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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 13 May-19 May 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 13 May-19 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
Manam Papua New Guinea New
San Cristobal Nicaragua New
West Mata Tonga New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Redoubt United States Ongoing
Reventador Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing
Ulawun New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

On 19 May, INGEOMINAS reported that gas plumes from Galeras occasionally contained some ash during the previous four days. An overflight on 17 May revealed gas emissions emanating from multiple points inside and outside of the main crater. Some thermal anomalies surpassed 180 degrees Celsius. During 17-18 May, two M 2.9 earthquakes occurred 6 km SSE at depths of 2-3 km, and on 18 May one M 2.3 earthquake occurred at a depth of 3-5 km, 5 km SSW. The Alert Level was lowered to III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 13 May an ash plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 20 km SE.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  San Cristobal  | Nicaragua  | 12.702°N, 87.004°W  | Elevation 1745 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 19 May a diffuse plume from San Cristóbal drifted 45 km SW.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  West Mata  | Tonga  | 15.1°S, 173.75°W  | Elevation -1174 m

In early May, scientists from an NSF (RIDGE and MARGINS Programs) and NOAA (Ocean Exploration Program) sponsored cruise on the University of Washington vessel, the R/V Thompson, traveled to the Lau-Tonga region. This rapid-response expedition was undertaken after strong indications of submarine eruptive activity had been detected during a November 2008 NOAA Vents Program expedition. On 6 and 7 May, team members used the Jason 2 ROV to observe eruptions from two vents of West Mata, a small submarine volcanic cone in the northeast Lau Basin, about 200 km SW of Samoa. Explosive activity occurred from one end of a 5-m-long fissure at Hades vent, at a depth of 1,208 m, while pillow lavas erupted from the other end of the fissure. Glowing bubbles up to a meter in diameter also issued from the fissure. The Prometheus vent, a cinder cone located near the summit and about 100 m N of Hades, erupted explosively with nearly continuous lava fountains that ejected tephra into the water. Both vents were often obscured by sulfur gas emissions, but incandescence was visible for minutes at a time.

Source: NOAA Vents Program



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 19 May an eruption from Sakura-jima produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (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 during 14-19 May ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-75 km W, NW, and N.

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 5-12 May gas-and-ash plumes rose up to 1.5 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. Seismicity remained elevated. The Alert Level remained at Red. Based on web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 13 May, a diffuse ash plume rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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 on 14 May an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 110 km N.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

During 13-19 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. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume, occasionally tinged brown, that drifted mainly W. Various amounts of tephra, including Pele's hair and irregular pieces of vesicular glass, were retrieved from collection bins placed near the plume during the reporting period. A molten lava pool near the base of the cavity, deep below the floor of the vent, produced incandescence of variable intensity. Sounds resembling rushing gas and rockfalls were sometimes heard in the vicinity of the crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

AVO reported that during 13-19 May seismicity from Redoubt had decreased from levels detected during 2-7 May, but remained above background levels. Rock avalanche events, discrete earthquakes, and minor volcanic tremor were evident in seismic data. Growth of the lava dome in the summit crater continued and vigorous steam emissions from the margins of the lava dome were seen on the web camera. Occasional rockfalls originating from unstable slopes of the lava dome produced minor ash clouds in the vicinity of the summit. Occasional incandescence was observed in nighttime images from the web camera. On 15 May, the volume of the dome was an estimated 30-60 million cubic meters. During an overflight on 16 May, scientists observed a turquoise lake along the S margin of the dome, and a hot, vigorous, and persistent fumarole on the W wall of the upper gorge. 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  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

The Washington VAAC reported that, although ash from Reventador was observed by IG on 15 May, an ash signature or a thermal anomaly was not detected in satellite imagery.

Source: 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 8-15 May. Based on interpretations of seismic data, occasional ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 5.4 km (17,700 ft) a.s.l. On 13 May, an ash plume generated by a hot avalanche was seen on video and rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

MVO reported that during 8-15 May activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was generally at a low level. Multiple lahars traveled down several ravines during 12-15 May. Heavy rainfall caused erosion of the lava dome and pyroclastic flow deposits that were still hot; steam plumes occasionally laden with ash occurred periodically from the base of Tyre's ghaut and were visible from MVO. 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

The Tokyo VAAC reported an explosion from Suwanose-jima on13 May, as stated by JMA. Details of possible resultant ash plumes were not reported. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and a pilot observation, the VAAC also reported that on 17 May an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l.

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 13-19 May. Roaring noises were occasionally reported. On 13 and 18 May, a fine layer of ash fell in Manzano, 8 km SW. On 15 May, explosions and sounds resembling rolling blocks were noted. An explosion generated a steam-and-ash plume that rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE. During 16-18 May, steam and steam-and-ash plumes drifted NW, W, and E. During 17-18 May, blocks were heard or seen rolling down the flanks.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Ubinas  | Peru  | 16.355°S, 70.903°W  | Elevation 5672 m

Based on pilot observations, analysis of satellite imagery, and SIGMET notices, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 15-19 May ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.6 km (18,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, NW, and SSE.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Ulawun  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.05°S, 151.33°E  | Elevation 2334 m

RVO reported that white vapor plumes from Ulawun's summit crater were emitted on 10 May and rose a maximum height of 1.5 km. During 10-12 May, occasional roaring and rumbling noises were reported by villagers on the SE and S sides of the volcano. Weak fluctuating incandescence was also seen by people on the S side.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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Dieng Volcanic Complex Korovin Ranakah Unknown Source
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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.

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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)