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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 5 November-11 November 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 5 November-11 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
Machin Colombia New
Nevado del Huila Colombia New
Redoubt United States New
Reventador Ecuador New

Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Galeras Colombia Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) 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


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Machin  | Colombia  | 4.487°N, 75.389°W  | Elevation 2749 m

Observatory Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported a seismic crisis at Cerro Machín on 9 November. The majority of the earthquakes occurred underneath the central and E parts of the lava dome complex in the summit caldera, at depths of 2.5-5 km. Fumarolic activity in the area increased, and cracks in the ground and damage to houses were reported. Seismicity decreased the next day. According to news articles, approximately 400-450 people evacuated to shelters or other safe areas and landslides blocked a highway.

Sources: El Tiempo, Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), Caracol Radio, Portafolio



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

On 7 November, INGEOMINAS raised the Alert Level for Nevado del Huila to Orange (on a 4-color scale where Orange is the second highest) due to increased seismicity and the probability of ash and gas emissions. During an overflight on 9 November, scientists observed continuous emissions of ash and gas from Pico Central, including from new areas to the S. Resultant plumes drifted SW and W, and ash deposits were seen on the summit. Fissures were evident on the S and SW parts of Pico Central. Evidence of ash and flowing water that originated from the SW fissure was possibly the cause of the Páez river turning grayish during the previous few days.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from INGEOMINAS, the Washington VAAC reported that on 10 November a plume drifted W and WSW. Ashfall was noted in towns 20 km NW.

According to news articles, ash and sulfur dioxide plumes impacted local livestock, rural aqueducts, infrastructure, and rivers. On 11 November, about 20 families living near the Símbola River evacuated because of increased fumarolic activity.

Sources: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), El Pais, La Patria



Volcano index photo  Redoubt  | United States  | 60.485°N, 152.742°W  | Elevation 3108 m

On 5 November, AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Redoubt to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory because of significant changes in gas emission and heat output during the previous several months. The changes were a departure from the long-observed background activity. ASTER satellite images from 13 October detected warming near the summit craters; evidence of warming had been directly observed in July 2008. Fumarolic activity and water flowing beneath Drift Glacier on the N flank had produced a 45-m-wide melt or collapse hole at an elevation of about 1,700 m (5,600 ft) on the Drift Glacier. On 2 November, a slushy debris-flow deposit originated from about the location of the 1966-68 vent. During 6-11 November, no activity was observed on satellite imagery and seismicity remained low.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

The IG reported that SOTE (Sistema de Oleoducto Transecuatoriano) personnel and residents near Reventador observed incandescence in the crater on 7 November. The reports were confirmed by the presence of thermal anomalies in satellite imagery. The next day, seismicity increased and a steam-and-ash plume rose to an approximate altitude of 5.6 km (18,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Incandescent blocks were ejected from the inner crater to the S. Residents in El Chaco (about 35 km SE) and in the Quijos area heard strong explosions and saw steam plumes with low ash content. A pilot reported that a steam plume with little ash content at an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted NW. On 9 November incandescent blocks were ejected 100 m into the air, and roaring and "cannon shot" sounds were reported. Strombolian activity and two lava flows that descended the N and S flanks of the central cone were observed using a permanent camera. Slight ashfall was noted in Cayambe, about 55 km WNW. A thermal anomaly was detected by satellite imagery on 9 and 10 November. On 10 November, seismicity considerably decreased and gas emissions continued. The lava flows continued to advance.

According to a news article, officials suspended flights into Quito airport due to ash plumes on 10 November for three hours as a preventative measure.

Sources: Associated Press, Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 9-10 November ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 5 November the S bank of the Chaitén River (locally known as the Blanco) had overflowed and flooded local houses due to intense rains a few days before.

Based on observations of satellite imagery and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 9-11 November ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE, E, and NE. A thermal anomaly was present on 10 November.

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 during 6-7 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

On 11 November, INGEOMINAS reported that during the previous week pulsating white plumes, occasionally tinged gray, rose from Galeras to altitudes of 4.5-5.7 km (14,800-18,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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 31 October and 2-3 November and at background levels on the other days during 1-7 November. Possible explosions on 31 October, and 2 and 3 November 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 31 October, and 2 and 6 November; 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 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. on 11 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 5-11 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. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was 2,000 tonnes per day on 7 November, near the 2005-2007 average background rate of 1,700 tonnes per day.

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 white plume that occasionally turned brown and 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 900 tonnes per day on 7 November. The 2003-2007 rate average was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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 31 October-7 November. Video and visual observations showed that during 31 October, and 1-2 and 5-6 November, gas-and-steam plumes that contained a small amount of ash rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,100 ft) a.s.l. On 3 and 4 November, "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  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 5-11 November. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash on 5 November.

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 3-6 November ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.7-2.2 km (5,600-7,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. 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 during 7 and 9-12 November ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and NW.

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 31 October-7 November. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,100 ft) a.s.l. A large number of daily hot avalanches were observed descending the lava dome and producing ash plumes on 2, 3, and 5 November that rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera during 2-3 and 5-6 November. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome on 31 October and 1, 2, 3, and 6 November. 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 8-10 November eruptions produced plumes to altitudes of 4.9-5.8 km (16,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l.

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 31 October-7 November the activity level at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was low and there was no evidence of lava extrusion. Photographs taken during an aerial inspection of the dome confirmed that the SE side was a very high (150-200 m) free-standing cliff not supported by talus. Erosion continued on the NE side and at the E and SE bases of the dome, further deepening the moat in the talus around the dome. The morphology of the top of the dome was complex and highly irregular with multiple steep lava protrusions separated by areas of lower elevation. Several spines and a bulbous shear lobe were visible. 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 pilot observations and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 5 November an ash plume from Suwanose-jima rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. The JMA indicated that during 7-8 November explosion or eruption plumes rose to altitudes of 1.2-1.8 km (4,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. An explosion was reported on 12 November.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

The IG reported little observed activity from Tungurahua during 5-11 November. Light ashfall was reported in Pillate (8 km W) and part of Riobamba (about 30 km S) on 4 November. Fumarolic activity was weak on 7 November and present on the NW edge of the crater on 8 November.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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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.

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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)