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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 19 November-25 November 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 19 November-25 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
Alu-Dalafilla Ethiopia New
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Manam Papua New Guinea New
Nevado del Huila Colombia New
Reventador Ecuador New
San Cristobal Nicaragua New

Bagana Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Etna Sicily (Italy) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala 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  Alu-Dalafilla  | Ethiopia  | 13.793°N, 40.553°E  | Elevation 578 m

During 19-24 November, the MODIS satellite continued to detect thermal anomalies over the area near Dalaffilla and Alu volcanoes from the eruption that began on 3 November.

Source: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team



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 20 November an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 110 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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 14-21 November and Strombolian activity continued. Video and visual observations showed that during 13-17 November gas-and-steam plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to an altitude of 5.3 km (17,400 ft) a.s.l. On 17 November, "bursting" sounds from the volcano were heard in Klyuchi, about 30 km to the NE. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly in the crater during 14-21 November. On 22 November a lava flow traveled 1.5-1.8 km down the NW flank. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange. [Correction: a lava flow traveled down the NW flank on 21 November.]

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 November an ash plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 55 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

INGEOMINAS reported an eruption of Nevado del Huila at 2145 on 20 November that destroyed part of a new lava dome that had formed during the previous months. The Alert Level was raised to Red (on a 4-color scale where Red is the highest level). According to the Washington VAAC, two gas-and-ash plumes rose to altitudes of 12.4-15.4 km (40,700-50,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SE. Hot material erupted at the summit melted areas of the surrounding glacier and caused lahars in the Bellavista and Páez rivers. Lahars in the Páez River damaged infrastructure and destroyed homes, and residents of Taravira, Tóez, and La Estrella reported abundant ashfall and noises associated with both the eruption and the lahar. There may have been as many as 10 fatalities and 10 others were missing, and several populations were left without means of communication. By the time of a report at 0230 on 21 November, the seismicity had decreased. During an overflight, scientists observed a 400-m-diameter crater in the SW area of Pico Central. A lava dome inside the crater was degassing. Intense fumarolic activity was noted from the W end of a crack generated in April 2007. The next day, the Alert Level was lowered back to Orange because seismicity had returned to background levels. INGEOMINAS continued to receive reports of sulfur odors and continuous gas emissions from the summit.

According to news reports, the lahars damaged or destroyed about 70 homes and several bridges, and displaced many families. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

Sources: EFE News Service, Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), Latin America Herald Tribune



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

Inclement weather prevented observations of Reventador during 19-23 November. A seismic station situated on the NE flank of the central cone recorded a high number of rockfall signals that presumably originated from the active lava-flow fronts.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  San Cristobal  | Nicaragua  | 12.702°N, 87.004°W  | Elevation 1745 m

According to a news article, seismic activity from San Cristóbal increased on 14 and 17 November. The article also noted that INETER reported explosions and subsequent ash-and-gas emissions from the crater on 21 November. Ashfall was reported in areas to the S.

Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Bagana  | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)  | 6.137°S, 155.196°E  | Elevation 1855 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 November an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 75 km SW. On 26 November a low-level plume drifted W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

On 25 November SERNAGEOMIN reported that continuous emissions of gas and ash from Chaitén produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.6-3.1 km (8,500-10,200 ft) a.s.l. A lateral explosion was observed on the web camera on 17 November. Based on observations of satellite imagery, SIGMET notices, and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 19-21, 23, and 25 November ash plumes continuously rose to altitudes 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE, SE, and S.

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



Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

INGV-CT reported that an inspection of Etna's summit craters on 19 November revealed degassing from the Northeast Crater and, to a lesser degree, from the Bocca Nuova BN-1 crater. A 100-m-long lava flow was active in mid-November; the lava flow field on the upper Valle del Bove has been active since 13 May.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 20-21 and 25 November explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.1-4.6 km (13,500-15,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and S. The explosions produced rumbling and degassing sounds, and shock waves were detected 10 km away. Lava flowed 150 m W towards the Taniluyá ravine and incandescent material rolled down the flanks.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky increased above background levels during 13-17 November; possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 13-16 November and an ash plume that drifted 28 km E on 15 November. Clouds prevented observations on the other days during 14-21 November. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

HVO reported that during 19-25 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. Incandescence and active surface flows were seen on and at the base of the pali (fault scarp), and at the TEB vent. Earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera, and along the S-flank fault. During 20-21 November, tremor levels increased to four times the background level. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW and deposited small amounts of tephra. Night-time incandescence was occasionally seen at the base of the plume. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 1,700 and 700 tonnes per day on 20 and 24 November, respectively; the 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

On 20 November INSIVUMEH reported that fumarolic plumes from Pacaya's MacKenney cone drifted S at a low altitude. Ash occasionally entrained by strong winds drifted S. Multiple lava flows on the S, W, and SW flanks of the cone traveled 50-300 m during 20-21 and 25 November.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



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 19-25 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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 12 and 19-25 November ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted mainly N, NW, and W.

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 above background levels during 14-21 November. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera on 16 and 17 November. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and a gas-and-steam plume that drifted about 100 km E on 14 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 22 and 24-25 November eruptions produced plumes to altitudes of 5.2-5.8 km (17,000-19,000 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 14-21 November the activity level at the Soufrière Hills lava dome remained low, and there was no evidence of lava extrusion. Rockfalls were detected by the seismic network. Visual observations were hindered by clouds and vigorous steaming from the dome. Weak ash venting possibly occurred briefly during the reporting period, including on 20 November. 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 an eruption from Suwanose-jima on 21 November. A plume rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. An explosion was reported on 25 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 that inclement weather mostly prevented observations of Tungurahua from 19-23 November; small fumarolic plumes were noted on 19 November. Roaring noises were reported on 20 November. On 22 November small lahars traveled down the Juive drainage (NNW flank), and on 25 November small lahars traveled down drainages on the W flank.

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.

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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)