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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 7 January-13 January 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 7 January-13 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
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) New
Shishaldin Fox Islands (USA) New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Yasur Vanuatu New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Barren Island Andaman Islands (India) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Etna Sicily (Italy) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Llaima Chile Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

RVO reported that during 3-14 January gray ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose several hundred meters above the crater to 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and SE. Explosions or forceful emissions sometimes ejected incandescent lava fragments that fell back into the crater and occasionally onto the slopes. Ashfall affected areas downwind; Air Niugini suspended all its flights to Tokua airport (about 20 km SE) during 5-9 January. According to a news article, a local shipping company offered to take passengers to a nearby airport in New Ireland Province, an area not affected by the ash plumes. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-12 January ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, and NE.

RVO reported that on 11 January two small vents opened on the SW flank of Tavurvur (one-quarter of the way up the flank) and emitted strong fumaroles. During 11-13 January, the vents ejected ash. On 13 January, two explosions produced dull booms and sounds resembling falling rocks. Ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the vents and drifted SE. Later that day, diffuse white plumes were emitted. Air Niugini flights into Tokua airport remained suspended on 13 January.

Sources: ABC News - Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

AVO reported that thermal anomalies over Shishaldin's summit were detected in satellite imagery during 7-10 January. Clouds prevented observations on 11, 12, and 13 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at 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 2-3 January activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome increased drastically. On 2 January, an energetic pyroclastic flow and associated surge traveled down Tyers Ghaut (NW) and reached the upper part of Belham River. On 3 January, after a period of elevated seismicity, two explosions produced ash plumes to altitudes greater than 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall affected most of the island at elevations of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and above. The explosions had significant "jet components" to at least 500 m above the dome. In-column collapses resulted in pyroclastic flows that traveled W and reached Plymouth (about 5 km W). After the second explosion, the level of activity decreased dramatically and remained low through 9 January. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

The IG reported that during 7-10 and 12 January steam-and-ash plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-6.5 km (19,700-21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, WNW, W, and E. On most days, ash fell within 8 km NW and SW, and roaring, explosions, and "cannon shot" noises were reported. On 7 and 10 January, incandescence blocks ejected from the crater rolled down the flanks.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Yasur  | Vanuatu  | 19.532°S, 169.447°E  | Elevation 361 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Wellington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Yasur rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.

Source: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 9 January an eruption from Sakura-jima produced a plume that rose to an altitude of more than 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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 7-8 and 10-11 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW.

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

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 29 December-9 January Chaitén's Domo Nuevo 2 continued to grow and generate a gas-and-ash plume. The plume rose to altitudes of 2.6-3.1 km (8,500-10,200 ft) a.s.l.; block-and-ash flows from frequent spine collapses tinged the plume reddish brown. On 2 January, observers in Chaitén town reported that a block-and-ash flow traveled E and produced a second plume. An overflight on 9 January revealed that Domo Nuevo 1 and Domo Nuevo 2 filled up the 3-km-wide inner caldera. Activity was concentrated on the S part of Domo Nuevo 2. The Alert Level remained Red. According to a news article, Argentine Airlines resumed flights into Esquel airport (about 120 km E) on 12 January, after suspending operations due to ash during the previous eight months.

Based on SIGMET notices and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 10 and 12 January ash plumes continuously rose to altitudes 1.8-2.7 km (6,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE and E.

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



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

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

INGV-CT reported that during 5-11 January activity from Etna's summit craters was observed utilizing surveillance cameras situated in Milo (about 11 km ESE); inclement weather prevented direct inspection of the summit area. Degassing was seen from the NW Bocca Nuova vent, from the walls and floor of Southeast Crater, and along summit fumarolic fields. The NW-SE-trending fissure E of the summit craters continued (since 13 May 2008) to produce active lava flows to the N of the SE end of the fissure, along the W wall of the Valle del Bove.

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 8-9 January, multiple explosions (3-5 per hour) from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.3-5.4 km (14,100-17,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 10-15 km S and SW. The explosions produced rumbling sounds and shock waves that were detected 10-15 km away. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Constant avalanches of blocks descended the S and SW flanks. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from the Tegucigalpa MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 10 January a diffuse plume drifted W.

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 that during 2-9 January seismic activity from Karymsky was not evaluated due to technical issues. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater on 7 January; clouds prevented observations on the other days. 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 7-13 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 6, 8, and 11 January. A lobe of lava called the Prince lobe, to the W of Waikupanaha, advanced to within about 160 m of the coastline.

The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW. Tephra production had stopped; rockfalls inside the vent continued. An infrared camera showed that the vent conduit was closed by rubble deep beneath the floor of the crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 800 tonnes per day on 7 January; above the 2003-2007 average rate of 140 tonnes per day. Variable winds periodically caused sulfur dioxide concentrations in the air to reach unsafe levels and effect nearby communities, and caused the Jaggar Museum to close on 12 January.

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 1-9 January. Strombolian activity and lava effusion on the NW flank continued. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly in the crater. Ashfall was reported in Kozyrevsk village (about 50 km W) on 1 January. Ash plumes drifted 60 km N on 1 January and 35 km SW on 2 January.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Llaima  | Chile  | 38.692°S, 71.729°W  | Elevation 3125 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that ash emissions and gas plumes from cones inside Llaima's crater were observed during 30 December-6 January.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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 2-9 January. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 8.8 km (28,900 ft) a.s.l. on 7 January and to an altitude of 5.7 km (18,700 ft) a.s.l. on the other days during the reporting period. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and an ash plume that drifted 25 km W on 6 January. Gas-and-steam emissions were seen on 2, 4, and 6 January. Ash deposits were noted in areas about 10 km SW on 7 January. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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 explosion from Suwanose-jima on 9 January.

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 11 January an ash plume from Ubinas rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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.

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)