Activity for the week of 21 January-27 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| 37.92°S, 71.45°W
| Elevation 3164 m
Based on a pilot observation and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Callaqui drifted NE on 22 January. The VAAC also reported that an ash plume from Nevados de Chillán, a nearby volcano 120 km N, drifted SE on 21 and 22 January.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
Dieng Volcanic Complex
| Central Java (Indonesia)
| 7.2°S, 109.879°E
| Elevation 2565 m
CVGHM reported on 22 January that field observations of Dieng's Sibanteng crater revealed that deposits from a 15 January landslide (of an estimated total volume of 40,000 cubic meters) had covered the vent and triggered a phreatic eruption. The landslide deposits near the vent were covered by tephra from the 15 January eruption.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
Nevados de Chillan
| 36.868°S, 71.378°W
| Elevation 3180 m
Based on a SIGMET and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 21-22 January ash plumes from Nevados de Chillán rose to altitudes of 3.7-6.1 km (12,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 50-80 km SE. The VAAC also reported that an ash plume from Callaqui, a nearby volcano 120 km S, drifted NE on 22 January.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 60.485°N, 152.742°W
| Elevation 3108 m
AVO reported that during 24-25 January seismic activity at Redoubt increased markedly. On 25 January, seismic tremor became sustained and amplitude increased notably prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Alert Level to Watch. During an overflight later that day, observers saw no evidence of an eruption. However, they also noted increased steaming through previously identified sources in the snow and ice cover, along with sulfur gas emissions. An overflight on 26 January revealed elevated sulfur dioxide emissions from the summit and new outflows of muddy debris along the glacier that is downslope of the summit. On 26 and 27 January, seismicity fluctuated but remained above background levels.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Andaman Islands (India)
| 12.278°N, 93.858°E
| Elevation 354 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 21 January an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and NW.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 42.833°S, 72.646°W
| Elevation 1122 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 19 January spine collapses from Chaitén's Domo Nuevo 2 produced block-and-ash flows that traveled down the SE and E flanks. An overflight on 21 January revealed landslide scars on the E flank of Domo Nuevo 2. Reddish-brown ash plumes rose from the active dome. A thermal camera showed that the greater temperature anomalies originated from the top of Domo Nuevo 2; anomalies were also present on Domo Nuevo 1 and on many block-and-ash flow deposits. The Alert Level remained Red.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 21-22 and 25-27 January ash plumes rose to altitudes 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that during 21, 23-24, and 26-27 January some grayish plumes from Galeras rose to altitudes of 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and SW.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels on 15 January and at background levels during 16-23 January. Weak ash-and-gas explosions possibly occurred on 15 January. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 18-19 and 21 January. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
HVO reported that during 20-27 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. Explosions at the ocean entry were seen on 20, 21, and 26 January. On 22 January, the Prince lava flow, W of the main lava-tube system, entered the ocean at Waha'ula but was too small to generate a steam plume. Thermal anomalies suggesting surface flows were noted on the coastal plain and on the pali; geologists found active lava flows on the coastal plain on 26 January.
The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW. Small amounts of newly ejected tephra, including rock dust, spatter, and Pele's Hair, were collected. Incandescence was intermittently seen from the vent, and sounds resembling rushing gas, rockfalls, and rock impacts were sometimes heard in the vicinity of the crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 900 tonnes per day on 22 and 23 January; the 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi was above background levels during 15-18 and 26-27 January and at background levels during 19-21 January. Diffuse steam-and-gas plumes were noted. The magnitude of volcanic tremor rapidly decreased during 16-21 January. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a weak daily thermal anomaly in the crater. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Yellow. Strombolian activity in the summit crater was noted on 26 January. Ash plumes were seen drifting NE and E at altitudes of 5.3 km (17,400 ft) a.s.l. during 26-27 January, and were detected on satellite imagery drifting 80 km E at an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. on 27 January. The Level of Concern Color Code was raised to Orange.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
Nevado del Huila
| 2.93°N, 76.03°W
| Elevation 5364 m
INGEOMINAS reported that observations and images taken of Nevado del Huila during an overflight on 21 January revealed that the growing lava dome was about 1 km long, in a N-S direction, and 250 m wide, in a E-W direction. The current estimated volume of the dome was 52 million cubic meters. White-and-blue gas plumes were emitted. On 21 and 23 January, gas plumes viewed through the web camera rose to a maximum altitude of 6.3 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at Orange.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
Piton de la Fournaise
| Reunion Island (France)
| 21.244°S, 55.708°E
| Elevation 2632 m
OVPDLF reported that the eruption from Piton de la Fournaise that began on 14 December 2008 was continuing on 27 January. Two vents were active; lava flowed to the bottom of Dolomieu crater through lava tubes and caused the crust from the pooled area to rise. Some incandescence was noted at night and at dawn.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, information from the Mexico City MWO, and views from the web camera operated by CENAPRED, the Washington VAAC reported that on 21 January an ash plume from Popocatépetl rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE. A thermal anomaly was also detected. CENAPRED reported that during 21-27 January emissions of steam and gas were noted, and occasionally contained slight amounts of ash during 22-25 January. On 22 January, a small explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7.4 km (24,300 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 22-25 January ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and W. On 27 January, an ash plume at an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. was visible on satellite imagery.
RVO reported that during 23-26 January gray ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. White plumes were also emitted. Occasional low rumbling noises were heard throughout the period and weak incandescence was visible at night. Forceful emissions sometimes ejected incandescent lava fragments. Ashfall affected areas downwind, including Rapolo and Malaguna (NW), Kokopo (SE), and Tokua airport (SE).
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels during 16-23 January. Based on interpretations of seismic data, possible ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. on 17 and 21 January and to an altitude of 3 km (9,800 ft) a.s.l. on the other days during the reporting period. Gas-and-steam emissions were noted. On 21 January, an ash plume that was visible on a web camera rose to an altitude of about 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome, gas-and-steam plumes that drifted about 130 km SE, SW, and W during 16-17 and 19-20 January, and an ash plume that drifted 65 km SW on 18 January. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 16-23 January activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level; seismicity was low, rockfalls were minimal, and lava-dome incandescence at night was absent. The Hazard Level remained at 4.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| 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 21 January. Details of a possible resultant ash plume were not reported.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
The IG reported that during 20, 23, and 25-26 January steam-and-ash plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and W; cloud cover often prevented visual observations on the other days during 20-27 January. Roaring and explosions were occasionally heard. Incandescence in the crater was noted at night on 21 and 23 January. Ashfall was reported in areas to the SW on 23 January.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
Criteria & Disclaimers
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.
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.
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