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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 6 May-12 May 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 6 May-12 May 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
Galeras Colombia New
Nyiragongo DR Congo New
Rinjani Lombok Island (Indonesia) New
Veniaminof United States New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Arenal Costa Rica Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Ebeko Paramushir Island (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Llaima Chile Ongoing
Nevado del Huila Colombia Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Redoubt United States Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

On 6 May, INGEOMINAS reported that gas-and-ash plumes from Galeras rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. An overflight revealed incandescence from a vent, 90-100 m in diameter, in the main crater that corresponded to a 500 degree Celsius temperature anomaly. Blocks, 9-13 m in diameter, scattered on the S and SE flanks were part of the 2008 lava dome that had been ejected during the 24 April 2009 eruption. White plumes originated from multiple points inside and outside of the crater. Volcanic tremor seldom occurred during the previous week. The Alert Level was lowered to III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

On 9 May, a M 2.2 volcano-tectonic earthquake occurred 6 km to the NE of the main crater at a depth of 10 km. On 11 May, seismicity increased, and hybrid earthquakes and tremor were detected. The recent seismicity, along with incandescence in the crater, and low sulfur dioxide values suggested to INGEOMINAS that the volcano may become overpressurized. The Alert Level was raised to II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks"). Steam plumes rose 250 m and drifted NW on 12 May.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Nyiragongo  | DR Congo  | 1.52°S, 29.25°E  | Elevation 3470 m

According to a news article on 8 May, the air in the city of Goma, 18 km S of Nyiragongo, was thick with "volcanic dust." Residents reported seeing incandescent lava flowing from the summit crater at night. The article also stated that the scientist-in-charge of Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) reported that significantly increased temperatures were measured around Nyiragongo and that larger-than-usual plumes of "volcanic dust" were being ejected. The news account did not mention any GVO statements about lava flows.

Source: BBC News



Volcano index photo  Rinjani  | Lombok Island (Indonesia)  | 8.42°S, 116.47°E  | Elevation 3726 m

CVGHM reported than during 3-7 May seismicity from Rinjani continued to be elevated and tremor was detected. On 4 May, an eruption of ash produced a white-to-brown plume that rose 500-700 m above the Barujari cone and drifted N. No eruption plumes were seen during times of clear weather on 5 and 6 May. On 7 May, thick white "smoke" from Rinjani was noted. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

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



Volcano index photo  Veniaminof  | United States  | 56.17°N, 159.38°W  | Elevation 2507 m

During 6-7 May, seismic activity from Veniaminof increased, prompting AVO to raise the Volcanic Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. Small magnitude earthquakes occurred at rates of 5-10 per hour during quieter periods and 1-3 per minute during periods of more intense activity. Visual observations indicated typical steaming from the summit caldera cone. Seismicity remained elevated during 8-12 May. Minor ash-producing explosions last occurred in March 2008.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Ongoing Activity


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

Based on information from JMA and pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 9 May eruptions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. On 12 May, an ash plume drifted E at an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Arenal  | Costa Rica  | 10.463°N, 84.703°W  | Elevation 1670 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that during April activity originating from Arenal's Crater C consisted of gas emissions, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional avalanches that traveled down the SW, S, and N flanks. Acid rain and small amounts of ejected pyroclastic material affected the NE and SE flanks. Small avalanches of volcanic material traveled down several ravines. Crater D showed only fumarolic activity.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



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 5 May an ash plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km W.

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 April-4 May gas-and-ash plumes rose up to 2 km from Chaitén's growing Domo Nuevo 1 and Domo Nuevo 2 lava-dome complex. Collapses originating from unstable slopes generated block-and-ash flows. An overflight on 1 May revealed a large central spine fractured into three main blocks. The surface of the lava dome complex was very irregular and several spines had grown 100 m above the dome surface. Seismicity remained high. The Alert Level remained at Red. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, SIGMET notices, web camera views, and information from the Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR), the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 5 and 10-12 May, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-4.6 km (7,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and ENE.

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



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 during 5-7 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 3-3.7 km (10,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 20-110 km SE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Ebeko  | Paramushir Island (Russia)  | 50.686°N, 156.014°E  | Elevation 1103 m

KVERT reported that during 1-8 May observers from Severo-Kurilsk, about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed continued activity. Gas-and-steam plumes containing a small amount of ash were noted on 2 May. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Yellow. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from Yelizovo Airport, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 9-11 May ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and SE.

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 6-12 May, 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 and Kupapa'u ocean entries. On 6 May, a bench collapse from Kupapa'u was detected by seismic signals. Tour pilots reported an active surface lava flow above the pali that was less than half a kilometer long. A thermal anomaly corresponding to the flow was detected on satellite imagery. Geologists on an overflight on 7 May mapped a stalled 'a'a flow that broke out from the TEB lava tube and was being covered by pahoehoe from the breakout point. They also saw that the Waikupanaha delta had built out to the furthest point in its over 13-month history and that bus-sized chunks of delta were scattered on the beach fronting the Kupapa'u entry, as a result of the 6 May collapse. Some explosions occurred at the Waikupanaha ocean entry on 10 May.

The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a white plume that that drifted W and SW. A molten lava pool near the base of the cavity, deep below the floor of the crater, produced the brightest incandescence from the summit vent since early December 2008. Sounds resembling rushing gas and falling rocks were sometimes heard in the vicinity of the crater. Fresh spatter was retrieved from collection bins placed near the plume during 6-7 May. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was elevated; measurements were 1,100 and 700 tonnes per day on 8 and 10 May, respectively. The 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

During 28 April-11 May, SERNAGEOMIN reported sporadic incandescence from an area in the SW part of Llaima's main crater, corresponding to a small outcrop of lava. Blocks occasionally rolling down the W flank were seen on a web camera. During 5-11 May, tephra was ejected from an area on the E flank and, during the night, incandescence originated from this area. During the daytime, observers reported that an almost continuous orange brown plume rose 200 m. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Yellow.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Nevado del Huila  | Colombia  | 2.93°N, 76.03°W  | Elevation 5364 m

INGEOMINAS reported images of Nevado del Huila taken during overflights on 7 and 9 May revealed thermal anomalies, volume increases, and changes in the color of the lava dome, indicating the extrusion of juvenile material. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 May ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 35 km E.

Source: 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 6-12 May seismicity from Redoubt remained above background levels, indicating ongoing growth of the lava dome in the summit crater. Occasional rockfalls originating from the lava dome's flanks and steam-and-gas emissions were observed on the web camera. The emissions may have contained some ash. During 5-6 May, seismicity intensified and nearly continuous small earthquakes near the summit were recorded. Steam emissions were vigorous and minor ash was detected in emission by satellite imagery. Rockfalls also triggered ash emissions near the summit. On 6 May, tremor nearly doubled in intensity and the number of events increased. An ash emission produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. Seismicity declined during 6-7 May but continuous small earthquakes continued to be recorded by stations near the summit. On 12 May, seismicity decreased to low levels compared to other phases of the eruption. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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 1-8 May. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly from the lava dome every day. 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 explosions from Suwanose-jima during 7-9 and 12 May. 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 sometimes prevented observations of Tungurahua during 6-12 May. On 6 May, ashfall was reported in Baños, about 8 km N. Steam plumes rose to altitudes below 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. during 6-8 May and drifted W. During 9-11 May, roaring noises, "cannon shots," and sounds resembling rolling blocks were reported. On 9 May, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. The next day ash plumes rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. while roaring noises were very strong.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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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)