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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 18 November-24 November 2009.


















 Activity for the week of 18 November-24 November 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
Sarychev Peak Matua Island (Russia) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Reventador Ecuador Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

An explosive eruption from Galeras detected by the seismic network on 20 November prompted INGEOMINAS to raise the Alert Level to I (Red; "imminent eruption or in progress"). Residents reported five explosions, sound waves, and incandescence from multiple areas in the crater. Plume modelling from the Washington VAAC suggested that the resulting ash plume may have risen as high as 14.3 km (46,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Ashfall was reported in areas 10 km E, N, and NNW. Seismicity increased after the eruption and then gradually decreased. On 21 November, INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level to II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks"). According to news articles, 900-1,000 people out of about 9,000 ordered to evacuate went to shelters.

Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Sarychev Peak  | Matua Island (Russia)  | 48.092°N, 153.2°E  | Elevation 1496 m

SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly on Sarychev Peak was detected by satellite on 21 November.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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 explosions from Sakura-jima on 18 and 23 November produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.7 km (7,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and E.

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 analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 24 November an ash plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 90 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

Based on web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 23 November a gas plume from Chaitén's lava-dome complex rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels on 12, 14, and 16 November; data were not available on the other days during 13-20 November due to technical reasons. Elevated seismicity possibly indicated that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (9,900 ft) a.s.l. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly and ash plumes that drifted 130 km E during 12-14 and 17 November. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 23 November an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 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 18-24 November, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from beneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the ocean at multiple locations between Waikupanaha and an area 700 m farther to the W. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active surface lava flows at locations on and at the base of the pali, at the TEB vent, and on the coastal plain. Incandescence was seen on the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor.

The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a white or off-white plume that drifted mainly SW and dropped small amounts of ash downwind. Incandescence originated from a circulating and spattering lava pond that occasionally rose above and drained back below holes in the vent cavity floor. On 21 November, a sliver of the rim collapsed and was followed by an explosion that produced a dense brown plume that dissipated after a few minutes (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/archive/2009/Nov/HMMvent_21Nov2009_x2speed.mov). Measurements indicated that the sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 700-1,100 tonnes per day was measured during 18-20 and 23 November. The 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

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 during 13-20 November seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels. Strombolian activity ejected tephra 200 m above the crater during 13-15 November. On 14 November, a new lava flow traveled 500 m down the ESE flank. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

On 20 and 24 November, INSIVUMEH reported that white and blue plumes from Pacaya's MacKenney cone rose up to 400 m and drifted SSW. Multiple lava flows on the S and SW flanks traveled 100-250 m SE and SW. Incandescence at night was noted.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that during 18-20 November steam-and-gas plumes from Popocatépetl sometimes contained ash. A small explosion detected by the seismic network on 21 November was accompanied by an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 8.9 km (29,200 ft) a.s.l. The ash plume drifted E and caused ashfall in Atlixco (23 km SE), Huejotzingo (27 km NE), and areas in the state of Tlaxcala.

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

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 November ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-90 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 20 November an ash plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected on satellite imagery.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.757°N, 91.552°W  | Elevation 3745 m

On 20 November, INSIVUMEH reported that two explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced an ash plume that drifted SW. Avalanches descended the SW flank of the dome. An explosion on 24 November produced an ash plume the rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 13-20 November seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.3 km (17,400 ft) a.s.l. According to video camera data, fumarolic activity and hot avalanches were noted on 14 and 15 November. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 November an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l.

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 13-20 November activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome consisted of ash venting along with semi-continuous rockfalls and pyroclastic flows that were concentrated on the W flank. Ashfall occurred across many areas of the island. Views of the lava dome on 16 November showed that the dome height had decreased because of collapses and that a deep channel had developed NE of Chances Peak. Pyroclastic flows in the Gages Valley (W) continued down Spring Ghaut and Aymer's Ghaut, and spread onto the alluvial fan below St. Georges Hill. On 19 November, heavy ashfall occurred to the NW between Old Towne and Brades. 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 an explosion from Suwanose-jima on 18 November. Details of possible resulting emissions were not reported.

Source: Tokyo 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.

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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)