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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 31 December-6 January 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 31 December-6 January 2009

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
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Dempo Indonesia New
Koryaksky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Bagana Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Barren Island Andaman Islands (India) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that cloud cover prevented satellite observations of Cleveland during 31 December, and 1, 3, and 5 January. The brief explosive emission of ash was detected on 2 January. A resultant ash plume rose to an altitude of 6 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 240 km ESE. A thermal anomaly over the summit was detected on 4 January. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Dempo  | Indonesia  | 4.016°S, 103.121°E  | Elevation 3142 m

CVGHM reported that on 1 January, a phreatic eruption from Dempo resulted in a strong sulfur odor and "ash rain" that was noted as far as about 10 km from the summit. Fog prevented direct observations of the summit. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale from 1-4). Visitors and residents were advised not to go within a 2-km radius of the summit.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Volcano index photo  Koryaksky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 53.321°N, 158.712°E  | Elevation 3430 m

KVERT reported that during 26 December-7 January seismic activity at Koryaksky was at background levels. Observers reported that during 30-31 December gas-and-steam plumes possibly containing a small amount of ash drifted along the surface of the NW flank. During 6-7 January gas-and-steam plumes drifted SW. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Shishaldin  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 54.756°N, 163.97°W  | Elevation 2857 m

AVO reported that significant thermal anomalies over Shishaldin's summit were detected in satellite imagery during 5-6 January. Seismic activity had also increased slightly. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

MVO reported that during 26 December-2 January activity from Soufrière Hills lava dome was characterized by significantly increased lava extrusion, ash emissions, and pyroclastic flows. Lava extrusion on the top, N, W, and SW sides of the dome continued, and incandescence on the dome was visible at night when weather was favorable. Pyroclastic flows regularly reached the bottom of Tyers Ghaut (NW); surges associated with the larger flows spilled into the next valley to the W. Deposits filling Tyers Ghaut caused the flows to travel farther, into the upper part of the Belham River. Pyroclastic flows were also noted in valleys to the W. Ash emissions from the top of the lava dome increased; although most pyroclastic flows originated from rockfalls, some originated at the vent. Ashfall was reported in areas 6-7 km NW. Large incandescent blocks, deposited by rockfalls and pyroclastic flows, were visible on multiple occasions at night in the lower parts of Tyers Ghaut. Fires triggered by surges were visible in the neighboring valley. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from MVO, the Washington VAAC reported large eruptions on 3 January. Ash plumes drifted NE at an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l., E at an altitude of 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l., S at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l., and W at an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected. According to news articles, about 70 people were evacuated from Area B, about 6-8 km NW. The next day, steam-and-gas plumes possibly containing ash drifted W and WSW.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Antigua Sun [Original URL no longer exists 1/2017]



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

The IG reported that during 31 December-6 January ash plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, and NW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind during 31 December-3 January; ashfall was heavy in Choglontus (W) on 2 January. Roaring, explosions, and "cannon shot" noises were reported almost daily, and large windows vibrated on 1, 3, and 4 January. During 2-4 January, incandescence at the summit was noted and blocks rolled up to 800 m down the flanks. Strombolian activity occurred at the summit on 4 January.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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 31 December an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Barren Island  | Andaman Islands (India)  | 12.278°N, 93.858°E  | Elevation 354 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-6 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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 on 6 January an ash plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, pilot observations, and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 31 December-2 January and 4-5 January ash plumes from Chaitén continuously rose to altitudes 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, N, NNE, and SE. Ash plumes were visible through the web camera on 3 January.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

On 2 January, incandescent material from Colima was propelled 100 m above the summit and a gray plume rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. During 3-5 January, gray and white plumes rose to altitudes of 4-4.2 km (13,100-13,800 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted N, NE, E, and SE.

Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima



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 6 January an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 1 January two ash plumes from Fuego drifted N. INSIVUMEH reported that during 4-6 January multiple explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.1-5.1 km (13,500-16,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 12 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Some explosions produced rumbling sounds and shock waves that were detected 10 km away. Constant avalanches of blocks descended the S and SW flanks.

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



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

KVERT reported during 26 December-2 January seismic activity from Karymsky was not evaluated due to technical issues. Clouds prevented satellite observations of the volcano. 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 31 December-6 January lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Surface flows were noted on the coastal plain and incandescence was seen at the base of the pali. Explosions at the ocean entry were seen on 31 December and 5 January.

Earthquakes strong enough to be located were variously scattered beneath the caldera, along the SW rift zone, and along the S-flank fault. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW. Consistent with a decreasing trend of ash production since 15 December, the vent produced minimal amounts of fine tephra; essentially no tephra was collected during 5-6 January. Sounds resembling rockfalls were sometimes heard in the vicinity of the crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 500 tonnes per day on 31 December and 2 January; the 2003-2007 average rate 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 26 December-2 January. Strombolian activity was noted on 25 and 27 December, and lava effusion on the NW flank continued. On 25 December gas-and-steam plumes containing ash rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly in the crater. Ash plumes drifted 250 km NE during 25-26 December. On 27 December ashfall was reported in Kozyrevsk village. The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 2 January ash plumes were continuously observed on satellite imagery.

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



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and pilot observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 31 December, 1 January, and 3-5 January, ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, NW, NNW, and SE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 5 January an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.757°N, 91.552°W  | Elevation 3745 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that two small ash plumes from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex drifted ESE on 1 January. During 4-5 January, gas and steam plumes possibly containing some ash drifted SW and WSW. INSIVUMEH reported that on 5 and 6 January fumarolic plumes drifted 100 m above the crater. Five explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.8-3 km (9,200-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SE. A few avalanches originating from a lava flow descended the W flank.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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 25 December-2 January. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 25 and 26 December, and to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. on the other days during the reporting period. An ash plume was seen on 25 December at an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and gas-and-steam emissions were noted on 25 and 30 December, and on 1 January. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and an ash plume that drifted 40 km NW on 30 December. 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 1, 2, 5, and 6 January eruptions produced plumes to altitudes of 4.6-5.8 km (15,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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 3 January. A plume rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 5 January an ash plume from Ubinas rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

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.

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)