.1-4.3 km (13,500-14,100 ft) a.s.l. during 30-31 October and 2 November. Gray plumes seen on 2 November rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted mainly SW and E.

Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima



Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

On 4 November, INGEOMINAS reported that during the previous week pulsating white plumes, occasionally tinged gray or blue, rose from Galeras to altitudes of 4.5-6.8 km (14,800-22,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. During an overflight on 30 October, incandescence was observed on some parts of the lava dome.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Klyuchevskoy  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.056°N, 160.642°E  | Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi was above background levels during 24-31 October. Video and visual observations showed fumarolic activity during 24-25 and 28-30 October. "Bursting" sounds from the volcano were heard in Klyuchi, about 30 km to the NE. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly in the crater. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

INGEOMINAS reported that on 3 November residents in an area to the S of Nevado del Huila observed intense fumarolic activity from at or near the summit that was white in color and turned grayish for short intervals. Residents of Wila, Tóez, and Plan de Caloto, to the SW, reported ashfall and strong sulfur odors.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Ongoing Activity


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 24-27 October and at background levels during 28-31 October. Possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 2.8 km (9,200 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater on 23, 24, and 28 October; clouds prevented observations on the 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 an eruption generated a plume to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 November.

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 29 October-4 November lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Thermal anomalies detected on satellite imagery indicated active surface flows, especially in the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Explosive activity at the ocean entry was reported on 31 October and 1 November. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was 1,200 and 1,700 tonnes per day on 30 October and 3 November, respectively, half of the background rate of the 2005-2007 average.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera and along the S-flank fault. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater earthquakes ranged from 40 to 60 (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 that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume, and sounds resembling distant surf and rock clattering were heard in the vicinity of the crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 500-700 tonnes per day during 29-31 October and 3 November. The 2003-2007 rate average was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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 on 4 and 5 November possible diffuse ash and steam plumes from Masaya drifted SW and S.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 2 November a possible ash-and-gas plume was emitted from Pacaya and drifted E. On 3 November, INSIVUMEH reported that fumarolic plumes drifted S at a low altitude. Ash occasionally entrained by strong winds drifted S. Multiple lava flows on the S and SW flanks of MacKenney cone traveled a maximum distance of 400 m on 3 and 4 November, and continued to fill in the area between the cone and Cerro Chino crater to the N. Fumarolic plumes drifted E on 4 November.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  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 31 October was characterized by hundreds of earthquakes. The Alert Level was not changed.

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



Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 29 October-4 November. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

RVO reported that during 27 October-2 November ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and SE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Sub-continuous incandescence from the vent was observed and rumbling and roaring noises were reported on some days. Explosions or forceful emissions sometimes ejected incandescent lava fragments.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 November ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l.

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 above background levels during 24-31 October. Based on interpretations of seismic data, a large number of hot avalanches were inferred to have descended the lava dome and produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,100 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. were seen on 24 October. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera during 23-25 and 28-30 October. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KEMSD and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 2 and 4 November eruption plumes rose to altitudes of 5.2 and 4.6 km (17,000 and 15,000 ft) a.s.l., respectively.

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



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

MVO reported that during 24-31 October the activity level at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was low. There was no evidence of lava extrusion. On 26 October, observers aboard a fixed-wing aircraft confirmed that a few small pyroclastic flows traveled about 1.5 km down the Tar River Valley. Erosion down several V-shaped chutes continued at the E and SE bases of the dome further deepened the moat in the talus around the dome. Ongoing erosion of the talus pile on the W flank resulted in a well-incised network of gullies leading into the White River. On 27 October, a small pyroclastic flow seen from MVO traveled about 1 km down the Tar River Valley and generated a small ash plume that drifted over unpopulated areas to the W and SW, towards Plymouth. 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 information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 29-30 October and 3 November Suwanose-jima produced explosion or eruption plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Explosions were reported on 31 October and 1 November, but details of possible ash plumes were not reported.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

The IG reported that inclement weather mostly prevented observations of Tungurahua from 28 October to 4 November; steam plumes were noted on 2 November. On 28 October a lahar lasting about 30 minutes descended the Vascún River to the N. Lahars caused by rain descended multiple drainages on 1 November. Blocks about 50-70 cm in diameter were reported in Juive, (about 7 km NNW), La Pampas, (about 6 km S), and Bilbao (about 8 km N). Rolling blocks up to 1 m in diameter were reported in the SW. Residents bordering the Vascún River temporarily evacuated and then returned to their homes after the rain stopped.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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

Based on SIGMET notices, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 31 October ash plumes were continuously emitted from Ubinas and rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.7 km (18,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted E.

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.

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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.

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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)