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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 4 March-10 March 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 4 March-10 March 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
Aira Kyushu (Japan) New
Koryaksky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) New

Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Galeras Colombia Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Redoubt United States Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

During 7-10 March, JMA reported that 12 Vulcanian explosions occurred from Showa Crater, on the E flank of Sakura-jima. Some explosions were seen from JMA's Kagoshima Observatory; observers reported that ejected bombs landed as far away as 800 m from the crater and plumes rose to an altitude of 2.9 km (9,500 ft) a.s.l. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption on 7 March, and explosions during 8-10 March, produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.7 km (6,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted N and S during 8-10 March. [Correction: Ejected bombs landed as far away as 1,800 m from the crater.]

Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Koryaksky was above background levels on 3 March and at background levels on the other days during 27 February-6 March. Observers reported that during 3-5 March gas plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE, E, and SE. The plumes were also seen on satellite imagery. Ash deposits were seen at the summit, and on the N flank at a thickness of about 4 cm. Ash deposits 1-2 mm thick had accumulated in an area between Koryaksky and Avachinsky volcanoes. A weak new fumarole was seen in the crater. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.

Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport, the Tokyo VAAC reported ash on 8 March. On 10 March, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

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



Volcano index photo  Semeru  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.108°S, 112.922°E  | Elevation 3657 m

On 6 March, CVGHM reported that an ash eruption from Semeru was characterized by increased seismicity and booming sounds from the Jonggring Seloko crater; fog prevented visual observations. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 March a possible plume rose to altitudes of 3.7-4.3 km (12,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Ongoing Activity


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 9 and 10 March ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted 37 km in areas NE to NW on 9 March, and NE and N on 10 March.

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 28 February-3 March Chaitén's Domo Nuevo 1 and Domo Nuevo 2 lava-dome complex continued to grow. Collapses, originating from unstable slopes of the SE part of Domo Nuevo 1 and from a central spine complex, generated block-and-ash flows. Material from the collapses accumulated in the basal ring depression surrounding the dome complex and throughout the Chaitén (Blanco) River valley. Ash-and-gas plumes drifted mainly SE. Data collected during an overflight on 3 March revealed that temperatures of deposited material in the Chaitén River valley remained elevated. A steam-and-ash plume rose 1 km above the domes and drifted S.

Based on web camera views and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3 and 5-9 March ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, and NE.

Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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 5 March multiple ash plumes from Fuego drifted W. On 6 and 10 March, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.2-4.8 km (13,800-15,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 12-15 km S and SW. Some strong explosions were accompanied by rumbling noises, shock waves detected 8 km away, avalanches of blocks down all flanks, and ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in areas to the SW.

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



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

INGEOMINAS reported that on multiple occasions during 6-10 March white gas plumes from Galeras were occasionally tinged gray or brown and rose to altitudes less than 6.3 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. An estimated 2 million cubic meters of material, or about 40 percent of the volume of the lava dome, was deposited during the eruptions that took place on 14 and 20 February. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

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 27 February-6 March. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 27-28 February and 1-4 March, and an ash plume that drifted 120 km SE on 4 March. Ash deposits on the volcano were noted. On 3 March, pilots reported an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KEMSD and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption on 6 March produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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

During 4-10 March, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry and occasionally producing explosions. Thermal anomalies noted during most days on the coastal plain suggested surface flows. Scattered surface flows near the Prince lobe were noted on 5 and 9 March. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW; incandescence was intermittently seen. Small amounts of newly ejected tephra were collected on 5, 6, and 10 March. Geologists utilizing an infrared camera on 3 March saw two spattering vents and a hot area about 100 m below the vent rim. Hot areas were also visible during 4-5 March, and on 6 March they saw an enlarged puffing vent. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 700 tonnes per day on 5 and 6 March; the 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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 4-10 March; the plumes contained slight amounts of ash on 5 March.

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 2-8 March white plumes and gray ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose a few hundred meters above the crater to 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and SE. Incandescence was seen most nights and incandescent tephra was ejected from the crater. Rumbling and roaring noises were reported during 4-6 March, and ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 March an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N.

Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Redoubt  | United States  | 60.485°N, 152.742°W  | Elevation 3108 m

AVO reported that during 4-10 March seismic activity at Redoubt was variable but remained above background levels. Clear web camera views and satellite imagery on 7 and 8 March showed no unusual activity. On 10 March, AVO reported that although abnormally high gas emission rates continued to be detected and melting of the summit glacier was still evident, the new magma beneath the volcano did not show any signs of upward movement. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow and the Alert Level was lowered to Advisory.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

Based on pilot observations and analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 10 March an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. A thermal anomaly was detected in 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 during 4-6 March ash plumes from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex drifted W. On 6 and 10 March, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.8-3.4 km (9,200-11,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, NW, and N. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind.

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 27 February-6 March. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 5.4 km (17,700 ft) a.s.l. According to observers, fumaroles were active during 28 February and 3-5 March. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.7 km (15,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE during 3-4 March. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and an ash plume that drifted 84 km E on 4 March. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that eruptions on 8 and 10 March produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 6.1-6.4 km (20,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted SE on 10 March.

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 27 February-6 March activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. On 6 March, a pyroclastic flow traveled E down the Tar River Valley to the sea. 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 multiple explosions from Suwanose-jima on 6 March. Details of possible resultant ash plumes were not reported.

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 frequently prevented visual observations of Tungurahua during 4-10 March. Slight ashfall was reported in areas to the NW on 4 March. On 6 March, steam-and-ash plumes rose 500 m above the crater. On 8 March, a steam plumes rose 100 m above the summit and fumaroles on the E flank were active.

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 and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 4 March an ash plume from Ubinas rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Weekly Reports Archive

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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)