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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

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You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 26 November-2 December 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 26 November-2 December 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
Akan Hokkaido (Japan) New
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New

Bagana Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Galeras Colombia Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Masaya Nicaragua Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

JMA reported an eruption from Me-Akan (also known as Meakan-dake, which means Meakan Peak) of the Akan volcanic complex on 28 November. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, and SE. Ash was deposited on the E flank up to 4 km away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at "near-crater warning" (levels 2 and 3 on a 5-level scale).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Karangetang  | Siau Island (Indonesia)  | 2.781°N, 125.407°E  | Elevation 1797 m

CVGHM reported that on 28 November seismicity from Karangetang increased and indicated rockfalls. White plumes rose from summit craters I and II to approximate altitudes of 1.8-2.2 km (5,900-7,200 ft) a.s.l. On 29 November white and brownish plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (5,900 ft) a.s.l. Incandescent rockslides from the main crater traveled 250 m S towards the Bahembang River, 250 m W towards the Beha Timur River, and 500-1,000 m S towards the Keting River. Thunderous noises were reported. On 30 November, fog prevented visual observations; the seismic network recorded 160 rockfalls. On 1 December, incandescent rockslides traveled 250 m S towards the Bahembang River, 750 m W towards the Beha Timur River, and 500-1,500 m S towards the Keting River. On 2 December, the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) due to the continuation of elevated seismicity, run-out distances of incandescent rockslides, and height of incandescent material ejected from the summit.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 2 December an ash plume from Karangetang rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), 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 21-28 November; Strombolian activity and lava effusion continued. On 21 November, a lava flow traveled 1.5-1.8 km down the NW flank. Gas-and-steam plumes drifted 80 km NW on 24 November and 20-40 km SE during 25-26 November. Gas-and-steam plumes containing slight amounts of ash rose to altitudes of 5.3-5.5 km (17,400-18,000 ft) a.s.l. during 26-27 November. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly in the crater during 21-28 November. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

OVPDLF reported that on 28 November after a period of increased seismicity Piton de la Fournaise erupted from the same vent that produced lava flows on 21 September. Lava flows issued from a fissure about halfway up the W wall of Dolomieu crater and ponded at the bottom, covering about 50 percent of the 21 September lava flow. A small quantity of Pele's hair was deposited inside Bory crater.

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



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

MVO reported that during 21-28 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. The lava dome continued to emit steam vigorously from multiple places, including new fumarolic areas on the W and S sides. Long-exposure photographs revealed several hot spots on the dome. The vertical cliff face on the W side of the dome was cracked in several places and erosion was evident at the base.

At approximately 2135 on 2 December, an explosion occurred on the W side of the lava dome without any precursory seismicity. Large blocks were ejected up to 1 km from the dome and incandescent blocks were scattered over the NW side of Gages Mountain (about 1 km WNW). A pyroclastic flow traveled to the W down Gages valley into Plymouth (about 5 km W), and further to the sea. Buildings in Plymouth caught fire and could be seen burning from Salem (about 4 km N of Plymouth) for several hours afterwards. Ash plumes were accompanied by lightning strikes and drifted W. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 28 November a puff of ash and steam drifted SW and S.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 2 December an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 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

Based on observations of satellite imagery, pilot reports, SIGMET notices, and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 23, 25, 27, and 29 November, and 2 December, ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and NNW. A thermal anomaly was detected on satellite imagery on 25 and 29 November.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

INGEOMINAS reported that on 30 November ash emissions from Galeras were associated with seismic tremor that lasted about 30 minutes. Resultant ash plumes drifted 6-12.5 km S and SSW.

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 at background levels during 21-23 and 26-28 November. Seismicity increased above background levels on 24 and 25 November; possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. during 23-25 November. During an overflight, scientists observed gas-and-steam plumes that rose to altitudes of 2-2.4 km (6,600-7,900 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 20, 22, and 24-26 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 26 November-2 December 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 was seen at the TEB vent. Breakout lava flows low on the pali fed channelized flows that traveled S towards the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park boundary. GPS stations spanning Pu'u 'O'o Crater recorded almost 4 cm of contraction during the previous 3 months. Earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera, and along the SW rift zone, the S-flank fault, and the Koa'e fault. 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 500 tonnes per day on 26 November; the 2003-2007 average rate 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 2 December a plume possibly containing some ash drifted less than 20 km SW.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 26-2 December. 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 21-27 November light gray ash plumes and white steam plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, S, SW, and W. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. 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 30 November-1 December ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and WSW.

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 21-28 November. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.6 km (18,400 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in the town of Klyuchi, about 30 km SW, on 22 November. Visual observations confirmed that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. on 25 November. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera during 26-28 November. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and a gas-and-steam plume that drifted about 30 km SE on 26 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 on 1 December eruptions produced plumes to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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

The IG reported that multiple lahars descended the S, NW, N, and NNE flanks of Tungurahua on 25 November. A landslide into the Puela River (to the S) reduced the flow volume by narrowing the river's channel. Lahars in the Vazcún River (to the N) dragged blocks up to 3 m in diameter. During 28-29 November, fumarolic activity originated from the NE and NW areas of the crater.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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

Based on a SIGMET notice, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 30 November an ash plume from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.1 km (18,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.

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)